Category: Reviews

Goddamn Cupcakes

I like cupcakes. I really do. But I didn’t give a rat’s ass about cupcakes before my friend’s wedding. She didn’t have a cake. She had cupcakes. So what? Mini cakes. Same thing right? Oh God no. There was something about these cupcakes (Delish Bakery). They were awesome. Perfectly moist, perfectly flavored, simply elegant.

Goddamn Elegant Cupcake


As much as I love these cupcakes, it’s a pain in the goddamn ass to get to 3rd street. Downtown Austin blows. Getting there, finding parking, not getting hit by other pissed off drivers…ugh. I try, though. Every so often I just want a damn cupcake and I brave downtown to get some sweet, sweet, delicious cupcake action. Now, there are MUCH CLOSER cupcake places than Delish. I can walk to one. But I don’t. Why? Well, walking blows. And because it’s just not a Delish cupcake. At all.

After I tried and failed to secure a proper cupcake stash (they freeze AMAZINGLY well), I said “well, fuck it. I’ll give this place up in Cedar Park a shot.” It’s called Gigi’s Cupcakes. It’s a franchise. It has great reviews for taste, not so much for selection. And it’s way the fuck out in Cedar Park. Fine. When I walked in I immediately saw why this place gets great review: Frosting Junkies. You guys kill me. A cupcake is not just a delivery mechanism for frosting. It is the mix of moist flavorful cake and the right amount and taste of the frosting. You may disagree. And that’s fine. If you can live your life knowing that you are the wrongiest wrong person that has ever walked the earth (along with you bastards that like to fuck up brownies and cookies with–ugh–nuts!) then that’s fine. I mean look at this cupcake:

Your cupcake is broadcasting it's failings

Look at that MOUND of sugar! Do you know what this cupcake is saying to me? “My cake is weak.” When you have to rely on a mountain of frosting you are telling me that your cake is not strong. It is not a strong cake. It must have aerial support. This. This will not do. Slightly deflated I ordered 6 cupcakes: 2 wedding cake, one Italian cake (which probably has nuts and I was a moron and didn’t ask first), one lemon icebox, one lemon glaze, and one chocolate chip cookie dough. Because cookie dough is awesome.


Lookit all dat sugar!

First of all, why do you not have the basics? Is Wedding Cake supposed to be your plain jane vanilla? I judge on plain flavors. Because face it, if you can’t get basic vanilla down then what hope do I have for your “wackier” creations. Like the S’Mores cupcake. I wish I could have taken a picture of it in the case. It looked like someone rolled a cupcake in the toppings tray at an ice cream place. There was just too much going on. On the flip side, when Delish had a S’Mores cupcake, again, it was elegant. A chocolate cupcake with a toasted meringue. But I digress.

So I get these bad boys home. After dinner I decided I would try the chocolate chip cookie dough one. Right off the bat I was annoyed. I have a big mouth and yet I could not take a bite big enough to get both cake and frosting in one go. Grrr. Fine. SO I ate a bit of frosting. Guys, it was glorious. It tasted like they figured out a way to make whipped cookie dough. It tasted EXACTLY like Toll House (okay, better) cookie dough. This made me ridiculously happy. Then I tasted the cake. Total letdown. All of the flavor in the frosting didn’t make it to the cake. It was more chocolate chip muffin than cake. BUT, when put together (after scraping half the frosting off) it was perfect. It really was. It was what I was talking about: the perfect mix of frosting and cake, flavorwise. I was pleasantly surprised.
Cake Grade: C. Sorry, but the cake itself was kind of bland. Something was missing.
Frosting Grade: A+. Tasted exactly like I imagined it should!
Total Grade: B+. Together, they were great.

The Bad (compared to Delish):
–Frosting is heaped on like it’s never going out of style.
–No plain flavors. I don’t need wacky inventive all the time.

