When I heard that Buddy Valastro had opened up ‘Cake Boss Cafe’ in the Discovery Times Square Museum, I got even more excited to go see the Pompeii Exhibit that I’d been looking forward to for so long. Gabriel and I bought a ‘Living Social’ deal online for admission for 2 to the museum that conveniently came with a $10 coupon to the Cafe. Perfect!
After a couple of hours exploring the fascinating exhibit, we headed downstairs for some sweet treats. As you can see from this drool-worthy photo, we had reason to expect happy taste buds. Sadly, as you’ll soon read, looks can be deceiving. A long line of tourists wasn’t enough to stop us from our anticipated indulgence and neither were dirty tables and floors or a grumpy, unhelpful cashier. When we asked him if the desserts came in fresh every day, he simply muttered, “I don’t know, sometimes.” Umm, thanks.
$11.50 bought us 3 rainbow cakes (one of my all-time favorite baked goods) a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie. Pretty overpriced when we realized how totally gross everything was. $11.50 at the best bakery in Brooklyn can buy you a pound of amazing cookies and pastries, and would seriously have been money MUCH better spent…even when you consider that this was essentially free for us with our coupon.
I have a dear friend with outstanding taste who bought her wedding cake from Buddy’s Hoboken bakery, which is called Carlo’s Bake Shop. I do not doubt for one nanosecond that her cake was incredible. This is a woman who knows good food and definitely does her research. She would not, in a million years, buy a cake from someone other than the best.
That said, since I was going in with high expectations, this was a MAJOR disappointment. I do not think that Buddy, The ‘Cake Boss’ would want his name on this cafe at all if he knew how awfully he was being represented here.
I would have strongly preferred busting open a box of Entenmann’s, or even <shudder> Chips Ahoy, over this miserable excuse for a chocolate chip cookie. Under-cooked, and not in the good doughy way, this was just a total waste of calories. The rainbow cakes were so stale and dry that I could literally peel the ‘jelly’ layer off in one rubbery strip. I’ve had better at bad Bar Mitzvah dessert buffets. The brownie was crumbly, dry, and chemically. It honestly couldn’t hold a torch to a brownie sold at an elementary school bake sale that was made three nights before from a Duncan Hines mix by a couple of 8 year olds.
If I wasn’t so totally let down by this experience, I’d hop the next PATH train over to Hoboken just to see what Buddy’s fresh baked treats are really like. I think he does deserve a second chance given the rave reviews from my friend as well as because I really do enjoy his TLC reality show. I, however, just can’t fathom putting that much effort in. After all, it IS in New Jersey and that is quite a trek considering this pitiful experience. I worry that I’ll spend all that time on the train just for another crappy cookie and I simply can’t handle that. I am sorry to say that I take baked goods far too seriously to give the benefit of the doubt this time. Next time, I will just stick to the exhibit and take a little walk for my favorite chocolate cupcake instead at nearby Kyotofu. I highly suggest that you do the same. (Please see https://bigforkinmouth.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/kyotofu-705-9th-ave-new-york-ny/)
Photo courtesy of Gabriel Sanders: http://www.magicsandbox.com