Monday, June 7, 2010

Cupcake Quest: L'Aroma Cafe

This post is part of the Cupcake Quest series on Fork it over, Boston!

I hate to say it, but L'Aroma Cafe habitually leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Everything seems a dollar or two overpriced, which for small items is a whole lot, the staff is not all that friendly, and their adorable little sandwiches are pre-made. (I know this because once I asked to have one of the sandwiches without cheese - blasphemy, I know - and the response was that they could take the cheese off for me. On a subsequent visit I tried it with the cheese and liked it, so problem solved, although I think the sandwiches would taste better if made to order.) Many of their pastries and drinks are very tasty, though, and it's steps from my office, so I really try to like L'Aroma.

Today, a couple co-workers and I arrived looking for some 3pm sustenance. Surprise! Cupcakes! We had never seen cupcakes there before, so as intrepid cupcake questers, we got two: a normal-sized "filled" cupcake (more on that soon) and a mini cupcake. Strike one - they were refrigerated, resulting in cold, hard frosting and way-too-dense cake.

First, let's talk about the "filled" cupcake, which turned out to be a vanilla cake with a couple chunks of chocolate in it...literally a couple. They charged $3.25 for this normal-sized and boring-tasting specimen. Boo. It looked pretty from the outside, at least, with a cute squiggle of chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles.
Photo by Joy Uyeno
Note: Cafe L'Aroma has adorable tables.
You can even see the condensation in the photo. The frosting was hard, and the frosting adhesion was very poor - the whole frosting came off the cake in one big chunk. Something was off with the taste, too. It seemed to have absorbed other nearby flavors from the refrigerated case. The cake was dense and bland, aside from a bit of flavor from the chunks of chocolate.

The mini cupcake - chocolate with vanilla frosting - was on the softer side (both the cake and the frosting). The cake tasted fine, but the frosting had the same issue as the chocolate frosting on the bigger cupcake: absorption of neighboring flavors.
This one was a little better. Bonus points for cuteness.
Well, this was a pretty disappointing cupcake quest. Since I've never seen cupcakes there before, I'll just assume that this was a failed experiment. I hate to be overly negative, though, so I'll leave you with the following recommendations for stuff that is really good at L'Aroma: the Parisian sandwich (roast beef, basil, brie), spinach and feta croissant, and any of their many teas.

L'Aroma Cafe on Urbanspoon

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