Tuesday, February 15, 2011
This weekend was my trip to Chicago with Kelly to visit Megan. It was a great time, and actually the weather wasn't that bad. Unfortunately, Kansas had prepared me for freezing temperatures, and even snow flurries wasn't going to stop us from going on Michigan Ave. Also, we did a cupcake crawl, visiting five different cupcake bakeries. Originally we planned for eight, but after a certain point, they're too darn far apart! Here is my trip in pictures.
First, we went to Sprinkles Bakery, which was made famous in California (and whose founder is a judge on Cupcake Wars!). We got a black and white, which was a chocolate cake with white frosting (left), a chai latte cupcake (back) and chocolate marshmallow, which is also the first picture up top. The cupcakes were excellent! The chai one was very fall-y. The marshmallow filling in the chocolate marshmallow was great too.
Next we visited More Cupcakes, which Megan gets to her office all the time. We got a "flight" of these mini cupcakes, which were all alcohol-based. From the bottom, they were margarita, pina colada, pomegranate mojito, lemon drop, gin and juice and white russian.
They were very creative and tasty, although you couldn't really taste the alcohol in them. I think the pomegranate mojito one was my favorite, because it had a little bit of pomegranate filling.
Kelly also got a chocolate hazelnut one here, with a hazelnut bark. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, but it was pretty good, especially with its filling.
The next day we went to Swirlz Cupcakes. They had a very pretty spread, as you can see.
There we got vanilla with chocolate icing, red velvet and the surprise cupcake (top), which was a chocolate cupcake with a raspberry icing. Megan got the gluten-free version, which was surprisingly good. The icing on the vanilla cake was unbelievable. I liked my red velvet, but I like my cream cheese icing colder.
Next was Molly's Cupcakes, which wins the award for most interesting bakery we visited. Inside, there were swings for sitting at the counter. Yes, swings. The tables were awesomely bright colors, and the music was Taylor Swift and Ke$ha. Needless to say, we liked it.
The variety of flavors was amazing too. They had basic flavors, but we went for the interesting stuff. Starting at top left and going clockwise, we got the "Ron Bennington," chocolate peanut butter Butterfinger, which had completely ganache-based frosting and a peanut butter filling. Next was the cake batter cupcake, which had a cake batter filling as well (picture above). Then the "Cookie Monster," the cookie dough cupcake, with cookie dough filling. Then the peanut butter Nutella, with a light frosting and Nutella filling.
I think this bakery was my favorite of the trip. The atmosphere was so fun, and the choices in cupcakes were just crazy. And everything tasted wonderful.
Our last bakery was Sweet Mandy B's, Megan's favorite bakery close to her place in Lincoln Park. I went there last time I was in town, but they didn't have a whole lot of variety that time. This time, they had a crazy amount of sweets, going way beyond cupcakes.
They had chocolate-covered pretzels, cookies, all kinds of sweets and various cupcakes, obviously. Kelly got a snickerdoodle cupcake. I got the lemon and white with purple frosting. Megan got chocolate.
This was my favorite basic cupcake. The cake was moist, and the frosting was unbelievable. I can see why it's so popular.
We definitely ate our fair share of cupcakes, but with the amount of walking we did around the city, I think it was fair to eat that many :) Now here's the rest of the trip in pictures, starting with this one, which was our view when landing in Chi-town.
Kelly and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago. These were some of our favorite pieces, which played on words. The one on the right is named 4 1/2 oxen. So cool.
We visited Shedd Aquarium, one of my favorite places in the city. The hour+ wait, however, was not fun. Worth it though.
They have a pretty awesome variety of animals.
My favorites, of course, are the otters, which are hard to get a decent picture of because they're always moving!
And of course, we definitely hit up Michigan Avenue, a must for Chicago shopping. We went twice. All in all, this was a great trip with great friends. Definitely a nice break from life in a gorgeous city.