Cupcake bakes some serious sweets, but are their panini for real too?

Cupcake's Apple Panini
Cupcake's Apple Panini
Teddy Hobbins

I didn't think that Cupcake on University Avenue in Minneapolis would have such a large café menu given their focus on sweet treats, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cupcakes are still the main attraction without a doubt, but dessert is always better after a great meal.

A few colleagues and I met at the café/bakery to discuss all things food over a light dinner and a few cupcakes (naturally). I analyzed the menu longer than usual, most likely due to my initial surprise at the multitude of options. I eventually decided on the apple panini ($8.95) after wavering between it, a grilled cheese (it was one of those gross rainy days), and a breakfast sandwich, as the panini seemed the most interesting.

The sourdough bread was slathered with enough butter to yield a golden crispness and a great crunch. The Granny Smith apples offered a nice snap and tartness that accentuated the lightly pickled onions before yielding to the creamy foil of the rich and luxurious melted Gouda. In all, it was a surprising mix of flavors, until the roasted garlic aioli crashed the party. Unfortunately, the sweet tartness of the apple and the overabundance of roasted garlic mixed like the Hatfields, McCoys, and firearms. The garlic presence was simply too much and a bit too foul to overlook.

Sandwich Rating: Good, Not Great, and pretty close to being a step below that. I did appreciate the creativity and execution, but the combination of flavors was quickly dismantled by the bitterness of the aioli. Thankfully, I had a kick-ass cupcake to make up for the disappointment.

Epic Sandwich copyright 2010 by Teddy Hobbins

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