Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cupcakes & Co.

Cupcakes & Co
130 East Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, Ca 91502

The last stop on the cupcake run, Cupcakes & Co. was a little out of the way from where we had been. We went to downtown Burbank to park and walk to this cupcake store. When we arrived at the store it reminded us of a specialty cake store, with all types of cupcakes displayed around the store. They had wedding type cupcakes, floral decorated ones, cupcakes honoring different branches of the military, and more! The glass case containing the cupcakes for sale was practically empty by the time we got there. From the looks of it there had been about 9 types of different cupcakes. Since we were there at the end of the day it looks as though they weren't replacing the cupcakes in the display. There were 3 rows stacked high with where cupcakes should be.
The Service:
  • The guy behing the counter was ultra friendly and went through every single cupcake with us
  • He gave us his personal favorite recommendations
The Atmosphere:
  • There is no parking anywhere near the cupcake store, so it is kind of a walk
  • The store itself is beautifully decorated in blues and whites with all of the specialty cupcakes
  • There were 2 tables with stools to eat at near the front at the window
The Order:
  • Hot Chocolate-Chocolate cake, chocolate ganache inside, chocolate buttercream frosting with cinnamon
  • Blueberry Cheesecake-Vanilla cake with blueberries in it, cream cheese frosting with graham cracker crumbs, a dollop of vanilla frosting, and blueberries on top
Cupcakes are $3.50 each
Food Stain:
Hot Chocolate-Excellent
  • Tasted like a Mexican hot chocolate
  • Chocolate ganache inside was well portioned and didn't spill out when you took a bite
  • Chocolate cake extremely moist
Blueberry Cheesecake-Excellent
  • Taste more like a blueberry muffin, wasn't heavy or dense
  • The cream cheese frosting was smooth and buttery
  • They used fresh fruit on this cupcake as well as with the other cupcakes in the store.
We all agreed that Cupcakes & Co. (while kind of a pain for us to get to) was worth the trip. The presentation of all the different types of cupcakes around the store was something to see, as well as the use of color in the cupcakes.
As the cupcake run neared the end we had a really hard time deciding which place was the best. It was a tie between Yummy Cupcakes and this place, Cupcakes & Co. Cupcakes & Co. had the most interesting tasting cupcakes, while Yummy Cupcakes had really good ideas and execution of their cupcakes.

Yummy Cupcakes

Yummy Cupcakes is hard to miss with all the pink that surrounds the storefront property. We arrived at Yummy Cupcakes and started to wind our way through the cafeteria like line that you have to wait in to order. Waiting in line is actually preferred in this place because as you wait you get a chance to look at the L-shaped glass case containing cupcakes and all types of confections. On top of the case they had small containers of cupcakes in a jar. Layers of cake and frosting you could eat from a jar. The best part of this store is that they do sell cupcake and other types of merchandise, however it's in a separate room so the store does not seem cluttered at all! It is hard to tell what they have everyday and what is a special of the day, however today it didn't matter because everything was really good!
The Service:
  • Staff was extremely friendly
  • There were two girls working, one was taking orders and one was making cupcakes
The Atmosphere:
  • The cupcake were displayed in an L-shaped glass case that you can look at as you wait in line
  • The cupcake store was small in front, however the back seemed to be much more spacious
  • Cupcakes were all displayed on baking pans as well as cake stands
  • There was nowhere to sit except one bench outside of the store

The Order:
  • Root beer float-Vanilla cake with root beer flavored frosting
  • Coconut-Vanilla cake, coconut frosting, and coconut shavings on top
  • Margarita-Vanilla cake, key lime frosting, and a candied lime on top
  • Sprinkle-Vanilla cake, pink vanilla frosting, and sprinkles
All the cupcakes were $3.50
Food Stain
Root beer float-Excellent
  • Voted one of the best of the day
  • Tasted like they had poured a can of A&W root beer into the cupcake frosting
  • Cake was extremely moist
  • Frosting was piped on evenly
  • The cream in this cupcake was determined to be ok
  • Vanilla cake was good
  • Coconut shavings didn't overpower the whole cupcake
  • Tasted like a key lime pie
  • Very simple
  • Simple idea, but executed and presented well
  • Vanilla frosting was excellent and there wasn't too much of it.
We really enjoyed our experience at Yummy Cupcakes. The types of cupcakes being offered was really intriguing and we felt as though if a place could have a Margarita flavored cupcake it deserves high awards.

