(UPDATE 3/15/12: Learned that Lil's Cupcake Cafe is now under new ownership and has a new name. Becky and Nick now head Twinsies Coffee and Cupcakes in this spot. I admit I should have given Lil's one more shot.)
Lil's Cupcake Cafe is located in downtown Salem, Oregon. As their name implies, they sell cupcakes -- at least 20 of them. They also sell cheesecakes, pies, and cakes. And if you want something savory? Sure, they have sandwiches, salads, and soups as well.
There were two Asian women working here and immediately questioned my picture taking (I did mention it was for this blog). I did not get a charming vibe from them from the outset. Still, I chatted with them for a bit about the cafe's cupcake offerings. According to them, their peanut butter cupcake and chocolate cupcake are two of the most popular. I opted for the strawberry cupcake (which they also said was a great choice) because strawberries are currently in season.
I liked the fresh strawberry on the top. It was a good strawberry, too. However, I felt that there was way too much icing on the top of the cupcake. The cupcake itself -- also pink -- had some lightness, but felt just a bit heavy. I do shudder to think how heavy a peanut butter cupcake or a chocolate cupcake would have felt in my mouth and stomach.
The two female employees also told me they were out of several of their cupcakes. Was it really because a flock of people had just come in, or did they just not choose to make those cupcakes earlier that day? Maybe one person bought out a particular flavor, but more than one being sold out? I hope there were a ton of people in that place before noon.
I didn't see very many pies, cakes, or cheesecakes out. They barely promoted their lunch specials or regular offerings. I'd rather have people promote the heck out of their food than not at all.
I'll admit that some of their sandwich options intrigue me, and therefore, my rating cannot be too low here. Their Chicnese Chicken sandwich ($7.95) looks good, as does their Asian Roast Beef sandwich ($7.95). And I do wonder what "Cowgirl sauce" is for their Turkey stack ($7.95). I like their two salad options and their fruit cup as well, if one wants to have a healthier meal.
But overall, I was not very impressed with this place. It was empty when I walked in around 12 noon. While one patron was in there before me and a few customers arrived after I got my cupcake, that does not express a very promising outlook for business. 3.25/10
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