batter up: cupcake company.

cupcake sign cupcake displayboy looking at cupcake counter cupcake displaycupcake displaywoman and kids eating cupcakesCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

sweet on you: cupcake company.

 

These photos are better than baby portraits.chocolate ganache cookies and cream cupcake peanut butter cupcake chocolate/vanilla cupcakesliced cupcakeCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

all caked up: cupcake company.

It was the sweetest quickie ever.

I mean, we tore in there, ordered, scarfed it down, and satisfied our sugar craving in about four and a half minutes. By the time Brandy put down her camera to enjoy her cupcake, the rest of us were all done.

empty plates at bakeryI’m talking, of course, about the Cupcake Company, located on Rt 33 East in Penn Laird. If you’re headed east out of Harrisonburg, it’ll be on your left. I say that because in my half-blind, sugar craving stupor, I couldn’t see anything. Thankfully, Brandy waited for me in the median. Sheesh.

sign out front of bakeryBut don’t feel like you have to drive out there. They also have a Cupcake Truck (drool), which will be at Valley 4th on Court Square, AND they deliver. !!!

I first became aware of the Cupcake Company at work. A short email consisting of just one sentence came over the staff-wide system: “There are cupcakes in the teachers’ lounge.” Now, I was in the middle of class when this announcement arrived in my inbox, but I also kinda thought, “Meh. Probably those processed kind from [That Big Awful Store].” So I didn’t really hurry. Still, when I had a chance, I wandered down to the lounge, and what greeted me was the best cupcake I’ve ever consumed on public school property. The one I happened to get that day was the Raspberry Merlot Truffle, and after one bite, I seriously doubted my ability to navigate back down the hall to my room. I also toyed with the idea of not returning to my room at all… couldn’t I just sit down here for the rest of the day with my new cupcake friends? All the flavors, all living happily together in the pretty box! There was Grasshopper, Carrot, Chocolate Overload, Cherry Cheesecake, Wet Coconut… and Lord, have mercy, Pancake Maple Bacon! They have dozens of other flavors, too, for each day of the week!

assorted cupcakesAfter that day, I knew I had to get back there. So a week or so ago, on our way to take the kids swimming, Brandy and I stopped into their shop. The dining area is clean and quaint and holds several tables. The display case glistens to a polish and contains perfectly positioned, mouth-watering delicacies. The staff is super nice and patient. The ample kitchen bustles with activity. All four kids were entranced. We ordered a Peanut Butter Pie cupcake (Brandy), three Cookies and Cream cupcakes (Blake, Ella, and Bree), one Chocolate Ganache (Cal), which was so pretty it look upholstered, and a Chocolate Vanilla (moi).

employee at bakery counter four cupcakes on plates bakery kitchenFive seconds later, everyone had a messy face, and we were done. The kids wrote some thoughts on the wall-size chalkboard. In the car, the sadness set in. Couldn’t we have savored our cupcakes just a little longer?? Was it really over so soon?? What, are we animals??

girl with crumbsNo worries. We’ll be back in there soon, on another day of the week, when they have seven more flavors to choose from. And it’ll be just like the first time.

people eating cupcakesCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

happy burgthday to us! : indian american cafe.

indian american cafe signBirthdays are special. They remind us of a day when something really great entered our lives. Birthdays are different from other holidays because they’re personal. The whole nation isn’t celebrating… just your circle of friends and family… just those who inhabit your world. And so birthdays are for telling our loved ones, “I’m grateful you’re alive. I’m happy you were born. My life would not be the same without you.” And we throw parties with cake and laughter and music and silly activities. Like bobbing for apples. Or pinning a tail on something. Or running with a water balloon between your legs. I love birthday parties!! More than any other holiday.

shanks cupcakeOh, the memories of my childhood birthday parties. The one where the wind ripped the paper tablecloths right off the tables, spilling drinks and cake and all of it… blowing across the yard, my mom frantically chasing cups and napkins. The one, in middle school (people, don’t throw a large party for a tweenager. It’s just a bad idea.), where finally some kid, on a Hawaiian Punch bender, walked right through the sliding screen door and everyone ran for cover while my dad yelled, “That’s it! THAT’S IT!” The one that coincided with father’s day (my fourteenth?) and we had a party on the lake, and I got to drive the pontoon boat (that was my favorite). In fact, June is always a spectacular month–so many birthdays. So many special people to be grateful for, including my daughter, her dad, Brandy, Blake, Rebecca, Kim, Caleb, Sarah… we just celebrate all month.