Famous Cupcakes

4820 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, Ca

Kardashian girls' endorsed Famous Cupcakes was next on the list. We walked into the tiny shop located within a shopping plaza. Famous Cupcakes is small, don't let that fool you. We walked into the bright shop and found ourselves facing a cupcake display with approximately 13 different types of cupcakes featured in rows. Each cupcake row had a plaque in front of it describing the cupcake to the customers. There were all types there from Va-Va-Va-nilla, The Good Morning, Strawberry, Peanut Butter Chip, the list goes on.
The Service:
  • We were greeted with a smile and "Can I help you?" as soon as we walked into the store
  • The guy who was working at Famous Cupcakes was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable
  • He didn't rush us when it came to picking cupcakes, even though there was someone waiting behind us
The Atmosphere:
  • Very light, white, and bright
  • Small, but since they only specialize in cupcakes there doesn't need to be that much counter space
  • There was only one table and 2 chairs, which posed a problem because there was quite a few of us
  • This is a good place to pick up a 6 pack of cupcakes from and take them home to eat
The Order:
  • Strawberry-Strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and strawberry chocolate shavings on top
  • Good Morning-Vanilla cake with brown sugar cinnamon crumblings and a dollop of spicy vanilla frosting
  • Cookies and Cream-Chocolate cake, chocolate cream, and cookies and cream frosting
Each cupcake was $3.50

The Food Stain:
  • Tasted exactly like fresh strawberries, no artificial flavors
  • Cupcake moist
  • Frosting to cake ratio was really good, the frosting wasn't too sweet where it overpowered the cupcake
Good Morning-Good
  • The Good Morning cupcake was a good concept
  • Tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Too much crumble topping on it
  • Really messy and kind of hard to eat
Cookies and Cream-Good
  • The frosting held the cookies and cream flavor
  • Real pieces of chocolate cookie in the frosting
  • The cupcake was very simple but it tasted like cookies and cream
Overall this place was a good value for $3.50 a cupcake. The best part of this place in addition to the taste of the cupcakes was the presentation. The cupcakes were extremely neat and interesting to look at. The size was just right if you just wanted one. We left feeling satisfied and not cheated out of our money. The cupcakes were also pretty easy to split in half, just in case you did want to share. The store also had pre-packed mini cupcakes for sale which may be reason enough for us to go back there again.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Big Sugar Bakeshop

Big Sugar Bakeshop

Big Sugar Bakeshop
12182 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Big Sugar Bakeshop was the first on the tour. The building was adorned with blue and dark brown awnings marking our arrival at the spot. There was a sign outside advertising the cupcake of the day (Orange) and Twilight cupcakes. Inside we found the environment to seem light and airy, however the further back in the store we went the more cluttered it became. They sold all types of cupcake paraphernalia, however it didn't seem organized. The glass case seemed to hold at least 8 different types of cupcakes as well as different types of sweets. As mentioned before there were the special cupcakes of the day (orange), Twilight cupcakes, and FIFA cupcakes (in honor of the World Cup) were the most notable on display.
The Service:
  • We felt as though we weren't welcome in the store, the staff was unresponsive when we were trying to decide what types of cupcakes we wanted to order. It could have been just a bad afternoon but we just weren't sure what we wanted to order and some guidance would have been appreciated.
  • The girl who rang up the cupcake was very efficient.

The Atmosphere:
  • The place seemed to have a lot of room, however it was cluttered with items for sale that weren't very organized.
  • The case which held the cupcakes was well organized and labeled and easy to read.
  • There were only very few tables at the front of the store, it felt crowded.
The Order:
  • Boston Cream-Vanilla cupcake with cream and chocolate ganache on top.
  • Coconut Cream-Vanilla cupcake with coconut cream frosting and coconut shavings on top.
  • Orange-Vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting that had orange extract in it as well as orange colored candy sprinkles on top.
Each cupcake was $2.50, even the special ones.

