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Friday, August 10, 2007
A large mural at the Saint Cupcake in NW Portland tells the legend of the shop's namesake. Once upon a time, a baker became so incredibly good at making sweets that they took on medicinal properties. Her cupcakes and cheesecakes could mend broken hearts and serve as powerful anti-depressants. The locals dubbed her "Saint Cupcake" and her portrait hangs on a wall near the cash register.
The shop's cupcakes come in two sizes, the smaller "dot sized" ones for $1.25 and the larger "regular" ones for $2.50. The shop also sells cookies and cinnamon rolls. I bought two during a recent visit, one with chocolate chips and a "red velvet" cupcake. Neither managed to cure the summertime blues I've been suffering from due to the lousy weather we've been experiencing in Portland these past few weeks. Still, they're probably to best cupcakes I've ever tasted, not that I'm a connoisseur or anything.
Saint Cupcake may as well be the anti-Voodoo Doughnut. The design is done up in pastels and the place looks like a fever dream of Strawberry Shortcake or Dolores Umbridge. It's a place that seems like it's aiming for a grandmotherly demographic but everyone from a group of drunken Pearl District yuppies to a hipster couple were placing orders during a recent visit. Who doesn't enjoy the occasional cupcake?
I left half-convinced that red wine is a chief ingredient in the shop's red velvet cupcakes. A quick Wikipedia search cleared up that misconception. The real culprit behind the cupcakes' ruby hue? Food coloring. I guess I haven't spent enough time south of the Mason-Dixon line or in Manhattan, places where red velvet sweets reign supreme.