Taste of Georgetown: Dessert First

Who ever said dessert couldn't come first? Well it sure did at Taste of Georgetown, the annual taste fest highlighting the very best of Georgetown's culinary adventures. For $4 per taste and over 20 restaurants' booths to choose from, with some of that money going to charitable causes, it was well worth a beautiful Saturday afternoon in October.

And why discuss sweets first? Only because, as a casual observer and formal taster, dessert did and rightfully should have come first on everyone's list. The focus, in particular, was on the two cupcake shops, Baked & Wired and Georgetown Cupcake. B&W offered a cookie and a cupcake per “taste,” while GC offered two cupcakes. Not bad for specialty cupcakes, usually going for $30 per dozen.

The problem? The lines! Like I said, dessert was a priority for many of the folks at Taste of Georgetown. And it was reflected in the line length for the two cupcakeries as compared with everywhere else. Don't get me wrong, the savory food was terrific, and I will be profiling my samplings soon, but the lines at Georgetown Cupcake and Baked & Wired told the stories.

What made the stories even more interesting was what happened once you got to the front of the line. B&W had only one type of cupcakes left – strawberry, not my favorite – and GC had nothing! Talk about popular!

Well being smarter businesspeople, GC sent you to their store two blocks away, where they promised to honor the coupons while TOG was still going on. Go we did, and so too did about a 30-minute line’s worth of Taste of Georgetown patrons. Once inside, we were able to choose any of the GC selection, rather than being forced to go with strawberry. That was almost worth the roller-coaster-esque wait outside among other eager cupcake hopefuls. We had 3 tickets, so 6 cupcakes! Plus the Baked and Wired one. It was going to be interesting sampling these (over the next three days).

We started with the Baked & Wired cupcake to give it a fair shake. Hey, it didn't have reputation, variety or the flavor on its side, so we figured we'd give it at least freshness and primacy. Well I was sure glad we did, because this cupcake was unbelievably excellent – even for strawberry. It was actually like a mini cake – dense and moist and flavorful. The strawberry was folded into a rich, yellow cake and actually added a nice bit of tartness. The icing was heavenly, again dense and rich and really nice strawberry taste. The thing looked like a present, and was even dressed in a fancier-than-a-muffin-wrapper outfit. If the line wasn't so long, I would have gotten another one. The only disappointment is that we did not get to see or sample any other varieties.

Georgetown Cupcake's pastries were really gorgeous-looking in their own right, but were still in the traditional muffin wrappers. The flavors we selected were: vanilla with chocolate, chocolate with vanilla, red velvet, vanilla coconut, chocolate coconut and mocha. They were all divine in flavor, most notably their vanilla frosting, the coconut ones and the mocha. The consistency is what I didn't favor. The cake was too fluffy and flimsy for me and the frosting too goopy. They were difficult to eat and hard to enjoy. I probably would have liked the flavors of the Georgetown Cupcake cupcake with the consistency of the Baked & Wired cupcake. A difficult quandary!

Ultimately, I think I would choose to go to Baked & Wired to try their other cupcakes (and the strawberry one again) before going back to Georgetown Cupcake, so I guess the texture must have won me over. But only slightly.

Stay tuned for my profile of the savory aspect of Taste of Georgetown very soon!

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