Blue Dog Kitchen

101 W 25th St. New York, NY 10001(212) 229-9222 bluedogkitchen-hub.com

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This place is teeny tiny so I don’t recommend eating there unless you like lines of people standing over you while you chew. It’s much better suited for the grab and go or Seamless.com. It’s also well suited for those who like good, fresh, wholesome food. From salads to sandwiches to their desserts it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Sure, some things are definitely better than others, but nothing I’ve ever had here has been bad.

My go to sandwich is the G19, which sounds a lot like an assault rifle or a supersonic fighter jet, but sadly it is nothing even remotely as cool. It does, however, taste better than both of those things, made with warm grilled veggies and goat cheese, served on a hearty multi-grain bread.

And for salads I definitely recommend the fig, arugula and faro salad. It can be a bit overdressed at times, but it always tastes great. Granted it’s extremely light on the faro to have that ingredient listed as a headliner in the salad’s name.

Then, for dessert, mentally prepare yourself for one of the best oatmeal raisin cookies since the dawn of molasses. It’s got just the perfect hint of cinnamon and a nice depth of flavor from the bourbon. On the other hand, the red velvet extravaganza is just a red velvet cupcake with an over-the-top selly name. Don’t get sucked in by the marketing people. Take it from an ad guy… who got sucked in by the marketing.

3 teeth

 

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Crumbs

420 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10170(212) 297-0500 • crumbs.com

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The whole cupcake explosion is a bit of a mystery to me. I mean, sure I like them. It’s cake for Pete’s sake! But entire bakeries solely devoted to them seems a bit much. Is it simply born out of our own laziness? Is cutting up a large singular cake so inconvenient that we need individually sized versions? Apparently.

And it’s a slippery slope from there. Now everyone feels as compelled as possible to make these little cups of individually sized cake as special as they can be, cramming 10 pounds of shit in a 5 ounce cup. Almost as if someone decided that cupcakes are the new ice cream. So now we’ve got cookies and cream cupcakes. Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. Reese’s, Snicker, M&M and Mint Chocolate Chip- not to mention the cake varieties like German chocolate, red velvet, chocolate and vanilla.

But enough preaching about the absurd cupcake craze. You just want to hear how Crumbs stacks up. Well, considering I hate the entire genre as a rule, not well. Crumbs is at the bottom of the barrel, with said barrel already lodged firmly at the bottom of the ocean.

The cupcakes are massive and so overly sugary that you feel gross after two bites. There is no nuance to be found. No moisture or airiness in the cake itself. They just go for the jugular and throw caution (and diabetes) to the wind. That said, it’s great for other people’s kids… who you secretly hate.

2 teeth

 

Baked by Melissa

Everywhere in New York City that there isn’t already a Starbucks or a Chase
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When Melissa first hit the scene at her hole-in-the-wall location in Soho, I thought, “hey, what a great idea!” Tiny, bite-sized cupcakes, because sometimes all we want is a little hit of sweet. Not a gut bomb of sugary commitment.

Now, while the rest of this review might sound like the bitter rantings of someone who should’ve invested when they had the chance, that’s honestly the most I can admit about her cupcakes. Because while her business model is genius, her cupcakes- not so much.

Usually dry, they basically taste like shrunken down versions of Crumbs, which I’m also not a fan of. It’s like someone one day decided that cupcakes weren’t desert-y enough being just cake with frosting on top, so they decided to cram a bunch of other desserts in ’em, making them so friggin’ sweet you’ll practically be begging for an insulin shot, even if you’re not a diabetic.

I much prefer the likes of Buttercup, Magnolia and Terri for my cakes of the cupping kind.

2 teeth

 
 

The Ultimate Cupcake

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Terri – New York, NY

I’m bracing myself for the flack I’m about to catch on this one, but there is literally only one cupcake that makes my list and it isn’t where you think it is. Not Crumbs. Not Molly’s. Not Baked by Melissa or Buttercup or even Magnolia… It’s at Terri in New York City (23rd St. near 6th Ave.).

But, the most shocking thing about this is that Terri is actually a vegan, health food joint. Now I implore you not to get judgy. This cupcake is all that, without all THAT other crap that makes the other cupcakes the gut bombs that they are.

And this cupcake is every bit as good as its sugary brethren, without the guilt. Without the grains of refined poison grating against your teeth like sandpaper. Without the feeling that you just consumed a small dog.

Now, please keep in mind I am not a health nut. I eat my share of horrendously bad things for me. But at the end of the day, good is good. And great is undeniable. And there is no denying that Terri’s straight up chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting stands alone as the only cupcake worthy of my love.