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A Little Cupcake Gem in Falls Church

6 Aug

I received my first tip last week!  When hearing about my cupcake crusade, a long-time family friend suggested I visit Natalia’s Elegant Creations in Falls Church.  She hadn’t been yet, had heard how wonderful their cupcakes were, and asked that I report back.  I felt as if I were given a dutiful mission, one that I was happy to accept!  In Falls Church, you say?  Why yes!  At 230 West Broad Street to be exact.  Although I technically grew up in McLean, our house was right on the border of Falls Church and I thought I knew just about every nook and cranny of this city.   Hmmm….I was stumped.  I had never heard of it, so I quickly jumped online.  This must be a new place, I thought.  Maybe just opened last week or something.  Nope.  It’s been open for years.  Years! I must’ve driven by thousands of times.  Well, I’m sure glad I received the tip because Natalia’s is certainly worth knowing about! (Thanks Mrs. P!) 

Be on the look-out for this place!

I was fortunate to have my mom in town last week, so she and I were excited to give Natalia’s a try on Monday.  But then we found out that they’re closed on Mondays…so we were less excited.  But then we decided to go on Tuesday, and have lunch (they serve lunch!) and cupcakes, and the excitement was reborn!  We arrived, they were open, and as soon as I walked in I was delightfully surprised!  It really felt like stepping into a European cafe.  How have I not known about this place??  The lunch menu had several sandwiches and salads to choose from, lots of caffeinated beverages to go with it, and then the array of delicious pastries.  Of course my cupcake feelers were in high alert as soon as I entered, and I knew which cupcake I wanted before I even looked at the sandwiches.  We decided to split the chicken salad sandwich and a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.  While we waited for our food, I had a chance to soak up my surroundings a little bit.  This was when I realized that this establishment is firmly established.  I think several “regulars” came in and ordered their “usual”. Local art was displayed and handsomely framed here and there.  Fresh cut flowers on the table.  Soft lighting.  Cozy factor:  A 

The sandwich was tasty, but I was ready for that cupcake.  It arrived once our lunch plates were clear.  And there is sat – prettily on a plate just waiting to be gobbled up.  I need to rewind here for a second, to the point when we first entered and I scanned the cupcake selection.  In addition to what we ordered, there were red velvet,  black & white, and a chocolate on chocolate cupcakes to choose from.  This is another place where the cupcakes are not the main attraction.  There are numerous other desserts just waiting to be and should be sampled.  Okay, back to the moment of truth! 

 

It certainly looked gourmet.   Instead of the standard cupcake wrapper, this cupcake was in one of those paper baking molds.  (I just saw those at Sur la Table, which you know, instantly turns anything into gourmet!)  Then the delicious chocolate frosting was topped with a lovely, sugar sunflower.  For personal reasons, this little unique detail tugged at my heart and it was then that I knew this cupcake was special.  I delicately set the sunflower to the side, and my mom and I manned our forks.  She took a bite, I took a bite, she took a bite, I took a bite, we stopped to say “yum!”, and the feasting continued.  And then it was gone.  Just like that.  It was gourmet – it tasted so fresh; nothing artificial about it; no over-the-top sweetness.  And boy, could you taste the cocoa in the soft frosting – I love that!  In fact, I would have loved just a bit more of it on top of the cake.  The cake portion of the treat was larger than what I’m used to, so extra frosting would ensure every bite had equal amounts of cake and frosting.  

I will be back to Natalia’s for sure, and think it may just be mom’s and my go-to lunch spot from now on.  On to the breakdown

Natalia’s Elegant Creations/ 230 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA / www.nataliaselegantcreations.com 

1. Price:  $3 

2. Room temperature:  Yes.  The cupcake my mom and I chose was from a cupcake stand on top of the counter.  The red velvet and black & white cupcakes looked to be kept cold in the glass case 

3.  Size:  I’d call the cake part of this cupcake “big boned”. 

4. Vegan or gluten free options:  I didn’t see any in the cupcake form, but despair not!  They have lots and lots of other vegan and gluten free pastries that can be made-to-order, as well as some available daily in the pastry shop. 

5. To-go packaging:  Unknown.  Seeing as we ate every last morsel of our cupcake. 

6. Milk for sale?:  I made sure to look for this this time!  And Natalia’s has it on the menu -from skim to whole, even soy and chocolate versions.  

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:  Oh yes, yes yes yes!  I feel certain in saying that there is something for everyone here.  Except sushi…or Pho…I guess I should say there is something for every sweet tooth here! 

8.  Ambiance:  It’s really a cute place, and felt very authentic.  Kind of a coffee house vibe.  It’s not huge and on the cozy side, so it’d be great place to catch up with a friend or read the paper over coffee.  The outdoor seating would be delightful on a cooler day (it was somewhere around 95 degrees the day of our visit -fun stuff). 

9. Service:  Very pleasant and efficient.  

Final verdict:  The Chocolate on Vanilla cake will be moving into the #4 spot of the “Top 10” list.  Please keep your eyes peeled for this gem of a place, and stop in for a real gem of a cupcake.  Or other pastry, and then let me know how it was!   

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