Our weekend in Chicago just happened to coincide with my birthday. It wasn’t planned that way…just the way it worked out…but it worked out really good because we were able to spend a night in the city and celebrate me being three years away from being able to run for President.
As we were sitting at dinner at Goose Island, J was pressuring me in to getting dessert. I mean, it’s really not a birthday without cake, right?
I’m not a huge dessert at restaurant guy, but I did have another idea. As we were waiting for our check, I pulled out my phone and typed “cupcake” in to Google. Had I done that in Kalamazoo, I would have been lucky to get one hit. In Chicago, I got ten hits within a mile and a half from where we were at.
We had tickets to a late show at The Second City which meant dinner wasn’t until 9:00. With dinner not being until 9:00, dessert didn’t come up until after 9:30. Out of the ten cupcakeries I found, only a couple of them were open. Since I was picking blindly, I picked the one that had the most reviews on Google.
Molly’s Cupcakes is on North Clark Street just north of Deming Place in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. We got super lucky with parking. I was driving down Wrightwood Avenue and just west of the intersection with Clark Street, someone was leaving a parking spot on the street. I patiently waited even though the cabs behind me weren’t so patient. Like most neighborhoods in Chicago, parking is at a premium and you may have to search for a while to find a spot. We got super lucky and even though it meant we had to walk a little bit, I wasn’t going to pass up a spot.
Molly’s has a really wild atmosphere. At 10:00 at night, the place was packed. We had planned on sitting down to eat, but there were no open tables. I really wanted there to be a couple spots at the bar. The seats are swings. Really. They’re wood planks hung from the ceiling with a chain. There is a chain on the underside the steady it so you’re not swinging wildly as you’re trying to eat. but it’s still a really cool look.
You have plenty of choices when you walk in off the street. There is a large case full of ready made creations that all looked delicious. If you have a little time, they’ll even make you a cupcake to order. We didn’t have that kind of time, so we went with a couple selections that were staring us in the face from behind the glass.
J got the Chocolate Raspberry. This is a chocolate cake with a fresh raspberry puree center. It’s topped with a chocolate ganache and a whole raspberry. J was able to dig in to her first as she ate while I drove to the theater. I got to listen the whole drive about how great the cupcake was. She loved it. The cake was so soft and moist while the ganache held it all together.
I had a hard time picking one because there was a whole case full of baked goods that I thought looked delicious. I got the Cookee Monster. It’s a vanilla chocolate chip cake with a raw cookie dough center. The frosting is a buttercream with a mini chocolate chip cookie on top. The cake just disintegrated in my mouth. I don’t know how they got the cookie dough in there, but it was such an incredible surprise when I bit in to it.
The tab for two cupcakes and a bottle of water was just under $10. Molly’s Cupcakes was an incredibly lucky find. There are so many cupcake shops popping up in the big cities that it’s hard to stand out, but Molly’s definitely has cupcakes that make you want to drive from wherever you are….even Kalamazoo…..