Restaurant Review: Pinkberry

August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

There are so many frozen yogurt places nowadays that I think Pinkberry wanted to differentiate itself by offering some new options. They took up a breakfast theme, serving up (non frozen) greek yogurt options and espresso drinks. On Wednesday a friend and I headed to the location in Georgetown to check out a deal I found on Facebook (free espresso drink with any greek yogurt purchase).

The store was pretty empty at 7pm on a Wednesday night. I looked at all the delicious greek yogurt options. They come in snack-size or meal-size, and in sweet or savory varieties. I chose to go to savory route and get the Caprese greek yogurt, which was the plain greek yogurt topped with sweet balsamic, cherry tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. It comes in a convenient little plastic package – good for people on the go, bad for the environment.

One thing – the service was incredibly slow. I don’t know why – we were the only people in the store. First, the girl at the counter was very meticulous with the toppings, placing them one by one in the little greek yogurt container, arranging them into symmetry. This is fine – I understand if you want to make the presentation nice – but in total we probably waited 15-20 minutes between ordering and finally receiving our food and paying. It was a bit ridiculous. I felt like the employees were probably inexperienced with this new product roll-out and did not know which toppings were supposed to go with the order off the top of their heads.

That being said, we did both get free iced lattes, which was a very nice treat. The greek yogurt was pretty pricey though – almost $5 for a tiny little carton. This was my first time trying savory greek yogurt; I usually eat it plain or fruit-flavored. I enjoyed it – the sweet balsamic reduction was great with the creamy yogurt, and the cherry tomatoes were really flavorful. The little drizzle of oil made the healthy yogurt taste very rich and decadent. The fresh basil leaves were a nice touch as well. The portion size is so small though, and the container was very shallow so there was barely any yogurt.

The photo I took is pretty horrendous so please forgive me – I blame the lighting, as well as my dying point-and-shoot. But I think you can get a good idea of how small the portion is by looking at the relatively huge grape tomatoes. And you can see the meticulous arrangement of the four basil leaves in the corners of the container.

This is a great concept and really capitalizes on the greek yogurt craze, though in the end it would be much more cost effective to buy my own greek yogurt (expensive as that is already). I guess that including the latte, the trip was worth it. I haven’t tried their normal frozen yogurt, though one downside is that it is not self-serve like many other chains. I wonder if this launch into the breakfast market will be a good business decision for Pinkberry. We shall see!


Restaurant Review: Baked and Wired

June 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

It was only a matter of time before I returned to Georgetown for a second shot at cupcakes. This afternoon we visited a much-raved about establishment called Baked and Wired. Several individuals had informed me that the goods at Baked and Wired far exceeds the more well-known Georgetown Cupcakes. It was crowded on a Saturday afternoon, though lacking the huge lines of Georgetown Cupcakes. We only waited for about five minutes while pondering the extensive menu of flavors.

My friend and I decided to split the “flapjack,” a maple brown butter cupcake with caramel buttercream and candied bacon sprinkled on top. Basically a decadent breakfast wrapped up in cute form. The cupcake was pretty sizable – an easily shareable portion.

The cake portion was crumbly and lightly sweet, with a hint of cinnamon. There was a thick layer of sugary sweet frosting spread on top. The candied bacon was the best part! The little bits were smoky, savory, crunchy and caramelized, and I found myself going back and eating all the crumbs of bacon that had fallen off the cupcake into the surrounding wrapper. Each cupcake was $3.50, a reasonable price for such a large and decadent dessert.

Baked and Wired also serves other treats such as cookies, cakes, and various types of refreshments. It lacks the immense lines of Georgetown Cupcakes (though this might soon change, seeing how everyone is starting to rave about the place). So my advice is to beat the bandwagon and get there quickly!


Restaurant Review: Sprinkles Cupcakes

June 11, 2012 § 3 Comments

Yes, I realize I am using the “restaurant review” category a bit loosely, but it is always nice to have standard formatting! Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown prides itself on being the original purveyor of cupcakes and the start of the “cupcake boutique” craze. I took the metro from work to Georgetown with a friend solely for the purpose of trying out these hyped up desserts (yes, we are dedicated in our pursuit of good food).

When we got to the store at around 6:30PM on a Monday, it was mostly empty except for a few customers sitting around at the two tables in the store. Sprinkles has a different line-up of cupcakes every day. We faced a daunting choice of choosing two cupcakes to share among such flavors as key lime, red velvet, mocha, and black and white. The cupcakes are smaller than I expected – they are actually normal-sized. For some reason I was imagining larger cupcakes, but these are actually a good size as they are pretty dense.

I ended up choosing the cinnamon sugar cupcake, described as “lightly spiced buttermilk cake,” which was actually the only one not topped with frosting.

The cupcake was mildly sweet and crumbly – basically like a muffin. I enjoyed the light flavor a lot, as I don’t have too much of a sweet tooth.

My friend chose the black and white, “belgian dark chocolate cake with creamy vanilla frosting.”

This was definitely something! The cake portion was dense and moist, like a very rich chocolate cake. The frosting was too sweet for me – it was basically pure sugar in a smooth buttery form. It was definitely overpowering after a few bites, but if you love intensely sweet desserts, this is the right choice for you.

Each cupcake costs $3.50, but we are lucky enough to be in this summer intern program that provides us with discounts, including one free cupcake each! I would like to come back to try the key lime and pumpkin flavors, but I don’t know if I’ll have time again during the work week, and I would advise against visiting during the weekend. The lines are crazy! Despite the summer heat, people do not let anything get between them and their cupcakes.

I haven’t tried any of the cupcake competition in the area so I can’t say how Sprinkles compares, but it is a pretty solid dessert choice on any day. I have heard that Baked and Wired, as well as Georgetown Cupcakes, are also delicious.

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