10441 82 ave
I finally made my way down to Fuss Cupcakes this past Sunday. While I had snuck by on a few previous jaunts down the Ave, I was always without my camera. The store is located below a bar and beside a pizza joint which almost creates a perfect eating trifecta - pizza, beer, cupcakes!
Fuss Cupcakes is the second shop of its kind to open on Whyte Ave this year, with Flirt Cupcakes opening on Valentines Day. The store is deep with most of the space dominated by seating. This is quite a contrast to Flirt's more shallow setup and made me wonder how they could fill such a big space with cupcake eaters. I remembered Sharon's post when I looked at the menu board, and realized how they may fill the space. Along with 16 different cupcake options, they server specialty coffees, teas, gelatos, and 'fussy floats'.
Fuss, while appearing new, is actually The Cupcake Bakeshoppe & Cafe reinvented. The new name and branding seems to be a play on their 'attitude'. The back of the menu card states they are 'fussy' about everything they do. From the 'world class ingredients' to their fussy about nuts statement (100% nut free), they ask you to taste what all the fuss is about.
A few tables were occupied when I arrived and as I looked around for 10 minutes before ordering, I noticed they did steady counter service. The staff was helpful, even offering to fill the trays with more cupcakes for my pictures. What a crazy offer no? And speaking of cupcakes, there was plenty. Where Flirt has smaller, albeit more beautiful displays, Fuss is definitely going through a serious amount of cupcakes. Along with the counter supply you see in the pictures, they were making more which I think could easily fill the display once over again.
On my visits to Flirt I usually end up getting a couple of treats each time; feeling the need for cupcake overload I decided to just get a bulk purchase from the get go. So with so many options, what did I get?
Clock wise from the top left;
Cherry Cheescake - cherry cake with cherry cream cheese icing. Cake was good with a red tint but the icing was average.
Purple Haze - chocolate cake with Madagascar bourbon vanilla icing. This cupcake lasted through the night and was still delicious the day after. The chocolate cake was dense and the icing had a perfect sweetness. I don't know what I should have been looking for with regards to the Madagascar bourbon though. Anyone?
Scarlet O'Hara - red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. A big fan of red velvet cake, I was delighted with this offering. It was dense with a rich cocoa flavor and topped beautifully with cream cheese.
Jungle Fever - marble cake with marble icing. The icing was sweeter than Lemon Aid and the mix of chocolate and vanilla batters created a really light base.
The Diva - vanilla cake with strawberry icing. The sweetest icing of the group but it delivered a strong strawberry flavor.
Lemon Aid - vanilla cake with lemon icing. Moist and dense like the Purple haze, with nice tart/sweet icing mix.
After consulting with the staff, this selection gave me a good idea of what they offer. It incorporated 4 different flavor bases (chocolate, vanilla, marble, and red velvet) and 3 icings (marble, cream cheese, buttercream). I found the icing at Fuss to be in a more realistic proportion with the cupcake, as well as infused with more flavor. I'm not a big fan of over the top icing, something I find with most cupcakes on the market. I find the shorter iced cupcakes allow you to take a bite of your treat without getting icing all over your nose or having to come at it from a crazy angle. All the cupcake bases were good with some slight differences among the group, and they didn't suffer from 'crunchy' top like Flirt. But really, like comparing many things on different days and at different times, there is no straight winner. Some like Coke, some like Pepsi.
Being on the Ave the night before my visit I noticed they were open quite late. I think these 'extended' hours, along with their coffee and ice cream options will entice more than a few evening diners for a post-meal snack. With, in my opinion, a better location than Flirt, an open and more welcoming store front, and a wider array of cupcakes, Fuss is definitely throwing down a serious challenge to Flirts early domination.
Friday, May 29, 2009