July 22, 2012

Summer in the Windy City---Guest Post

Let's welcome today's guest blogger, Chung Sista #2 (in birth order), Sista Min. She's currently enjoying her first time living directly in the city of Chicago and especially all the food trucks roaming the streets. 
Hello there!  Sista Min signing in as Guest Blogger.  As a new resident of the The Loop in Chicago, I love the idea of food trucks and have tried a handful of them.  Favorite so far: Beaver's Coffee and Donuts!  (I loved the mini size of the donuts and the simplicity of the cinnamon sugar flavor- melts in your mouth deliciousness).  
With my usual work schedule, catching food trucks during regular lunch hours is nearly impossible.  My dress rehearsal got out an hour early, so today was my lucky day!  

On my walk home, I spotted a bright red cupcake truck and immediately tried to call Sista to ask if she had already blogged about Chicago Cupcake.  Since she did not answer, I decided to stop anyway. I asked the nice cupcake man if he took credit cards, but he explained to me that he has only been on the streets for a few weeks so he was hoping to accept cards next week.  I made sure he wasn't leaving right away so I could run to my place and bring back Husband and his cash!  
Husband and his cash.
Patiently waiting for the customers ahead of us to place their order, we checked out the menu of a dozen different flavors. I was immediately drawn to the one named, What's Up Doc? guessing that it would be carrot cake. After getting a few recommendations from the truck owner, Husband settled on Oreo (the truck owner told us that flavor was his sister's favorite) while I stuck with my first choice and correct assumption of carrot cake, What's Up Doc?  We paid the nice cupcake man $3.25/ cupcake and happily walked home with our treats.  I really wanted to try the cupcakes right away but decided I had enough self control to save them as a post-lunch dessert.

The regular-sized cupcakes came in individual plastic containers. They were both wrapped in a gold-foiled liner.  I immediately commented on the towering amount of frosting with two raisins dimpled on the top of my What's Up Doc? cupcake. Husband's Oreo cupcake was topped with an Oreo cookie sunken into a heaping amount of cookies n' cream frosting that resembled ice cream!

Husband took a bite, and I squealed when I noticed his cupcake was beautifully layered with an Oreo crunchy bottom crust, topped with a mashed up cookie vanilla cake, and a white chocolate Italian buttercream frosting. (I told him to stop eating so I could take a picture...he doesn't like when I do that!)  The crunchy crust added a nice texture to the very Oreo-y cupcake.  Yum.  One little complaint from Husband: a tad too much frosting.  The height of the cupcake made it difficult to bite into and Husband was left with cookie crumbs on his chin! 
My What's Up Doc? cupcake was surprisingly dense as I removed it from its container, but after doing the wrapper squish test, I had a good feeling about it.  My cupcake also had multiple layers.  The traditional carrot cake was topped with a cheesecake layer and previously mentioned, towering amount of cream cheese frosting.  (According to the Chicago Cupcake website, there is a graham cracker crust, but I don't think I noticed that while devouring it).  The dense cupcake was wonderfully moist and perfectly spiced.  I too had problems biting into the very tall cupcake and quickly noticed that the frosting-to-cupcake ratio was off.  In order to enjoy the rest of this flavorful dessert, I scraped off the top two-thirds of the frosting with my finger and gobbled up the rest of the cupcake without hesitation. 
Verdict:  Delicious cupcakes, but too much frosting.  

On a side note, Husband and I went had Date Night a couple of nights ago where we checked out a new BBQ joint in the Near North Side area called, Dragon Ranch Moonshine and BBQ.  It is "American BBQ complemented by Asian influences" according to its website.  I had my first Moonshine experience ("Tennessee white whiskey") in a candy-like concoction (not in the best way, but I should have known better than to order a sweet cocktail).  
Husband ordered the brisket while I settled on a half-rack of ribs.  Each of our plates came with a brussel sprout/ cabbage slaw (too mayonnaise-y...needed some acid and perhaps some Asian influence?), and a delicious square of cornbread accompanied by a bourbon honey butter.  Could eat that cornbread everyday.  Ribs were GIGANTIC and brisket very tender.  Our favorite part of our meal (although a tad on the salty side) was the side order of Roasted Sweet Potato Hash.  I have a weakness for a runny yolk, so this dish hit the spot.
Cornbread & hash: would definitely go back for.  BBQ dishes: not too creative and unforgettable. 

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