The Cupcake Controversy

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Alright, so, by now, everyone should be up to speed with the closing of all of the Crumbs Bakeshop cupcake stores across the nation, right? With the abrupt ending of this cupcake empire, many people and publications have chimed in to express their excitement toward the end of the “cupcake craze”. And, there are definitely lots of haters, like these guys, these guys, and these guys too. For whatever reason, I feel really conflicted about the whole celebration of killing off cupcakes and trying to make another baked good the “next new thing”. So, I decided to put out my thoughts on the whole topic.

I get it, in the past 10 years, the cupcake game has been pretty over saturated. Hell, there’s a show, “Cupcake Wars”, and every other person or aspiring baker is opening up a cupcake shop every other days it seems. So, yes, I get that it’s become a beast of it’s own and there’s now a surplus of cupcake shops. But when did we decide who can open up a shop if they want to? It’s their venture, and we can just make it our choice to be a customer, or not.

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Well, I’ll be the first one to admit, there are some $hi!!y cupcake shops out there. I know, I’ve tried some of them. But, I don’t think it’s fair to say, “down with all cupcake stores”, since, there are some bakeshops who are doing an amazing job at crafting some tasty cuppies. I’ve written about a couple of my favorite spots, Butter Lane and Sugar Sweet Sunshine, which, I truly hope don’t disappear with all of this cupcake bashing. I know, this sounds dramatic, it’s really lighthearted, but, it just saddens my heart to see awesome places bulked into a trendy, fad-type of dessert hate-fest.

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The other thing that’s pretty annoying is, all of these sources and people talking about the end of the cupcake trend, and the new trend of the next big dessert. I get it, it’s all about marketing. I mean, no one knew what the hell a Cronut was before Dominique Ansel made one. And then, it was like the second coming of Christ. But, I think innovation is cool, and reinventing something is cool too. But, it’s kind of funny when people say that the next big thing is doughnuts (which, presumably date back to the 19th century…doesn’t sound too “new” to me…but, they’re still ridiculously delicious), or macarons (which were possibly created in 791. 791! Does that sound “new”??). Believe me, I’d celebrate and encourage both, I love them and visited a number of doughnut (or donut) spots and macaron shops.

So, what’s my main gripe? I guess it’s the whole hype about ending one type of business and going full throttle into another. Isn’t there enough room in the dessert space for everyone? Even I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut in the sweets space. And, I mean, quality of the product will hopefully always have the influence over what stays and what closes up shop. Unfortunately, I know that’s not always the case. There are plenty of crappy companies and products out there that have their hype-men (and women), and paid-off publications to promote their sub-par stuff. And so, we as the consumer then listen to them and follow the Pied Piper. This isn’t revolutionary, it’s the whole world of PR and marketing, and, it’s reality.

So, instead of celebrating the end of cupcakes, I want to still embrace them, and welcome the new, interesting goods to come. I mean, let’s be honest…if someone gave you a delightful, delicious cupcake today, would you smash it and say “f#@k you, cupcake craze!”, or, would you shut up and enjoy it?

So, RIP, Crumbs. I’ll remember you best when I was surprised with one of your Giant Cupcakes for my birthday a couple years ago.

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And I wasn’t saying “ughhh this stupid cupcake craze”…I was thinking:

awesome

Hudson Eats

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So, I’ve been hearing a lot about the recently opened Hudson East at Brookfield Place in the Financial District. It’s a food hall (which, is a fancier version of a food court) and holds some of the greatest restaurants from around the city all in one place. Most of the options are all from quick serve merchants, so, it fits really well in this type of atmosphere. So, what I’ll say is, walking around the food hall, located around lots of offices, it felt more like a corporate dining hall. But, you know, like the best corporate dining hall ever. Aside from that, I think it works well for tourists who are in the area to visit the Freedom Tower and memorial.

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Beautiful seating with a view, can’t really beat that. This is the set up for most of the seating. Below is a full list of the vendors. Good luck deciding, because they all look amazing.

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Black Seed, which I recently reviewed, has Montreal meets NYC style bagels.

Blue Ribbon Sushi (coming soon) serves their famous sushi from their SoHo location.

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Chop’t serves made to order salads.

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Dig Inn has farm to plate food, featuring their market plates, sandwiches and more.

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Dos Toros is a taqueria serving fresh and local tacos.

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Little Muenster  makes a “super fancy grilled cheese”.

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Mighty Quinn’s is serving Taxas/Carolinas style BBQ. 

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Num Pang, who I’ve also reviewed, is making delicious, gourmet, Cambodian sandwiches.    

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Olive’s provides quality, prepared foods.

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Skinny Pizza makes environmentally conscious, thin crust pizzas.

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Sprinkles is famous for being the world’s first cupcake bakery.

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Tartinery  serves their tartines, a Parisian styled flatbread made on sourdough.

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Umami Burger makes their quality burgers with their special Umami Master Sauce. 

The Shorts:
Name: Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place
Location: 200 Vesey Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Technically, the selection is great, so, yes. However, This isn’t really an area I find myself in often, which is why I said it makes a really great stop for work people in the area, or tourists. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, if this is a pit stop, it gives you a great selection of food options that everyone can enjoy. And, if the weather is nice, you can take it out to eat by the river (just right outside).