At the end of a Vine street alley with overhanging greenery, potted plants and cafe seating is the cupcake get away, Love at First Bite. A cozy stop-in filled with the therapeutic washes of whites and pastels associated with retro style baked goodies, while primary colors in the retail form of pinwheels, stickers and doodads, offering respite from the Berkeley fog and rain.
Displays are on the bare side spotlighting rows of cupcakes in creamy colors, topped with ‘buttercream’, ‘coconut’, ‘limoncello’, and ‘green tea’ frostings. Bite-size cupcakes are also available for the calorie conscientious with an emphasis on the singular ‘bite’, and at half the price, not the best value.
Strategically placed atop the countertop, to avoid possible neglect, are pastry trays stacked with the ever in demand ‘Chocolate Chip’ and ‘Gingersnap’ as well as the “everything” cookie the ‘Cowgirl’. Beside these on their own platter are ‘Chocolate-dipped Coconut Macaroons’ for the gluten-unfriendly, becomingly showering the underdog of underdogs, the ‘Raisin Rugelach’.
If You’re Looking for Love:
Do not be distracted by the cookies, they just don’t have that je’ ne ce’ quois that will keep you hungry for more. Don’t take home the first thing you see at the pastry bar.
Now, the ‘Red Velvet Cupcake’ rules the roost, as well it should, it is the existing definition of ‘fluffy’; and the generous spread of frosting is addictively light. It avoids the heavy, sugar-laden flavor that becomes overbearing before it’s halfway through. Although it does not completely dodge the inherent dryness of its kind, it is only a tad making it an excellent choice.
Love is surprising, so for a variation of a sweet bite that is possibly more delicious, forget the rules and pick up the heartbreaker. ‘Pretty in Pink’ is moist, perfectly blended, fresh tasting and piled neatly with strawberry buttercream frosting. With strawberry seeds that will pardonably stick between teeth, it will leave questions about why it didn’t catch your eye before? This cupcake takes strawberry to the next level of satisfaction, tightening the gap between berries and the ever-trending chocolate. For an even bigger surprise, give the ‘Rugelach’ a try, you may pick out a few raisins but it makes for a great first date.
You can’t buy love, or in this case you can, but it’s a pretty penny at 2.75 a cake for non-organic ingredients.
Love is forgiveness, so before East Bay eaters are too disappointed in the statements above, they do use organic when it is available.
In retribution they do consistently offer outstanding vegan cupcakes, currently ‘Gingerbread’ with Limoncello frosting alongside the crowd-pleasing ‘Chocolate’.
Creating new trends in cupcakes allows only a few bites to make a point. ‘Love at First Bite’ hits their deliciousness bulls-eye. For sweets meant to be enjoyed stop by and pick up a box, they will most likely extend the holiday season.