On this night, we weren’t really celebrating a person’s birthday; we were commemorating the first birthday of ilovemyburg.com. Yep — one year ago, on February 14, 2012, we launched this blog with our first post about Granny Longlegs. But, we were certainly celebrating people. I mean, the blog’s primary purpose is to document Brandy’s and my experiences in the city… so it serves as a permanent scrapbook of sorts that will become more meaningful each passing year. So it was a celebration of our friendship. But it was also, and this blog is, a celebration of all the people who inhabit our little world… all of you who read each week, all the folks we see out and about, everyone. I can say that my love for this city has grown in the last year, probably because of my increased focus on it.

We decided to eat our birthday dinner at Indian American Cafe. Brandy had hoped it would snow because she was envisioning snowy cafe photos, and I, admittedly, had not been in that restaurant in about a decade <cringe>. I used to go all the time! I don’t know why I stopped… but I will not let that place disappear from my life EVER AGAIN. We invited several friends to our birthday party, and we were joined by Danielle, Kai, Sean, and Denise. At first we discussed what to call our birthday — our “burgthday” as the title of this post indicates, or our “blogthday” or “blogirthday,”… but then Kai whipped out “Geblogstag” (German) and its equally impressive variant “Geburgstag” and trumped us all. How can anyone argue with a German guy in an Indian restaurant? I was clearly out of my league, culturally.

Indian american cafe 2 indian american cafe s&dOn to the food. When you order your food, you can choose your level of spiciness, from one-half to four. One-half is mildly spicy but certainly not bland, and four makes your eyes bleed. Just kidding. But really, don’t underestimate the hotness. I don’t remember everyone’s spice level, but I ordered my dish–this yummy steak with rice and spinach dish– at a two. Brandy got the same thing but with chicken and at level three. If memory serves, Kai got a one. Still, he was grunting away eating his meal. I was snorting and sweating my way through my plate, Brandy got splotchy and snotty, and Danielle could flat out see through time. Still, we shoveled it in as some kind of feat of endurance. The food is so good you cannot stop eating it. And they give you A LOT of food. I took half of mine home. And what did I do at two in the morning because my heartburn wouldn’t let me sleep? I ate the rest of it. Yep. You CANNOT stop eating it.

indian american cafe menu indian american cafe food 1Between mouthfuls we watched You Tube videos on Kai’s phone. Yes, we were those people. Kai had not seen the Sweet Brown remix thing, and I’d somehow continued to exist despite having missed several other compelling Internet videos. Egads. And then of course, any time anyone said anything the rest of the night, one of us had to say “Ain’t nobody got time for dat” or “I can’t call it.”

indian american cafe videoIt was getting on time to head to Clementine to see The Steel Wheels (post forthcoming!), so we ended our dinner with a birthday cupcake from Shank’s, compliments of Danielle. We lit the candle and sang the birthday song while Danielle tried to take photos of two really giddy idiots. Someone finally told me I had spinach between my teeth. And when we emerged from the restaurant, much to Brandy’s delight, it was snowing. Unfortunately, it was also dark.

indian american cafe bday 2

photo by Danielle Campbell

Indian American Cafe is located at 91 North Main Street in downtown Harrisonburg, about a block south of the Blue Nile. This will go down as one of my favorite birthdays ever. Thank you to the 60+ local businesses that have tolerated our antics. Can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Copyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.