I continue to see articles about toast. Yes, that is what I said… toast! It is turning into the newest fad. $3, $5, $7 slices of thick toast. Some with cinnamon and sugar, others with jelly, or other savory toppings. It is locally made, and sliced thickly, and toasted to perfection. Much of my research shows that this new toast trend first popped up in the San Francisco area, but is starting to make its way across the country.
It is a funny thing when you think about it. Of all the crazes, cupcakes and cronuts, even locally made ice cream with crazy ingredients are all things that are a bit more complicated to make at home. Yet, toast, one of the easiest items to make in your kitchen is now a luxury item in bakeries, cafes, and restaurants. Maybe it is just a current fad and will not last.
“The Mill’s offerings change often, but selections, priced up to $3.75 per slice, can be country bread with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar and sea salt, or whole wheat bread with house made pumpkin butter. The trend has spread to Los Angeles, where Sqirl charges $7 for thick-cut local “burnt” brioche bread topped with house made ricotta and seasonal jam, and New York City, where The Smile offers buttered multigrain toast with local honey, raspberry jam or almond butter for $3.75.”
A group in San Francisco is even petitioning the mayor to get the cost of living under control, blaming the tech community for having the ability to purchase luxury items such as a piece of $7 toast. Wow, what is the world coming to these days? I am not saying I am against $7 toast, I think we should each decide for ourselves what we purchase. I am not one that would want to purchase a piece of $7 if I could purchase a whole loaf for that price. Call me cheap, or thrifty, I just think a bit more about the economy of things. If I did fork over $7 it better be a damn good piece of toast.
We are diehard cupcake fans. When it comes to cupcakes, trust me we know them. On every trip regardless of state or country I seek out the different cupcake bakeries and decide which one we will try. Often we cart a to-go box throughout a city, and indulge in the sweetness in our hotel room. I cannot tell you how many times we have shared many a cupcake in our pajamas before brushing our teeth and crawling into bed before another day of adventures. We have been to most of the famous big city cupcake places, and have a few favorites around the country, but somehow we got lucky and our true all-time top of the list was right here in Portland.
Saint Cupcake has been baking cupcakes since 2005. We were there from the beginning, through a few design changes to their storefront in the Northwest part of town, to when they opened a small Eastside location (Saint Cupcake Deluxe), to their move downtown (under the name Saint Cupcake Galore) and the welcome addition of pastries and cookies. The new baked additions only made it that much harder to decide. We would walk in for cupcakes and leave with a sticky bun, cookie, and cupcakes, because they are just THAT GOOD. They know just how to make them taste homemade, not too much icing and not too sweet. Just the right balance of all the right ingredients. Recently they opened a small storefront in the West End part of Portland called QUIN. It is their newest venture selling locally made chocolate, caramels, lollipops, gumdrops, and more.
So why am I telling you about Saint Cupcake? I am having a get-together with some women soon and was so excited to pick up cupcakes for the event, and found out that as of December 31, Saint Cupcake will be closing all locations and focusing solely on QUIN. I am happy for the owners and their next adventures, but sad to see my #1 favorite cupcake bakery go away. They have been here almost as long as Chris and I have been in Portland. I will miss their pumpkin and red velvet cupcakes, and I know Chris will miss their “Big Top” which had a crunchier chocolate chip cookie top with cream cheese frosting. They also always had amazing seasonal offerings (think Egg Nog cupcake and the like).
I do not know what I will do without Saint Cupcake. Sounds like we will have to visit our #2 place more often, Kara’s Cupcakes in San Francisco.