Another stop on my self-organized dessert tour through San Francisco was at Ghirardelli Square. You might think that the main attraction there is chocolate, considering they have three different Ghirardelli chocolate and ice cream shops within a radius of less than 100 meters. Even I was a little stunned by the amount of sugar that was being sold in this place... and given away for free: Everytime you entered one of the stores you got a caramel chocolate square as a "welcome gift". Believe it or not, I did not purchase anything. I spent my money at nearby Kara's Cupcakes instead.
The interior of the store is bright pink, obviously catering to a female clientele. Since there are practically no walls but only windows surrounding the counter and the incredibly cheerful girl working behind it, Kara's Cupcakes looks very inviting as soon as you enter the square. They have a few tables and chairs outside for people to enjoy the sun while they dig into their baked goods, which is nice especially on days when it's not too busy and you can watch families, children and couples gather around the fountain.
I originally only entered to look around and admire the super cute presentation of their cupcakes, but who was I kidding - of course I had to try one. Especially after the girl started a conversation with me and encouraged me to take pictures. No awkward moment of "Hmmm is it ok to take my camera out? Will they think I am weird, like I have never seen cupcakes before? Or like I am taking this way to seriously and am going to blog about it later on?". Thankfully we skipped that!
The variety is big, but in terms of flavors I didn't feel like they offered anything extraordinary. The classic red velvet and carrot cake looked most appealing to be honest, but then again I was in an experimental/vacation mood and thought that chocolate velvet sounded interesting. It looked like a giant brigadeiro (a more-than-amazing dessert from Brazil) and I imagined it would be red on the inside. Much like a pairing of red velvet cake and dark chocolate frosting, instead of the cream cheese frosting that usually goes with it. Yeah, that was my imagination. It ended up simply being a chocolate cupcake with a "velvety bittersweet chocolate buttercream". Don't get me wrong, it was nice and the frosting really was velvety. But all this chocolate was just too much for my taste. The cake in itself was fluffy and light, so I ended up scraping off much of the frosting and just ate the cake. Made me feel less guilty about the calories and was sort of satisfying. Still, this was the first time I did not eat all of the frosting, usually that's my favorite part!
Overall I enjoyed the way the store was designed, as well as the friendly service. But the cupcake failed to impress.