...the one in which we don't have to go to Hoboken...which is a good thing...right?
It's about 10:00 pm on a Saturday night in NYC, and in my mind - that means CUPCAKES!!!!!
Yes. Our second night in the Big Apple, and our second night to continue our Quest for the Perfect Cupcake.
Tonight's contestant would be none other than the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro. If you're a foodie, then you're probably familiar with Buddy's show, "Cake Boss", that's been airing on TLC since...like...forever. The bakery, Carlo's Bake Shop, has actually been operating in Hoboken since 1910...and largely due to the success of the television show, the bakery has now expanded to several locations.
One of which just opened in January of this year - at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue...which, if you're familiar with Manhattan, you'll recognize as the location of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
It just so happened that our fabulous bus experience, The Ride, finished right across the street from here... so, a one minute walk, and voila! We were at the Cake Boss Cafe (which is what this location is called), ready to indulge. Hubby was thrilled, as you can imagine. THRILLED.
During the day, this store is a madhouse - crammed with tourists and locals alike, all jostling to get a piece of sweet. Here's a tip:
THERE IS A TICKET DISPENSER BY THE FRONT DOOR...BE SURE TO GRAB ONE, BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY YOU'LL GET HELPED!!
They will call the next 'number' - and if you don't have a numbered ticket - you won't get called. We heard some grumpy customers that night that realized - WAY after the fact - that they needed a ticket to get helped.
Of course, I knew to grab a ticket - because I'd done my research, of course - which impressed my Daughter. It doesn't take much to impress her, though.
Anyway, we grabbed our ticket and then made our way up to the counter to ogle the pastry porn:
Daughter and I taking it all in....
One thing I noticed - and that I didn't particularly like - is that the cupcakes are not labeled:
This makes it difficult in choosing...as you basically have to first, guess at the flavors, and then second, point to what you want when you're being helped.
Once you choose your cupcakes, you then make your way over to the cash registers, where you wait for the employee to box up your selections. It's a confusing configuration, made all the more confusing when the store is packed with confused tourists. Gah.
We ended up choosing:
...cannoli for $4.00...
...a peanut-butter cupcake for $3.50...
The peanut butter cupcake was good...but not great. I found it small (especially for the price we paid), and the flavors mild. I would have preferred a bigger 'kick' of peanut butter.
The cannoli ended up being a HUGE disappointment. Hubby took a bite, and used the word, "chalky." I finished it off, and the word I would use is "waxy." It just had a weird, waxy texture to me - and I was not happy.
Would we go back?
No. But hey - this is just my opinion, and your mileage may vary. I think it's worth a try - to see if perhaps a different cupcake would taste better than ours did. But - in the Quest for the Perfect Cupcake - this place fell far, far short. I just thought it was an overpriced tourist trap - but hey. What do I know? I really, really wanted to love it - as I LOVE Buddy and the show - but sadly...I was disappointed.
The Quest for the Perfect Cupcake would have to continue.
As we left the Cafe and began the long, long walk back to our hotel room, we encountered the infamous "Naked Cowboy" - hanging out in Times Square, doing what he does best:
...which is getting groped by the ladies, I guess.
I passed. NOT on my Bucket List.
And then I had to explain to Daughter just who exactly Naked Cowboy is, and why he's famous. Which I'm not really sure the answers to EITHER of those questions, but it made for an interesting conversation on a Saturday night while strolling through the streets of Manhattan.
P.S. On a side note, my FitBit pedometer logged a total of 23,390 total steps for this day - which is the same as 10.3 miles.
I WALKED TEN MILES TODAY!!!!
No wonder my feet were dead.
Once we were back at the hotel, I took a nice, hot soaking bath and gave my feet some TLC. They'd certainly earned it.