You may recognize the little cupcake-on-wheels logo from the Curbside Cupcake truck driving around town. The truck was so successful that the owners decided to create a brick-and-mortar location to bake all the tiny cakes and to keep up with demand. On the first floor of the shop you'll find a quaint cafe, while downstairs is where all the baking is done.
I heard that Curbside made in-house poptarts, like Ted's Bulletin, and have been dying to try them out to compare. As I walked in, the lady behind the counter greeted me simply and seemed very down-to-earth. In cities, cafes often take themselves (and their coffee) a bit too seriously, and forget that an important part of any neighborhood coffee shop is a friendly and welcoming face. I felt very-much at home at Curbside.
I immediately started snapping pictures while deciding what kind of poptart to try (for sweet, they had strawberry, apple crisp, and Nutella, while for savory they had spinach and gruyere, two different pizza flavored selections, PB&J, and bacon, egg, and cheese) obviously I ended up trying one savory and one sweet.
While I was snapping pictures the woman said, "so, are you gonna make me famous?" We shared a laugh and then she asked if she could get a coffee started for me. I told her I was a coffee blogger of some sorts, and she began to tell me all about the beans they use, while whipping her bow joking that this time around she better make the best cappuccino she's ever made.
For the coffee, Curbside uses locally roasted beans from Vigilante Coffee based in Northeast DC. The woman mentioned that the roaster made a special blend for the shop which is supposed to be sweet enough to drink with a cupcake, without being too strong or harsh to overpower the pastry. She wanted a cup of coffee that was easy to drink every day. For the espresso beverages, however, Curbside uses another type of bean... but I forget what kind. Some coffee blogger I am.
By the time she told me all about this special Vigilante blend, I had already ordered a cappuccino, but you can bet next time I will definitely try the drip coffee. The cappuccino came out extra hot, but just cool enough not to burn your tongue, which is good because I can't stand when I burn my tongue on the first sip. The espresso flavor was easy and very present, though I wish the foam had been thicker and more defined. Hopefully that will come with time.
Moving onto the sweet pastry, it was yummy, but nothing to write home about. It was pretty standard, the jam inside felt flat and not very fresh (which actually gave the feeling of eating real store-bought poptart, for better or worse.) Next time I visit, I think I will stick to the savory poptarts and maybe try a cupcake or chocolate croissant for something sweet!
Overall, Curbside Cafe is a wonderful edition to Southeast DC. It's simple, convenient, and has a wonderful down-to-earth vibe. It's a place to meet the neighbors or grab a bite to eat. I'm excited to go back again to try the Vigilante coffee and see how it compares!