Friday, November 12, 2010

A better cupcake?

In a previous post, I mentioned my love affair with Crave Cupcakes, a Houston establishment that has the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Last weekend, I was back in Dallas, my hometown, to help my sister find a wedding dress. My sister and her fiancé, like me, are definite foodies, so I was excited about them taking me to some of their favorite new places. After our final lunch, they mentioned a nearby cupcakery, Sprinkles. Apparently, Sprinkles is the world's first cupcake bakery (it started in LA), and its Dallas location is just one of a growing list. Never one to turn down a cupcake, I jumped at the chance, expecting to find a perfectly satisfactory offering. What I found instead was Crave’s clone. It was a-mazing.

From the look of the store to the design and taste of the cupcakes, Sprinkles is the pink twin to Crave's blue. What’s more, several obviously knowledgeable customers claimed Sprinkles’ best cupcake is strawberry (a flavor that weren’t serving that day), which I contend is also Crave’s best. It was too much excitement to handle! I ended up choosing the salted caramel cupcake, which was heaven on a plate, and the only reason I still rank Crave slightly higher (aside from its cuter blue décor) is because they serve their milk ice cold in glass milk bottles. It’s delightful. Sprinkle’s milk comes in a paper cup. Boo. But I love you now, too, Sprinkles!
The cupcake was so good that I couldn’t resist trying to bring one back home to my hubby in the Lou, which resulted in an amusing request for a paper coffee cup and lid to carry it in (I was flying home, and there was no way that cupcake was going to survive in the gift box they tried to sell me for $1.75 — please).
P.S. So after doing a quick Internet search (full disclosure, I was looking for some conspiracy theory about the similarity between the two chains, like the Crave owner worked for Sprinkles and left after a falling out, but I didn’t find anything), I discovered that since I left Houston, H-Town has gotten a Sprinkles of its own, apparently not far from the original Crave. This, of course, has set off a furious (only a slight exaggeration) debate over which place is better, with both sides getting a pretty equal share of the votes. All this reminds me of the continuing debate over Layne’s vs. Cane’s in our own family (ahem, Layne’s obviously wins this one). There’s no definitive answer, of course. I just wish I could get my hands on one of those strawberry cupcakes here in St. Louis!

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