Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sugary Sugar: a Cupcake from the Kickass Cupcakes Truck

Cupcakes have come to Boston in a major way (only a few years behind New York…). There’s Sweet, Isabelle’s Curly Cupcakes, and many others. And then there are cupcakes on the go. When I passed the Kickass Cupcakes truck outside the Boston Public Library on Friday, I started thinking about cupcakes.

Why do I like cupcakes? They're pretty. They're whimsical. And there are so many different elements: you've got the cupcake, and the icing, and then there might be sprinkles or something sweet inside. I don't remember my mom making too many cupcakes (she's a brownie, cookie, lemon tart kind of mom... the best kind of mom!), but I still feel like a little kid when I have a cupcake. 

I woke up Saturday still thinking about cupcakes (this happens pretty often). 

Later that day, I was on the Greenway and I could have looked for the Cupcake Cart. But I’ve read that the cart carries only two flavors – chocolate and vanilla – and, ever since I made the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, I’ve been into filled cupcakes. I guess they’re called filled. Or stuffed? All I know is I really like cupcakes with something at the center.

According to Kickass’ Twitter feed, the truck had moved from Kenmore to Back Bay. I get off the T at Copley and find the truck parked on Clarendon between Newbury and Boylston, just as advertised. (I stop to take a photo of the "Come N Get Em" sign and a big, burly guy goes, "I like it!")

I have a hard time deciding. There’s the cappuccino, and the mochiatto, and the crème brulee…. Or I could just get a side of frosting for $1 (yowza). I stick to my game plan and order the cookie dough cupcake for $3.

It’s cute. So cute. Just look at that blob of icing!

I take a quick bite and it’s like being hit in the face with sugar. I’m trying to walk and eat and carry my bags of produce from Haymarket ($7.25 for a pint of raspberries, a pint of cherry tomatoes, an avocado, a pineapple, one squash, and a half pound of cherries) and it’s not working. I decide I need to sit down and make a serious study of the cupcake.

It’s a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream, glistening in the heat, and a little bit of cookie dough tucked under the frosting. It is unbelievably sugary. And, to be honest, I’m a little disappointed.

For all of the hype, the cupcake tastes like… well… every other vanilla cupcake. I do like the cookie dough, but there’s not that much of it. And the truck staffers looked totally demoralized… maybe it was the heat? Maybe they don’t like cupcakes? Sad. 

There are a few redeeming qualities: The cookie dough cupcake is super cute, it’s from a local business, and it’s from a food truck. Food trucks are so damn cool (and I’m glad Boston now has its own fair share). I love Clover Food Lab, and I’d like to try the Dining Car (best name ever) and Staff Meal.

When a food truck gets it right, it’s exciting and fun and you feel like you spent your money on something interesting and, in many cases, organic. But, in this case, I walked away with a too sweet taste in my mouth, wondering whether I ordered the wrong cupcake... or went to the wrong truck. 

* For more on food trucks in Boston, check out the list of food carts on the Greenway.

* And I have to ask: What are your favorite food trucks in Boston? 

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