Yesterday was my wife's birthday. Not an ordinary birthday, but a milestone birthday in a person's life; a person only turns half a century once in a life time. I promised my wife I wouldn't disclose her age so I think I did a pretty good job. I know she will be happy with me.
Several months ago I asked what she wanted to do for her birthday and over several weeks she hemmed, hawed, and flipped a coin from big party to a small get together with friends. She was very indecisive until a week ago when she told me she wanted one of those gourmet cupcakes and a Firehouse Subs sandwich. "Fair enough," I thought. It was her special moment and she could do anything she wanted. Over the past couple of days she was so excited knowing she was going to be treated to a delicious gourmet cupcake. She watches Cupcake Wars on the television every once and a while and has always wanted to have one of those type of cupcakes. I was very pleased that she was happy thinking about it.
The evening of my wifes birthday when we got off work we took a trip to Gigi's Cupcakes which is located on the East side of the Pinebrook Shopping Center. It's a small shop that appeared to be really clean. I looked, but I couldn't see their report card from the food inspector. It looked clean so I was okay. As we walked in, I was kind of taken back at dismal display of cupcakes. There were very few of each flavor and they looked like they had been sitting for a day possibly two. It was 5:30pm when we entered and they closed at 7pm so I'm pretty sure that had something to do with it. I hope that had something to do with it. The point is, the cupcakes didn't look fresh.
There was a lady in front of us that was selecting the Southern Comfort style cupcake. The nice lady behind the counter told her that the cake is pretty hard and she should place it in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up. Quite honestly, when I heard that; I wanted to turn around and walk out. Something fresh shouldn't have to be heated to be "loosened" up. It should be ready to eat when you walk out with it.
At this point I was really hurting for my wife because I could tell she was a let down by the experience. It wasn't the experience to which she hoped. I'm not sure what she hoped but I could certainly tell it wasn't what she expected. I'm thinking she was looking for a visual, and sugary sensory overload; at least, that's what I was wanting for her.
We ordered four cupcakes; Snickerdoodle, Mochachino, Southern Comfort, Kings Cake (because of Mardi Gras). The lady packaged them in a nice box and we paid about $14 for four cupcakes. Kind of expensive for end of the day cupcakes I think. I paid and we took the cakes home after getting a few sub sandwiches.
The cupcakes weren't large; they were basic 3 1/2 ounce muffin tin size. Each cupcake was topped by a glob of hardened, thick icing and garnished with some sort of crumb, cookie, or something pertaining to the style of cupcake. They were extremely heavy.
My wife took the snickerdoodle cupcake, and I took the mochachino. The snickerdoodle cupcake had a little snickerdoodle cookie garnishing the top. The cookie was very soft and tasted like freezer. It had a strange Clorox aftertaste that was not pleasing. The cake of the snickerdoodle cupcake was dense and extremely dry. It was flavorless and needed to be eaten with the overly sweet cinnamony based icing and a large bottle of water. The icing was extremely dense, almost like a loose fondant and sprinkled on top was some stale crumbs of something that we couldn't determine. It had an old, artificial taste to it. My wife didn't finish the cupcake.
My experience with the mochachino cupcake was pretty much the same. The cake was also very dry had very little taste. The icing wasn't as bad as the icing that was on the snickerdoodle as far as being thick as it was fairly creamy. It did have a nice sweet coffee flavor but it was old and had that peculiar refrigerator aftertaste. My favorite part of the cupcake was the chocolate covered coffee bean garnishing the top. In the center of the mochachino was a pleasant coffee cream icing that did taste pretty good. I ate most of the cupcake and then gave the rest to the trash can.
I gave my son the Kings Cake cupcake for his lunch today, and the Southern Comfort cupcake was put away into the very nice carrying box. I'm not sure that we will be eating it because we weren't warned about the first two and we found them not as good as expected so when given a warning I can only expect the worse. I would, however, hate to throw it out because it was so expensive.
I do feel bad for my wife's experience so I'll be taking her out somewhere nice when I get paid in a few weeks. I'm not sure where just yet so throw some suggestions my way. I'm sure it won't make up for what she really wanted which was something of a sugary indulgence from a gourmet cupcake that would knock her socks off.
Gigi's Cupcakes failed to deliver. The cake was dry and tasteless and fairly dense. Along with a strong artificial flavor, the frosting on each cupcake was thick and made up at least two thirds of the cupcake. The frosting was overly sweet and left a stale refrigerated after taste. The cost of each cupcake was fairly high. My recommendation is to skip Gigi's and use the money saved to buy a box of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe and an accompanying icing of your choice and cook yourself a batch of hot, fresh cupcakes that you know you will enjoy!
Pinebrook Shopping Center
273 S. McGregor Ave
Mobile, Al 36608