The Good (compared to Delish):
–Larger sized cupcake.
–Don’t have to find parking downtown

Good Idea, Shit Execution: Austin Beerfest

March 31st, I and two others attended the Austin Beerfest out at the Travis County Expo center. I thought “cool! drink beer all day!”. This was my attempt to get out more and do more stuff around town. Stuff outside of what we normally do. This experience would lead me to believe that the best course of action on a beautiful looking spring day in central Texas is to stay the fuck inside and play vidya games. Seriously.

Warning Sign?

It all started when I saw a Groupon for $35 for admission for two to this fest. Groupon fucked up and I ended getting 2 pairs of tickets. Goddammit. Fine. In the days leading up to the event, Aelerelean was sick. Like, really sick. Not just allergies kind of sick. Got sent home from work, sick. So when the Saturday arrived, I almost said “fuck it. I’ll eat the money, you’re sick.” but before I could, he said “when are we leaving.” We gathered up another friend and headed out for the Expo center.

In the car

So, here we are, merrily motoring down the road towards the expo center. We get to the gate that is the usual gate for entering this place. Every carnival, every hockey, it’s always this gate. Today, however, this was not the gate we were looking for. There was a sign. A small sign hanging on the closed gates saying “Gate 3 —>”. In other words, keep moving. We were lucky that we saw it. Others were not. They had turned into the entrance (I don’t know why or how) only to be told by someone that they were at the wrong gate.  Onward we push.

Still in the car

Aelerelean pulls into the center turn lane. I pipe up “hey, that gate is also closed! why are we in the turn lane?” Why? Because the gate we needed was actually off of Decker Ln. proper, where Loyola turns into Decker. More than half a mile from where we were now. Yes. The line was that long. And not moving. Fuuuuuuck. We joke, we laugh, we talk. We sulk, we grumble, we threaten to throw shit atcars getting out of line, going through the light, making a u-turn and cutting through the gas station.

Still in the goddamn car

We finally can see the light only 3 cars ahead of us. It has been a great many years since I had been here. I forgot that multi-lanes Loyola turned into to TWO LANE DECKER. TWO LANES, ONE EACH WAY! THREE FUCKING DIRECTIONS OF TRAFFIC FUNNELING INTO ONE HORRIBLY MAINTAINED FUCKING LANE. Kill me now. We could have turned back. We could have. We should have. But goddammit, the tickets were bought, we’d been in the car for at least an hour. BY GOD WE WERE DRINKING SOME FUCKING BEER! We finally turn onto Decker, towards the fabled Gate 3. The light changes and our ass is hanging out blocking traffic. Aelerelean gets upset because “they’re going to hit us.” I roll my eyes. Why? The people we are “blocking” are turning right. Onto Decker. Going the same fucking place we are. They’re not going to hit us, for fucks sake.

Jesus Christ I’m sick of this car

We inch (notice I didn’t sat “motoring”?) along the road. And watch as cars pass us going the other way. Leaving the event. Wait, what? It didn’t start until 2? It’s maybe 3! What’s going on? Oh there was another event before this one and they are emptying out. Oh, n problem. Wait, why is the sheriff leaving? Three frat boys pass us going toward Gate 3. On foot. No shit, they parked at the gas station and walked.

Is that the gate????

GATE 3!!!!! We’re here! In line. To park. For $10 (oh did I mention that there was no mention of a parking fee?). Hey, who is that up there? THE FRAT GUYS. THEY BEAT US. We inch our way along. Is that ONE PERSON TAKING MONEY FOR PARKING? No. Two. Whoopie. Another 20 minutes to get through the now split line.
Notable sightings at this stage:
–Frat Boys on foot. They were inside long before we had even parked.
–Guys who got a cab, found out there was a parking fee, dropped the guys off, made a u-turn and left.
–Williamson County Constable doing 2 things: jack and shit.
–Two guys got out of a car right at the turnoff into the parking lot entrance road, and a girl drove off in the car while they walked. Fuck paying $10.

