Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Parking!

I have to admit that I got some serious giggles when I came across this "No Parking" sign while I was searching for some DC parking info for my wedding this Sunday (yes, it is non-stop glamour around here between getting parking permits and checking road closures). I wish I could get a few of these signs to put up for my weddings!

A Tale of DC Wedding Parking Permits {with frosting}

When Laura introduces me to people, it usually goes something like this:

“This is my assistant Alison. She loves cupcakes more than you do.”

My cupcake obsession has become a bit of a company joke. Apparently, most people can’t draw a map of all the cupcakeries in DC with their eyes closed, have never eaten five cupcakes inside five minutes, and don’t start their days with a carrot cupcake (which I would argue is essentially a breakfast pastry). The last time my mom was in town, we went to four different bakeries in one day, and in her entire five-day trip, she ate SEVENTEEN cupcakes. (Clearly, the obsession is hereditary.) However, I’m embarrassed to say that up to very recently, my cupcake tour of DC was incomplete. I was a poser, a fraud—a cupFAKE. … until last Thursday.

Now I love my job so much that most days, I’d work for free. Last Thursday was not one of those days. My morning was spent at the DC permits building. I waited in line for two hours, talked thirty minutes to an official about whether a parking meter on the east side of Constitution Avenue could even exist since Constitution runs east-west, and then I was detained for another half hour when the building was on lockdown because some guy refused to leave his spot in line for the cashier to claim his briefcase. Through it all, Laura was sending me emails about how easy it used to be to get parking permits in DC—why, she used to have a stack of blank permits in her trunk to use whenever! (Clearly, Laura wanted to make me cry in the hope that some city employee would take pity on me and grant the appropriate permit. She’s just that brilliantly devious.)

By the time I left the Public Space Office with permits in hand, the sun was significantly higher than when I’d entered, but my spirits were not. And that is when I saw the most beautiful sight in all the land: the pink Curbside Cupcakes van pulling up directly in front of me. You can say it wasn’t fate but I won’t listen: the universe knew I needed a cupcake at that moment and it delivered. Literally.

I’d been eager to try Curbside ever since it beat out my beloved Baked & Wired in the second round of Washingtonian’s most recent cupcake tournament. Had the voting public gotten it wrong, or did Curbside really take the cake?

Here’s what I can tell you. The guys in the van were really nice, for one thing. At $3 a cupcake ($15 for a half dozen), Curbside is less expensive than Baked & Wired, although the cupcakes themselves are smaller. The cake itself is more spongey than crumbly, and the frosting on the Classic Vanilla was a tad too sweet for my liking, although it was still a great cupcake. My Carrot Cake was okay (Hello Cupcake and Lavender Moon both do it better) but the Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Cup were good, and the Dark Chocolate Delight lived up to its name. Laura gave both the Classic Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Delight two icing-covered thumbs up.

All in all, while Baked & Wired remains my standard for other cupcakes to beat, I can definitely see myself chasing down the Curbside Cupcakes van for a second tasting. Now if they’d only drive by the Engaging Affairs office…