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Wednesday, December 12

An Open Letter to Warren Brown

In the spirit of Candy Spelling and Amy Winehouse's mother, I'm penning my own open letter.

It's going out to D.C.'s own, Warren Brown-- host of the ill-fated Food Network series Sugar Rush.

Dear Warren,

Hi. How are you? Gearing up for a busy holiday season? We district residents are always up for a little sweet indulgence. Our scandals are over the top and so are our appetites. Remember, we're not L.A.; D.C. is like Hollywood for ugly people. Those senators can pack on the calories, so don't skimp on the sugar.

But I feel the need to write to you now, Warren. You see, when I moved here, I was extremely excited to think I'd have the opportunity to drop by Cake Love or Love Cafe whenever the moment struck. I'd delight in the seemingly endless assortment of cupcake flavors and tasty treats.

But I gotta be honest: I've never been happy with a cupcake from Cake Love.

I'm not a big buttercream fan, and I'm especially not a fan of refrigerated solid butter cream-- buttercream so hard that you can't even taste the lemon or lime or strawberry or orange or whatever you got in that frosting.

And I know you say to let it come to room temperature, but who has the time for that? This is a tiny little cafe on U St. that sits about 10 people, at most. Any every time I've asked one of your darling employees to microwave it slightly, they refuse!

And that's if they even HAVE cupcakes. The sign says you're open until 11 p.m., and yet at 9 p.m. the only cupcake you got left is something like "mocha on lemongrass" (Not really. Exaggerated for effect. Aren't you letting that dissonant flavor combination roll around in your brain?).

I just don't get it-- this fascination with the $3 cupcake. Every time I buy one I promise to never do it again, only to go back and shell out another three bucks in hopes that this one will be good.

Now your cakes... your cakes are another story. The ones I've tried are great. But, once again, what is a slice of cake there? $9? And don't even ask me how much a full size cake is.

I worry about you, now that your show is defunct. Sorry, but it was boring and didn't really have a point. It was before its time, in a way. The network wasn't quite ready to do a show that wasn't about cooking, and hadn't really figured out what a good option would be. You, sadly, were the product of their indecisiveness.

So, as I continue to shell out my three dollars, hoping in vain that I'll bite into something amazing, I'll be thinking of you. I may not be proud of the purchase, but at least I'm contributing to the only D.C. resident the Food Network has ever known.

Oh... and I'll always treasure this commemorative headshot you had available on your Cake Love counter. Xmas is here early!

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At 12/12/2007 10:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta agree about CakeLove being disappointing. I've tried the Silver Spring location several times and it's nothing special. ChickenOut has a better chocolate cake!

At 12/13/2007 9:23 AM , Anonymous Pat said...

I know what you mean -- in Boystown there's a place called, appropriately enough, Cupcakes, which sells interesting looking cupcakes with great sounding flavors for $3, but they're only OK. Yet they sell out every day -- we think the Lakeview moms come in and buy out the store for their kids' parties.

Next time you're in Chicago, go to Southport Grocery (Addison & Southport) or Sweet Mandy B's (Webster & Racine) -- either one will more than satisfy your cupcake habit for around $2 :-)

At 12/13/2007 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another DC resident agrees... the best items are the buzz bombs or buzz ball pastries? And the bedroll pastry- very tasty. Yeah, cold solidified buttercream on an extremely dry cupcake- not my thing; and to be honest the large cakes aren't much better... dry, dry, dry. But keep those buzz thingys and bedrolls coming; and perhaps try a new cake, and frosting, recipe

At 12/13/2007 2:47 PM , Anonymous Shannon said...

poor dude. Whenever I would watch his show, I would get a sugarhigh.

At 12/13/2007 6:46 PM , Anonymous Clutch_fan_74 said...