If I had a ten I would have given it to you in the first fucking place

Finally. Our turn to pay for the privilege of parking in one of the worst maintained parking lots ever. Since this debacle was my fault, I ponied up a 20 dollar bill for parking and was immediately asked “Do you have anything smaller? we’re running short of $10’s”. It’s not even 2 hours into the event AND YOU’RE ALREADY OUT OF CHANGE? We all just stare at her, wordlessly. Because now, in our minds, she’s the only thing between us and sweet sweet beer. She gives me my change, directs us to parking (“cars are gonna be comin’ at ya for a while but don’t worry, they won’t hit ya!”) and we TEAR ASS towards the parking. Oh look. People directing traffic. Finally. No, there was no one directing shit when we needed it. Just here. We park. “Oh cool! Right by the building. Wait, why is everyone walking past the building?”

What do you mean it’s outside?

Parked, we get out and follow the herd. The herd stops suddenly. I cannot see the front of the line. There are no multiple lines. We’re all in one long ass line. Friend ventures off to gather information. Nothing. Word filters back that if you have a Groupon or Google ticket, you are in the line on the right, regular tickets on the left. We break away and get much closed. I can now see the front of the line. Where there is ONE PERSON CHECKING TICKETS. We are so close, we can see the promised land. And then…

We were warned. We did not listen

A pair of people are LEAVING. Leaving from the very gate we are entering. Surely they need to run out the their car? No. It was not even 4pm. They shake their heads sadly “Don’t go. Not worth it. Soooo not worth it.” But, but I already paid….

We should have listened. Why didn’t we listen.

We get there. Finally. I get my stamp, my beer tickets, Aelerelean’s beer tickets, and head for the thump-thump-thump of the DJ just inside the gate.

First order of business? Bathroom. No sorry. Port-a-Potties. Son of a bitch. We crest a small hill and The Fest is laid out in front of us in all of it’s glory. In the well abused asphalt parking lot of the Expo Center. Let me be very clear here and say that none of this debacle is the Expo Center’s fault. None. They were just the site of the horribleness.  [Edit: It was all the Expo Center’s fault. Exclusivity agreements are 100% rotten ass. Reddit to the rescue:] [Edit 2: Fuck everybody associated with this piece of shit.] Here is a picture of the center:

128 acres. I had assumed (stupidly) we would be in the building marked “4”. We were parked in the lot to the left of “4”. We went from that lot to where the FEST was laid out. The area behind and to the right of “5”. That parking lot area. Minimal trees, Port-a-Potties in the sun. This, I was told, was the best part of the Fest. Since it was still early, the potties weren’t horrible yet. While the guys answered nature’s call, I found a margarita stand.  Nicest pair of ladies ever. Damn fine margarita as well. The cost? 7 tickets. You only got 6 with your admission. You could buy MORE tickets (that line was long as fuck). I paid my 7 tickets. That was 7 tickets well spent. I told the women that people are going to be super pissed because of the horribly long waits to get in. while describing the long wait, I spied the entrance for people who did not pre-buy tickets. That line? 2 people. deserted and so far away from every other entrance. Why? Why do that? I pointed it out to them. “That’s for people who didn’t buy ticket ahead of time???” Yep.

Once the men returned, we ventured forward to the rest of the fest. Oh, did I mention that the margarita stand was all by itself? There was also a lonely lemonade stand and a lonely kettle corn stand. In the sun. No shade.

Beer tickets

These beer tickets were for beers and food. Cool! Samples must be free! This was my mistake. I didn’t read. Samples are 1 ticket. A sample is 2oz. do you know how much/little 2oz is? Not a lot. They were jello shot/condiment cups. These:


Yeah. That small. It had a head of foam on it too. So really? One ounce of beer. Warm beer. Why was it warm? Come to find out, they were still unloading beer from non refrigerated trucks at 2:51 pm. The event started at 2, remember? I tried 3 beers. Beers that could be acquired from any Spec’s, Whole Foods, Central Market, or hell, even HEB. Friend tried 5. See, he bought a margarita, too and had the benefit of the other nonexistent person’s tickets. We both agreed it was the best thing we tasted all day. For 7 tickets. (Aelerelean would like it noted that “It’s not Margarita Fest, it’s fucking BEERFEST.”)

