I say infamous because it has many friends and many many enemies, judging by the reviews I read online. Critics are mostly appalled by the fact that they have to wait in line and don't understand why people would go so crazy about a tiny cupcake shop, especially with all the other, "so much better" cupcakes in DC. Now, let me give you my two cents on this drama:
Let's not be in denial here. - You are definitely expected to pay for the name and for being able to say that you got cupcakes from the place you saw on TV. Or, at least Americans do. I had never heard of it before I moved here. And still there is such a hype surrounding this store that you just cannot escape the allure of it... the idea of treating yourself to something really special and chic once in a while. Following my recent visits to other bakeries I appreciate the fact that their cupcakes are reasonably (taking what has been said so far into consideration) priced at USD 2.75. Yes, they are tiny, but I have to be careful not to let myself go too much these days anyways, so I almost consider this a plus. That's why I wouldn't say you pay outrageously much in terms of money, but yes you have to stand in line to get in most days, and yes the people working there are not uber-friendly. They are not rude either, they are just doing their job which I would imagine is stressful when you know your customers are likely to be cranky after a 30-minute wait in front of the store.
Similar to Baked & Wired, I think they are also quite organized on weekends though, letting only a limited number of people into the store at any given time to make sure they have space to roam around and take a good look at the cupcake display. Once inside, you pass by the counter with ample time to make your choice, then order and pay, and finally get a number that is called out when your cupcakes are ready packed for you to take out.
There are two or three tables inside, as well as some outside for sunny days, but its busy and loud and uncomfortable... not the kind of atmosphere you'd want for your decadent-cupcake-tasting-experience. The store itself is indeed very small and has a boutique-feel to it: Classy, bright, definitely designed to speak to the ladies (lots of pink everywhere). Cupcakes are presented on large silver cake stands behind glass and look truly exquisite.What I specifically like about their menu is that certain flavors rotate during the week, so you can try new ones every time you go to the store. They also have seasonal specials, like the cherry blossom cupcakes right now, or holiday-themed ones depending on the time of the year. Their website is well designed with pictures and a detailed description for each. What also just made me extremely happy is an online article I found, informing me that the average Georgetown cupcake only has 250 calories! You can lose those in no time!
Ok so, back to what's really important here: The taste! I have been there several times now, and would recommend going there during the week in the later afternoon to evening. Yesterday I went around 7 pm and was able to walk right into the store without any wait whatsoever. I, too, hate waiting in line, so try to avoid Georgetown Cupcake during busy times. I ordered a honey banana one, which was a Monday special, and carried it home as a little present to myself after a long, exhausting day. Here it is:
The cake-to-frosting ratio is perfect at Georgetown Cupcake, with lots and lots of dreamy creamy frosting to mix with the moist cake in your mouth. Or not. You might want to lick some of it off first, because the cake will still be good without it. You can even see that its smooth on the pictures, almost a bit like whipped cream, but then so much tastier. This one in particular was sweet... like honey... and paired nicely with the banana flavor in the cake. I actually think I might be developing a preference for banana cupcakes, because both this one and the Elvis Impersonator at Baked & Wired were to die for! Maybe I'll make it my go-to flavor, like some people test red velvet whenever they discover a new bakery.
Speaking of red velvet, the one they make here is delicious! It has a stronger chocolate flavor than most others I have tasted so far, and is incredibly moist and rich. So that's my recommendation for those who easily get overwhelmed when faced with a large number of flavors to choose from. I tasted it together with the lemon berry, cookies and creme cheesecake, toffee crunch and chocolate ganache a few months back when my sister was in town (now that I think about it, I only got into this whole "cupcake business" because of her!). From what I remember, the lemon berry was very refreshing, different, and definitely one that I would choose again. The toffee crunch was way to sweet, we really had to force ourselves to finish it - we are not ones to waste precious and expensive food. The cookies and creme cheesecake was wonderful, as you would expect, but also very filling in spite of its small size. It exhausted us a little, so don't eat it if you have to be overly productive right after. Finally, the chocolate ganache is a Georgetown classic. I read somewhere that it is their best selling flavor. - I would probably not say that it is a favorite of mine, but then again I usually find chocolate cakes so intense that I feel how they add calories onto my thighs as I chew. Seriously. It was a little bit like that when I tried the chocolate ganache... but very, very good.
I would not say that Georgetown Cupcake is overrated. I appreciate it for what it offers: A great place for special occasions or Monday-evening-pampering; a big and interesting selection of cupcakes with a simply wonderful amount of frosting; and a location that is very convenient for me.
Brownie Points for the Honey Banana: 3 out of 3
Brownie Points for the Red Velvet: 3 out of 3
Brownie Points for the Lemon Berry: 2 out of 3
Brownie Points fo the Cookies and Creme Cheesecake: 2 out of 3
Brownie Points for the Toffee Crunch: 0 out of 3
Brownie Points for the Chocolate Ganache: 2 out of 3