Food Stain:
  • Overall we weren't impressed with the actual cupcake
  • We felt the frosting was very good, and there was a good ratio of frosting to cupcake.
Boston Cream: Good
  • Tasted exactly like a Boston Cream donut
  • Seemed like they may have used vanilla beans in the cream
  • Chocolate ganache was good and there wasn't too much of it on the cupcake
  • The cake was moist only because of the cream.
  • Cupcake was on the small side. We felt as though it was the same size if we had made it at home.
Left is the coconut cupcake and right is the Boston Cream
Coconut Cream:Good (The best at this place)
  • Lasting flavor, with the distinct, "just right amount", taste of coconut even though there was no coconut in the cake.
  • The cake was dry.
  • The coconut shaving was a good feature on the cupcake.
  • The buttercream frosting was plain vanilla.
  • Cupcake was on the small side.
  • Plain vanilla cupcake was good, however it wasn't moist.
  • The orange was just in the frosting, it was a buttercream frosting and was the best part of the cupcake.
  • Once again we felt like this cupcake was small for the $2.50 we spent on it.
Overall we felt as a team that this place was not worth the $2.50 we spent on each cupcake. We felt as though it tasted as if they had used a store bought mix. We felt as though we could have spent less making cupcakes that would have tasted better and been more moist. We weren't sure if it was because we went on a Saturday and perhaps they don't make fresh cupcakes on this day, however overall we were left with a bad taste in our mouths.

Cupcake Run

Our next venture took us around the Los Angeles area, we went out in search for cupcakes. This week we had Valerie's friend Melissa with us as we toured 4 of the most popular cupcake places. Big Sugar, Famous Cupcakes, Yummy Cupcakes, and Cupcakes and Co. were on the list.

(T Shirt Design above done by Kimber

Sunday, June 27, 2010


412 Walnut Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Located in the heart of downtown Huntington Beach, 25° is an ultra sleek upscale burger restaurant. On the window the restaurant advertises a full bar, Burgers and Wine. In case you are wondering why the name 25°, it is because that is the temperature difference between a medium rare and well done burger, clever. This restaurant was much different that the other burger places we had tried. First off this is a sit down restaurant that is a sophisticated yet relaxed environment. Everything from spiked sodas, spiked shakes, wine, specialty drinks, beers, various types of sandwiches, salads, snacks (bar food), the usual french fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, and a list of 4 burgers to choose from (one of them being a tuna burger), as well as an endless list of exotic ingredients, sauces, and cheese to put on a make your own burger. To just name a few they had jalapeno bacon, Portobello mushroom, fried egg, green chili, horseradish cream sauce, herb aioli sauce, and tarragon remoulade. Everything on this menu is a la carte. Not only do they have an endless menu, they serve an extensive breakfast menu as well! The burgers you can choose from are ground sirloin, turkey, and veggie.

Table Service:

  • We weren’t greeted by a hostess upon entering so we sat ourselves.
  • Our waitress came right over and she handed us menus cased in glass.
  • In fact she was very attentive to our table the whole time we were there. I feel that most waiters and waitresses may have brushed a table like us off because we weren’t ordering individual meals, however she treated us like we were her only table.

The Atmosphere:

  • The restaurant had plenty of tables and booths.
  • A bar located directly in the middle of the restaurant. There were flat screen TV’s located at the bar.
  • The lighting is fairly dim. There are street windows that allow more than enough light into the restaurant during the day.
  • The walls are red velvet and textured.
  • All the fixtures around the restaurant were chrome and black giving the restaurant a sexy feel to it.
  • Bathrooms were described as a vampire like lair, and the hand towels were hard to find (they are hidden under the mirror).

The Order Half onion rings/half sweet potato fries

Ground sirloin burger

  • American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, Thousand Island dressing, and lemon dill sauce.
  • We were asked what temperature we wanted
Veggie burger

  • Had mayonnaise
  • An order of half onion rings and half sweet potato fries.
  • Each burger was $9 and the extras ranged from $.50 to $1.00 more.

Food Stain

  • The half onion rings half sweet potato fries came out within 5 minutes.
  • They were right out of the fryer, piping hot.
The onion rings seemed to be battered with flour and spices, they were really light and crispy.

  • They were easy to pick up and a good size to eat.
The sweet potato fries were hand cut, very well seasoned and cooked well.