Off in the distance we see a stage. I know there is a band playing because when I did a foursquare check-in, that was the event listed. Not BeerFest, but some band’s concert. If you were there to see them, then I hope to shit you got your money’s worth because I sure as hell didn’t. Finally I was down to 2 tickets. We hadn’t even made it halfway through the “Fest”, the stage remained off in the distance. We did not give it a glace. I turned to a woman who looked like she might be enjoying herself and said “hey, want some ticket? We’re getting the fuck outta Dodge.” Her reply “Hey thanks! I totally understand.”

We made our way toward the entrance/exit. Grumpy, hot, thirsty, beerless. I passed a guy in a pale blue shirt reading “Remember the Oilers.” with the Houston Oilers logo. Best thing ever.

A warning to the others

We reach the gates. And decided t o pay it forward. we began to tell everyone EVERYONE that was in line as we trudged back to the car not to go. “Don’t go. Not worth it, you’ll be disappointed.” some people grinned. Some ignored us. Some stopped and listened. They asked why, we told them. Doubt crept over their faces. “But I already paid!” “I did, too, brother! Eat the cost and just go home!”

Now there are volunteers telling people what line is what. They even have signs. Too bad they’re near the FRONT of the line. By the time you get there, you know where to go. We walk further. Now there’s a guy in a referee shirt directing people where to go. And he’s 100% wrong. He is telling them the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they’re saying at the front. He is also trying to counteract our warning. The friend that joined us said he should have been ashamed of himself for duping these poor people.

We reached the car just as a group of people got out of theirs. We told then not to bother. They stopped. They asked why. We told them. “You don’t get nothing for free?” No, my friend. There is nothing free. They almost got back into the car. We didn’t stop to check.

Getting the fuck out of Dodge

We head toward Gate 3. Halfway down the road, we stop. No one is coming the opposite direction. Why? I look towards the expo center. They opened a different gate. A gate that should have been open in the first fucking place. So now traffic is backing up (still) and blocking our way out. It would be a bad idea to leave the way we came in. We break through the traffic and we blissfully made our way back home.


So that was my experience. I took zero pictures, yet I saw many people who did. Had I thought ahead and posted this earlier, I could have been part of this review. Note where the pictures came from. Yeah. It was that bad. To be fair, I made some assumptions myself. Like 1) assuming it was indoors and 2) not reading what the tickets were for. But this was really the most disorganized event I have ever been to. How are you still setting up at 2:51? How do you fail to publish that parking is $10? And holy shit $10??? After you pay $25 to $200 (why in the FUCK would you pay $200???) then have to pay more to get a decent drink? Jesus Christ! No one directing the miles of traffic trying to get in to the ONE LANE ROAD to the gate? They saw the error of their ways as we left but that was still a clusterfuck because now, instead of going on a light, there is no light and you can be a complete bastard.

Now, the venue I thought was okay. If it were downtown, I wouldn’t have gone. Fuck trying to park downtown. Is that stupid ass train even running on weekends now? Would there have even been a venue close to a station? Probably not. I think the Expo Center catches a lot of shit because of its location on the *ahem* wrong side of town. Which is a shame because no one has a problem going out to the rodeo or carnival. It is plenty big enough to have an event like this probably without breaking the budget. The roads leading to it, however, are shit.

And why wasn’t it inside? Well, in late March/early April in Austin, IT’S NOT HOT. This was a freak kind of weekend. If the breeze kicked up, it was quite nice. But there was no breeze. It was an overly hot cloudless day. Which just doesn’t usually happen at this time of year. The organizers couldn’t have done anything about that. But it most certainly didn’t add anything to the now wasted day.

I shoulda stayed home. Warm beer there, too.

Worst. Event. Ever.