I know that the PoP community isn’t comprised of a bunch of Georgetown enthusiasts. [Ed note: I actually met a few readers from Georgetown at the 2 Year Anniversary Party and they were quite nice. While Gtown isn’t my normal stomping grounds they do have some sweet homes and doors there.] Myself, I have about as much use for Georgetown as I do for a nose on my butt and there are only a few very select circumstances that will find me miserably wandering the intersection of M and Wisconsin muttering to myself in anger over whatever reason brought me into this neighborhood that easily passes for my own personal 4th Circle of Hell. However, my friend is seeing some doctors over at Georgetown Medical Center, and I’ve been helping her out with rides to and from some of her appointments, so I’ve found myself on the Darkside on a few occasions recently. I’ve taken this opportunity to revisit some favorites that I’ve long since abandoned and check out some of the new kids on the block.
First up is Wisemiller’s Deli, located way up off of Prospect St. on 1236 36th St NW. (Next to 1789, F Scotts and the Tombs aka the Rich Old White Guy, Mid Life Crisis and Popped Collar Undergrad of the Clyde’s family of restaurants.)
Wisey’s looks like a typical convenience store, with pints of Ben & Jerry’s, six packs of remarkably decent beer, sodas and snacks. But it is also home to my One True Sandwich Love in DC: the Chicken Madness. I think most people who have gone to Georgetown are familiar with the Madness; I’m pretty sure you have to eat your weight in them to graduate. Having gone instead to the less illustrious state school up the road in Maryland, Wisey’s wasn’t brought to my attention until sometime in the mid-90s when a friend from my crappy temp job who was a G’town graduate decided to introduce me. I’ve been hooked ever since and make it my mission to get others on board. Continues after the jump with lots of cupcakes…
The Chicken Madness is not healthy. Heaps of chicken, bacon, hot and sweet peppers, provolone and a whole bunch of mayo bring the deliciousness on a soft and invariably kind of soggy (in a good way) sub roll. It is however delicious. So much so that I’ve never, in the 10+ years I’ve now been going to Wisey’s, gotten anything else. (Although, I’ve been tempted by their cookies with pieces of Oreo baked in.)
It is well worth a trip, but I’d recommend calling in your order ahead, because the lines can get long, and space is limited. For 6.95 + tax, you get an 8″ madness, a small bag of Utz chips and a can of soda – not bad for DC, and even better considering the neighborhood.
This brings me to the “Is the Hype Worth It” section of today’s post. While Wisey’s is still sort of a hidden gem to those of us without a degree from GU, Georgetown Cupcake is a different beast entirely.
Everyone knows that cupcakes are everywhere, and as an adult in her mid-30s who never stopped eating or making them, to see them get “trendy” is both incredibly confusing, and a dream come true. I think the DC press and blogging communities have gotten a little out of hand in heralding in this “trend” (I use quotes because DC is actually late to the game, but that too is an over-discussed issue), and it officially jumped the shark with the Post’s Cupcake Wars piece. After several weeks of reporting (I’m pretty sure the last time the Post spent this much time on something, Woodward and Bernstein were meeting Deep Throat in dark alleys and underground parking garages) they determined that the Best Cupcake in Washington was Georgetown Cupcake’s Chocolate Ganache.
Well, great. I don’t like chocolate. So how am I going to decide if the Post is full of crap or not? (For the record: I could not disagree more with their assessment of Lavender Moon Cupcakery in Old Town, which I happily cross the river for, even now that I no longer need to for work, so I headed into this with both anti-Georgetown and anti-Post bias.) Luckily, my companion Liz was kind enough to take one for the PoP team and sample the Chocolate Ganache goods. I opted for one coconut and one pumpkin spice, both flavors that I love immensely. I wanted to hate it. I tried to hate it. I wanted to throw their crappy cupcakes on the floor and dance on them with glee and disgust, but I could not. And neither could my friend. She emailed me when she finally got around to eating hers. I quote her here:
Hey, I am in the middle of eating that cupcake, so I thought I’d do this now, before I forget how it tastes. Which is: YUMMY. Oh my god. I love chocolate, but I think I’m also kind of picky about it. I actually don’t usually wind up liking chocolate cupcakes or cake, b/c sometimes they’re too sweet or too brownie-like (which: I love brownies, but when I want a brownie, I’ll order one) or too dry or crappy frosting or whatever. But this one was perfect: the dark chocolate ganache on top was bittersweet (in a good way!) & offset the cake perfectly. The cake itself was moist & sweet, but not too sweet – more like the choco cake you’d get in Europe. I really liked the combination of the cake & frosting! Also, it was the perfect texture – light, but not too light (& therefore not crumbly), and moist, but not not in a greasy or brownie-like way. I’m pissed I didn’t get 2. I would almost venture to say the chocolate ganache was orgasmic.
So there you have it. The Best Cupcake in Washington really is. As for mine – excellent. Perfect texture, not dry, not too much icing, not too big. I do prefer Lavender Moon’s coconut, but that isn’t to say Georgetown Cupcake’s was bad – it was just different, but still delicious. The pumpkin was also fantastic, and I got an extra thrill from the maple flavored sparkley maple leaf candy on top. And, at $2.75 each, they actually come in under $3, which seems to be the most common price for a cupcake in DC. Good deal or not? Probably not if you figured out the cost of ingredients per cupcake, but when you factor in time, the fact that you’d have to make at least a whole dozen, when really only one or two would do… it’s not all that bad. Worth the trip to Georgetown and the really long lines? I don’t know. We got there right as they opened and were in the neighborhood, and were rewarded with a few bites of heaven.
So it seems that as long as there are still reasons to HAVE to cross the bridge into Georgetown, there are still ways to make it enjoyable as long as you’ve got to be there anyway.