  • They must have cooked them in separate fryers, either way they were both equally as delicious as the other.
  • The half and half is $6 and we split this easily between us.
  • Within another 10 minutes we received our burgers.
  • They were wrapped up nice and tight and the burgers were huge.
The Sirloin Burger: Excellent

  • ½ an inch thick
  • Buns were both shiny and possibly basted with some butter.
  • Burger presented with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles on the side, fresh and obviously cut that day.
  • The sirloin burger was well seasoned and juicy inside.
  • There was no red or pink in the burger however it was not dry or burned by any means.
  • Burger was not greasy and tasted like top quality meat.
The Veggie Burger: Excellent

  • Patty was about 1/2”, twice the size of a normal veggie patty.
  • Full flavor and not dried out.
  • Exceeds the normal taste of a veggie patty.
  • Not made in house

When presented with the check we got another pleasant surprise. This restaurant offers a 50% discount off food if you come back and eat with them again! The only catch it a week is a Monday to a Monday, and since we were there on Saturday we only had until Monday to get back there. The value of what we got well exceeded what we paid. We would recommend this to people who want enjoy the comfort food of childhood with a twist on it. We can’t wait to go back and try one of those spiked milkshakes.

T.K. Burger

TK Burger

Location: 110 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

As you walk along the Pacific Coast Highway there isn’t a better sight in the world then the beach on a nice day. T.K. Burger is a quaint freestanding white beach shack with teal trim. The entrance is enclosed with glass so that when it’s windy on the beach patron’s can still eat outside at some of the picnic tables. The view from any of the picnic tables is of the Pacific Coast Highway and then the beach.

The menu is fairly extensive for such a small place; burgers, chicken salad, chicken, fries, onion rings, corn dogs, fish sandwiches, and steak sandwiches. There were also combos to try as well.

The Order:


  • Had pickles, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, American cheese, and Thousand Island dressing.
  • The price was $4.29 plus tax.
  • Veggie Burger, had mayonnaise on it.
  • About $5 plus tax.

The Counter Service:

  • Counter girl was very patient and very enthusiastic
  • Our order number was printed on our receipt to be called.

The Atmosphere:

  • The beach and surging memorabilia was very retro, from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
  • Items on the wall included pictures, records, and Tiki statues.
  • We can describe this place as cute, quaint, and beachy.
  • The music was all classic rock as well as some modern day favorites and the place was extremely comfortable to hang out at.
  • Seating is extremely limited; about 12 seats inside (as well as a few tables outside) so if you do happen to go at a busy time expect to take your food to go.

Food Stain:

  • Our number was called within 3 minutes
  • We picked it up from the counter and were already cut into quarters for us.

Cheeseburger: Excellent

  • The burger was well put together with all of the toppings.
  • The meat patty was well seasoned with salt and pepper and some mystery seasonings.
  • It was homemade and the grill was a charcoal grill. The burger tasted like a homemade one.
Veggie burger

  • Soy based and a good value.
  • Cooked on the charcoal grill with the rest of the burgers.

T.K. Burger offered the best of beach life food. This is exactly the place someone would want to go as a break from the beach blanket during the day or as a spot to grab dinner at after the beach. The money you spend here is well spent because not only are you getting good quality, you are also getting a phenomenal atmosphere.



200 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Located in the downtown Huntington Beach area Bomburger is fairly new. The restaurant itself is small with limited counter space and outside seating. The sign above the counter is huge and allows restaurant goers an ample amount of time to look over the menu or the combo choices while waiting in line. The menu included the typical burger stuff as well as a grilled cheese you could add bacon, chili, or a fried egg to for $.99! The menu also included shakes, chicken, fries, onion rings, breakfast items, and even an option to add one more patty to a burger as well.

The Atmosphere

  • Sterile, clean, and simple
  • Some of the art even reminded us of the T.V. Show Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
  • The bathrooms were really clean.
  • The restaurant itself seemed uninviting, not a place to go and hang out at

The Order:

  • Bomburger came with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Thousand Island dressing.
  • $3.99 and then tax

Counter Service:

  • The man behind the counter was extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
  • When I placed the order I asked if the burger could be cut in 4 ways the response I got was the burger was too small to do that, not a good sign.
  • A number was given to us to pick up the burger, however the gentleman brought it over to us cut in half.
  • We then asked for a plastic knife but they didn’t have any and it seemed like an inconvenience anyways.

