Friday, June 8, 2012

The Sweet Lobby

The Sweet Lobby is the newest bakery to open along Barracks Row in Capitol Hill and features macarons, cupcakes, madeleines, as well as European-style hot chocolate and loose leaf tea. Founded by a brother and sister team with chemical engineering degrees from MIT, the Sweet Lobby takes a more scientific approach to the sweets that have become trendy over the past couple of years. Competing with the big names (Hello Cupcake, Georgetown Cupcake, Crumbs, etc) the Sweet Lobby experiments with a mix of flavors ranging from orange-ginger to green tea-chocolate, in addition to favorites such as red velvet and carrot cake. The Sweet Lobby provides an excitement of treats to satisfy most palettes. Closest Metro is Eastern Market.

June 2011: During an afternoon thunderstorm, we rushed over to the Sweet Lobby to check out what all the recent buzz was about. Intrigued by the tiny space, we stepped in to be greeted by outgoing and friendly staff. With 6 macarons on display, we chose 4 to try in addition to 2 out of the 10 types of cupcakes available. Since it was the end of the day, I expected my favorite (red velvet) to be sold out - which it was. The madeleines also looked delicious, but the prices were a little high, so we passed. I would have liked to have seen smaller tins of the loose leaf tea available too. But some of the combinations looked enticing. Let's talk flavor: first up, the chocolate mint cupcake - it was very dense, but not minty enough for me. The carrot cake cupcake was moist, chunky, and full of bright flavors. The macarons were tasty too and bit larger than average, with a perfect chewiness to the cookie and softness to the ganache filling. The trademark orange-ginger macaron was sweet and tart, and the hazelnut macaron was salty and more savory. The green tea-chocolate macaron did not have as much green tea flavor as expected, but was good nonetheless. With the super convenient location, and my appreciation for the scientific approach to baking, I would come back to the Sweet Lobby again.

June 2012:  Since winning Cupcake Wars earlier this Spring, the Sweet Lobby has been uber busy giving away samples of their winning cupcakes and creating new delicious combinations.  With many more flavors of cupcakes, macarons, and other cookies available, I am happy to see The Sweet Lobby thrive and become so successful over the past year.  So when they announced they would be celebrating their First Anniversary by giving out sweet treats all week along, I couldn't pass it up!  Facebook fans had the opportunity to pick up an anniversary card last weekend, and each day this week collect a stamp on the card and receive a sample. Monday was an eclair - and I chose the passion fruit filled green tea eclair as it was the most pretty.  Not on the normal menu, this divine pastry was the most flavorful, superbly executed, and the best thing I've had at the Sweet Lobby.  The pastry was fluffy and light with a hint of green tea and a lovely sweet citrus cream inside.  It needs to become a regular menu item!  Tuesday, I sampled their shortbread cookies.  The flavor was not as intense in these and as a cookie overall, not my favorite.  Wednesday, I picked up a chocolate hazelnut cupcake to bring home to Keith.  That is one of of his favorite flavors, and since I did not share any shortbread cookies with him the day before, I felt guilty. Thursday, I finally was able to try an orange-ginger madeleine and a spice cake madeleine.  Surprisingly, I was not impressed.  I was expecting a more delicate wafer-like cookie, but these are actually little sponge cakes.  When I bit into the softness, I thought maybe some filling or cream would be inside, but there was none. The spice flavoring was super strong though, and I could imagine eating these at a tea party.  On Friday (today), they are giving out macarons.  I plan to stop by after work to pick up my last treat, and I encourage you all to as well and wish the Sweet Lobby a Happy Anniversary!

Total Rating: 3.85
Food: 4, Price: 3, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:

orange-ginger, hazelnut, green tea-chocolate, chocolate, olive oil and walnut

chocolate mint, carrot cake, chocolate hazelnut

passion fruit filled green tea

orange-ginger, chocolate

orange-ginger, spice cake

The Sweet Lobby on Urbanspoon

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