This weekend, I had a Crate & Barrel errand to run in Clarendon. And lately, it seems that I have now trained my mind to automatically think that any “errand” should also involve cupcakes. A friend had mentioned a cupcakery in Clarendon a couple weeks ago, so I hit up Google again and found BakeShop. Now my to-do list felt complete.
Clarendon is a vibrant neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia that has seen a serious transformation over the last couple decades. The area is filled (or maybe even overflowing) with young professionals that quickly hop on and off the Orange Line, zipping back and forth between DC. Trendy restaurants, boutiques, and chains (like Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, the Apple Store, Whole Food, etc.) seem to keep everyone happily entertained. BakeShop is slightly removed from the neighborhood’s thriving main arteries, about 2 blocks from Clarendon Blvd. This, I felt, proved to be a good thing. Stepping off the beaten path and into the little shop was a respite from all the hustle and bustle.
Here I was at BakeShop, where cupcakes are “baked daily from scratch in small batches”. Once inside, it definitely felt like a breath of fresh air. I had another one of those moments -one of those moments where once inside a new venue with cool decor, I’m looking around all wide-eyed, oohing and ahhing…to myself…probably looking very, very dorky. Anyway, this place definitely has a cool decor. Lots of natural light, summery yellow walls, blond wood furniture -it was sort of… minimalist meets sunshine.
Once I soaked up my surroundings, I narrowed in on the cupcakes. They’re presented on various cake stands, sitting on the front-and-center counter. (Beyond the cupcake counter, you can see what actually makes up and goes on in this bakery. This open kitchen is yet another neat element to the breezy decor.) There weren’t a ton of cupcakes for the buying. Maybe four or five of each variety. Still, I hemmed and hawed over which one(s). I finally decided on the strawberry shortcake and the devil’s food cake. Got them to go and headed home, where I quickly made and wolfed down 1/2 a P&J sandwich. This was so I could indulge guilt-free, knowing I wasn’t just eating cupcakes for lunch *ha!*
Final verdict- heavenly! I loved these cupcakes. So much that I think they’ll go to the top of the “Top 10″! They tasted so fresh, and had the perfect cake/frosting ratio. After I few bites, I was desperate for more. Little flecks of real stawberry were found scattered throughout the strawberry shortcake. The airy frosting was pretty in pink, with just the right amount of sugar. The devil’s food cake was a delectable combination of a rich, yet spongy chocolate cake with light vanilla frosting. Cake to frosting ratio for both: A! Their diminutive size was the only downside here. But I definitely want to go back and try other flavors, like their 7Up cupcake and the Chocolate Nutella.
Let me break it down now!
BakeShop / 1025 N. Fillmore Street, Suite G, Arlington VA 22201 / www.bakeshopva.com
1. Price: $2.75
2. Room temperature: Why, yes!
3. Size: These erred on the petite size.
4. Vegan or gluten free options: They have a chocolate vegan cupcake. *Little tip here – These are offered Friday through Monday, and it’s best to buy them on Friday when they’re freshly baked.
5. To-go packaging: An individual, petite cardboard box (for each petite cupcake) and a little logo stick on top.
6. Milk for sale?: I know I saw coffee, and iced coffee. Darn! This is one criteria I keep forgetting to observe. Sorry I don’t have an answer here!
7. Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: They have cookies, ice cream chipwiches, and oatmeal cream pies. All which sound mighty fine to me!
8. Ambiance: I think I pretty much summed this up in my ramblings above. BakeShop surely gets an A for ambiance! (oh, look how nicely that turned out).
9. Service: Hmm…I’m not quite sure how to best sum this one up. The two ladies working behind the counter weren’t all over me as soon as I walked in, which was probably for the best seeing as I had lost of oohing and ahhing, hemming and hawing to do. So, I was left to my own devices there for a while. Again though, I think this was for the best. Once I did order, they were very kind and efficient.
Final Verdict: Both of these cupcakes were equally fantastic, that we now how a tie (between the strawberry shortcake and the devil’s food cake) occupying the #1 spot in the “Top 10″ list!