Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: Cupkates
The Cuisine: Cupcakes!
Specialty Items: Yes, cupcakes!
Worth the Wait in Line? Fast moving lines, with items selling out just as quick. Have a plan B choice. And C.
Don't ever underestimate anything little and sweet. Take the cupcake for example: every year for the past couple of years, the most clairvoyant of the foodie set declare the death of the cupcake, and every year when the prediction dust settles, there it is, adorned with a little new years confetti sprinkles, but not going anywhere. Can we just accept that cupcakes aren't going away and a lot less dangerous than a whole cake sitting in the fridge?
For those that aren't convinced, maybe stumbling onto a Cupkates truck when you really need one (or didn't know you needed one) might change your mind.
The Cupkates vehicles, which look like polka dot covered ice cream trucks, make it easy to get your fix with a rotating schedule. A regular stop is the Fort Mason edition of Off The Grid with a special-for-that-market-only Churro Cupcake ($3, cinnamon spiced cake, cream cheese frosting, cinnamon-sugar, dulce de leche), tailored for the market's theme (all vendors must have an Asian or Latin dish).
While worth trying out, if for no other reason than that trompe l'oeil moment in the first bite of the sandy, cinnamon-sugar coating--the pure essence of churrros--it is the Tiramisu Cupcake ($3, ladyfinger crust, espresso soaked cake, mascarpone frosting, chocolate shavings) still tops my list. A thin cracker-like layer of ladyfingers builds the foundation for the yellow cake saturated with espresso syrup. The syrup on the cake gives it enough sweet coffee flavor, but also keep the cake from being dry. The little Kewpie doll hair swirl of mascarpone frosting adds a marvelous effect of being both creamy and fluffy at the same time, in between whipped cream and butter cream.
The dessert mash-up takes the best of the Italian specialty and makes something so good, you might find yourself "accidentally" at one of their locations, cheering, "long live the cupcake!"