Hollywood for ugly people! Oh, my, God! That's, great!!
I'm not sure I'll ever look at DC quite the same now. hahahahaha!
Don't know that I'll ever totally understand the love people have for cupcakes--it's right up there with the need people seem to have to own those damn chocolate fountains but oh well. So apparently you've no "love" for Cake Love then? Not a total loss as there are other places to better enable your pastry addiction, and with better frosting... Which, if you're going to eat a cupcake is the point anyway right? I mean if the frosting is horrible it pretty much blows the whole experience... I can only imagine the looks you must have gotten from the staff if you really did request that they microwave your cupcake. Were all eyes back in their respective heads by the time you left?

Thanks for the laugh!

At 12/14/2007 10:54 AM , Blogger jacob said...

anon: LOL! chicken out. so funny.

pat: I'll try and check those ones out. I'll be there next weekend. thanks!

anon: yeah, i like the buzz balls, but I recently ordered one and it was filled with pumpkin and nut filling. it wasn't awful, but I wasn't expecting it and just wanted the regular cream.

shannon: yeah, it was a diabetic's nightmare.

clutch fan: I didn't coin that phrase, so I can't really take credit for it;-) and I'm pretty sure I was TOLD by one employee that he liked to microwave the cupcakes a bit, but every time I've been back they say they can't do it. Something to do with the food temp. law.

At 12/14/2007 11:13 AM , Blogger atiyah9369 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/14/2007 11:18 AM , Blogger atiyah9369 said...

I totally agree. I purchased a $55birthday cake from there. It was dry and tasteless even after I let it come to room temperature. I don't even want to talk about the parking near cake love/cafe.

At 12/14/2007 1:37 PM , Anonymous Julie said...

Hi- First, I wanted to say that I love your blog, check it every day. This post was very interesting. It reminds me that the true experience of Food Network personalities restaurants may not always live up to expectations. Honestly, the only restaurants that I have been to (Delmonico in Las Vegas, Mesa Grill and Bar Americain, and Otto) have all been very good. I am sure that there are others that are not so good, leaving people mighty disappointed.

On another off topic subject - My husband and I are seriously considering moving to the DC area, mosty likely Maryland. Any ideas as to great suburbs or neighborhoods? We have been looking at Olney and Gaithersburg (cheaper housing prices). Any websites or info would be so appreciated! Thanks again for the great blog....

At 12/14/2007 5:11 PM , Blogger roopa said...

cakelove is nasty, warren brown freaks me out. i'm so annoyed he's opening a cakelove in baltimore. just what we need - more BAD cupcakes. baltimore needs a GOOD cupcake bakery. the two we have are really bad, and now we'll have a third bad one - great!

in the meantime, i'm taking orders for cupcakes. i swear that my buttercream is wonderful and my cakes aren't dry!

At 12/14/2007 6:08 PM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

My all time worst cakelove experience--on a hot summer day, I bought a piece of strawberry shortcake, filled with layers of what I thought was fluffy whipped cream.

Nope. Layers and layers of stiff buttercream. Bleaaaahhhhhh.

For cupcakes: Jilly's. Sadly, it's in St. Louis.

At 12/17/2007 9:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With so many great cupcake bakeries in NYC (Buttercup Bakeshop on the upper west side to name one), why can't DC have at least one good one? We're always behind the times (another good example is wine bars, which are finally slowly making their way in, when they have been in other large cities for years), and I don't entirely get it because we are a city with a lot of young people who are from other areas and is fairly metropolitan (although not as much as NYC or Philadelphia, for example). When cakelove first opened some time ago, I was really excited because there were (and still are) no cupcake places in DC. However, like the rest of the commenters, I thought cakelove was pretty bad. I gave it a couple of more shots, but it still did not improve despite the fact that the overall city buzz is that it's amazing. I'm glad to know there are others who share the same sentiments about the taste of the cupcakes. While they look pretty good and their names sound pretty good when peering into the glass case, they simply do not translate well in taste. Hopefully, someone will open up a true cupcake place one day - there apparently is a demand based on the blogger's post and all of the comments. End of rant!


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