I first heard about Buzz Bakery in Alexandria from Sara Lewis Holmes, whose New Year’s resolution this year is, “to eat more cupcakes.” I know, right? A brilliant poet and author who’s definitely got her priorities straight. ☺
This past weekend was the perfect time for a cupcake caper — temps in the 60’s, bright sunshine and clear blue skies. Since Buzz has been on my foodie field trip list for quite some time now, it was the perfect place to begin my research. My ultimate quest: to find the best Chocolate Cupcake in the DC area, and to reacquaint myself with its cousins — Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, Vanilla, Lemon, Strawberry, Champagne, Banana, et. al. If brownies, cookies, or cute little pies call my name, I will answer.
Buzz calls itself a Bakery, Coffee Shop and Lounge. At around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the place was packed. Happy, chatty people inside and out. Heavenly smell of coffee as soon as you walk into what feels like someone’s cozy living room. There’s free Wi-Fi in the lounge if you’ve brought along your laptop, an adorable little red toy stove in one corner for the munchkin set, walls decorated with vintage kitchen utensils, and of course, display cases full of mouthwatering treats.
photo by brixton.
photo by Satirenoir.
Cupcakes may be the main attraction, but they keep company with fudgy farmhouse brownies, giant cookies, lemon and other luscious layer cakes, apple pie, key lime tarts and crème brûlée, breakfast brioche, buttermilk biscuits, quiches and pot pies, panini, and cinnamon buns. In short, you could easily live here, and eat well all day long.
But back to the cupcakes. There were fun seasonal offerings, like Oscar Night Cupcakes (Best Actor, Best Movie), Guinness Cupcakes, and Buzz Signature Cupcakes, along with the usual suspects, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet, Vanilla and Chocolate, and oh, what’s this? 9:30 Cupcakes. Hmmmm. We opted for a Red Velvet and 9:30, which is chocolate with vanilla cream filling dipped in creamy chocolate ganache. A nice cup of green tea to go with it.
Verdict? Red Velvet just okay. I’ve baked Red Velvet cakes before, and it’s hard to beat the freshness of something homemade with a reliable recipe. This cupcake may have sat there for, what, eight hours or more by the time we attacked it?
But the 9:30? Another story entirely. OMG. Eyes roll back in the head experience. It may have something to do with the ganache, first innocently appearing as a partially solidified coating, only to reveal itself as a thick, rich pudding-like surprise when you bite into it. Oh yes. We like surprises. Especially chocolaty gooey ones having passionate affairs with vanilla cream and moist cake. Smooth. Divine. Marry it.
We enjoyed our little sit-down; I loved watching people walk up to the pastry cases, seeing their eyes light up as they considered their choices, and then happily settling down to chew and chat. I’ve decided to ask each place I visit the same questions: What is your bestselling cupcake? What is your personal favorite? The friendly guy behind the counter said their bestseller is Red Velvet, his personal favorite, the 9:30 — no hesitation, just a big grin and nodding, as he imagined eating one.
Lots of great take-homes: cookies, granola, coffee stuff, etc.
Buzz Bakery is open 6 a.m. to midnight — a great spot for a leisurely breakfast or brunch, a coffee-fueled writing session, a quick lunch or afternoon pick-me-up. Family friendly, late night date friendly (they also serve wines and beer), decidedly cupcake aficionado friendly. Thanks for the tip, Sara!
Have a nice week!
~ Buzz Bakery, 901 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-600-2899.
Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.