Recently, I went to a place called Philly Cupcake Company. They are a bakery specializing in...well, cupcakes. Duh. Well, they do have a few other sweets too--brownies, cookies, chocolate covered marshmallows and nutter butters, and some homemade dog treats too. They're not new--they've been there for about 3 years--but this was my first time visiting.
And I was there for the cupcakes.
When you walk in, after encountering the store's slightly creepy mascot, you encounter a line of hutches which contain the cupcakes. There's a little velvet rope and you point at what you want and the employees fetch it for you. When there is a line, it strikes me that this could be irritating, but on the day I went, there wasn't a line.
The menu at Philly Cupcake is eclectic. They have two tiers of cupcakes: "classic" and "fancy". The classics include basic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, etc., and are $3. The fancy ones are a little more tricked-out (vanilla caramel cupcakes with twix bars; banana cupcakes with banana buttercream and a layer of white chocolate ganache, for example).
I decided to start out with the basics, and went for vanilla and red velvet. Kind of the cupcake litmus test. The employee was very friendly and gave specific instructions (don't refrigerate or the cake will dry out; enjoy fresh, carry the bag in such a way so your cupcakes don't get mashed, etc). They packed the cupcakes in to-go containers, which is a nice touch.
I must say: overall, I was very impressed. The vanilla cupcake was moist and flecked with vanilla bean; the flavor was not showy but just a very good, simple vanilla.
But the Red Velvet--I've got to say, it was standout as very good. The cocoa flavor was evident; the cake was extremely moist and rich in flavor, and the cream cheese was delightfully tangy. A fellow taster said the cream cheese frosting was a bit heavy, but I personally thought it was just right. I mean, do you really want your cream cheese frosting to be light and airy? Not me, friend.
Philly Cupcake makes a very nice cupcake--simple and unfussy, but with care taken and nice details (sparkles and pretty decorations on the vanilla; a simple but clean design on the Red Velvet). A nice showing, and I can't wait to return.
Philly Cupcake Company, 1132 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia; online here.