We were in town for a few days and looking for a cupcake shop within walking distance of our hotel. I had read the many online reviews for Hello Cupcake and they were mixed. We never pass up an opportunity to taste cupcakes on any of our trips, so we thought we'd give them a try to see what we thought. We arrived about an hour after the shop had opened on a brisk Tuesday morning with no other customers to compete with while choosing our selections. Fully expecting to be greeted with a warm welcome when we entered the door, I was disappointed that no such moment took place-that knocked my rating down a notch. Perhaps they were not morning people, so I greeted the two girls behind the counter and initiated the conversation. I was familiar with most of the choices available as I had viewed their cupcake schedule on their website. The girl serving us did answer our few questions. We chose only six; for fear that if they were tasteless, dry disappointments at least we'd only be out $19.75, which was the price for half a dozen. Towards the end of our quick visit, we found the positive, friendly interaction we were hoping for from the start. Our conversation about America's obsession with cupcakes, led to recommendations for foreign bakery treats and nearby lunch options. The customer service experience ended pleasantly. We sampled our selections over two days and were quite surprised, we did not agree with the negative reviews on the quality of cupcakes. Our six were: Triple Coconut, Velvet Elvis, Chocolate Chimp, Caramel Macchiato, Cookies 'n Cream and the Chef's Special (a strawberry flavored cake, chocolate ganache, cream cheese frosting and a fresh strawberry on top). These were smaller cupcakes, not super small, but not large either. All of the cupcakes had a somewhat dry crusty overhang of batter, which had me concerned at first thinking they'd be dry. But sampling each proved that this was not an issue other than not looking very uniform, as each cake was perfectly moist, but the intensity of the cake flavors could have been better. The icing of each cupcake was the sugary sweet we love and lots of it, which for some would be a turn off. IMO, I'd rather have too much icing, which can always be scraped off, than not have enough and wishing for more. Our favorites were the Triple Coconut and the Caramel Macchiato. The Chef's Special reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream with the flavor combo, not a hit for either of us, but would be for many. If our future travels bring us back to this area, we would definitely stop in for another sugar fix.
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