Food Stain

  • The burger came out within two minutes.
  • Wrapped well and neatly put together.
Bomburger: Mediocre, not impressive
  • Patty was extremely thin
  • The meat itself seemed to be frozen and slapped on the grill. The meat quality was mediocre.
  • The best part of the burger was the onion because it was extremely mellow and didn’t overpower the burger.
Veggie Burger
  • Soy based
  • Tasted store bought
  • Not worth the $4.99

Overall the review is the place is extremely clean and quick so if that is what you are looking for Bomburger is the place for you to try. There is no alcohol at this establishment and they also served breakfast items.

Beach Burger

Beach Burger

19102 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Set inside a shopping plaza on Beach Boulevard, Beach Burger is a 1950’s retro blast from the past. This freestanding burger joint looks much like we would have imagined. Upon entering the building we were bombarded with images of Elvis Priestly, Jimmy

Dean, and a retro car that doubled as an extra large booth. The classic black and white checkered soda shop look added to the 50’s style memorabilia. The menu is located right above the counter in easy to read print. They stuck to the basics, burgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, and fries. We agreed one of the best things about this place were the choices of “specialty burgers”- worth the $1 or $2 more.

We decided to split two specialty burgers and a vegetarian burger to start. Valerie, the vegetarian in the group, had decided to rate the veggie burgers. We ordered the Western Burger and the Avocado Bacon Burger.

The Order

  • Western Burger had extra crispy bacon, BBQ sauce, pickles, onion, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and deep fried onion rings.

  • Bacon and Avocado Burger had Thousand Island dressing, extra crispy bacon, fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion.

Counter Service

  • A polite, friendly counter girl
  • Order taken correctly
  • Given a number to be called

The Atmosphere

  • Plenty of counter space and stools, restaurant seats approximately 50 people.
  • There was a retro Elvis statue behind the extra large car booth.
  • Clean restaurant, except there was a bus bucket of dirty dishes at the end of the counter.

Food Stain

  • Within five minutes we received our order, however it took another two minutes after that for us to find some plastic knives.
  • The burgers were well wrapped so we were able to keep them together while we cut them.
  • The buns had sesame seeds and were slightly buttered and toasted.
  • The burgers, about ¼ lb of meat, were cooked through and through (on what seemed to be a flat top grill), were extremely juicy.
The Western Burger: Good

  • Too much BBQ sauce for personal taste.
  • The onion rings that they put on this burger were the best.
  • The burger also was a little greasy; however it fit right in with that 50’s style feel.
  • This burger is a hardy burger
The Avocado and Bacon Burger: Smooth and Refreshing

  • Burger was also a tad bit greasy
  • Bacon was extra crispy and the avocado was extremely fresh and good made up for this.
Veggie Burger: one of Valerie’s favorites

  • Soy based
  • Grilled with some butter and doesn’t taste flat.
  • Seasoned well
With the amount of toppings you get on these burgers the $5 price point is well worth it.

Overall the group was extremely satisfied with the price of the burger compared to what we got. Beach Burger took some serious time to make their establishment give off the right ambience to get us in the mood for burgers. It is a go back to for sure. Please make a note there is no alcohol at this establishment, but they do serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is worth a trip away from the downtown Huntington Beach area to try.

Burgerfest 2010

We told you we would find the best, and we did. Our first burger crawl: Burgerfest 2010 . The Food Crusaders welcomed Tyler our guest. We made t-shirts, promotional cards and with empty stomachs we hit the streets.

Monday, June 14, 2010

And So It Begins...

Like any good idea, it started over lunch. Valerie, Eric, Kimber, and myself (Sarah) were expressing our love of burgers. The most important question appeared to be, where was the best spot to go? We started with the idea of a bar crawl, and conceived the idea of a burger crawl. We would pick a few of the best spots to go and try burgers and rate them in an unbiased manner. From the burger crawl we branched out and thought, what if we didn't stop at burgers? What if we started picking different types of food and cuisines to find "the best". The idea of the Food Crusades began to take shape. If we were going to be finding the best spots to go we had to blog about it to let the public know. As we sat and brainstormed over the endless possibilities of what we could look for the group started to take a life of it's own.
Why trust us? I for one am a graduate of Johnson & Wales and have my degree in Food and Wine. Kimber is an artist who has an eye for plate presentation and usage of color. Valerie likes to describe herself as "hard to impress and finicky", not just in food but in general. She probably is the best judge. While Eric is more adventurous and is willing to try almost anything. We make up the group the Food Crusades. We will let you know what we find...Let the journey begin...