Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meaty's Cupcakes

Meaty's Cupcakes is a cupcake food cart located at the Ala Carts pod (SE 102nd and Stark) in Portland, Oregon. Stacy and her daughter, Mal ("Meaty") are the proud owners. Mal was apparently a "chunky" person growing up, so Stacy called her "meaty" -- and it stuck.

Stacy has extensive baking experience, having worked in the bakery at Albertson's and Costco for many years (since she was 15). From the time Mal was about three years old, she wanted to accompany her mother to work. So it's really a great feel-good story between a mother and daughter sharing a common passion for cupcakes. Love it!

But dang man, when I was 15, I was a lazy high school student that struggled with geometry and dreaded waking up for school. It sounds like the typical high school student nowadays, but it also shows what my life was like a few moons ago.

Honestly, I only heard about this cart because Brett (from Food Carts Portland) came here and did a write-up of Meaty's Cupcakes. I dropped by for a visit during their second week of operation (opened at the beginning of December 2011) and was impressed at the menu offering.

There are five daily flavors, plus rotating special cupcakes (depending on the day you go). Each cupcake is $3, and they are quite big. It's not Costco-steroidal Lordy epic big, but I can see the influence Stacy probably had from baking there.

The "Meaty Goes Bananas" cupcake is Meaty's personal favorite, and it was quickly my favorite as well. Chopped walnuts are embedded in a banana cupcake, topped with cream cheese frosting and a banana chip. The cupcake itself is moist and extremely light, generating memories of some of the best banana bread I've had. The cream cheese frosting has a lovely consistency and not too sweet. The banana chip is the ideal garnish.

Sampling the "Meaty Goes Bananas"
Get a glimpse inside that banana cupcake!
"Caramel Meaty Apple" (left)
"Meaty Goes Bananas" (right)
(Meaty's Cupcakes)
The "Caramel Meaty Apple" cupcake is a Saturday special cupcake. This is a cinnamon-apple cupcake (using Granny Smith apples), again topped with their signature cream cheese frosting and a caramel drizzle. Amazing presentation. Apples and cinnamon pair very well together for a satisfying experience. Caramel? That wins by default, come on.

For their whole menu (which I forgot to take a picture of), check it out on their website. Along with the "Meaty Goes Bananas" cupcake, other everyday flavors include:

"Chcolate Meaty" (devil's food cupcake + chocolate buttercream + chocolate drizzle)
"Vanilla Meaty" (vanilla cupcake + vanilla buttercream + chocolate drizzle)
"Mixed Up Meaty" (devil's food cupcake + vanilla buttercream)
"Mixed Up Meaty 2X" (vanilla cupcake + chocolate buttercream).

The Friday signature cupcake lineup is the most appealing to me for its Happy Hour theme: a "Meatyrita" (using tequila); "Meaty's Razzbedazzle" (with champagne in the buttercream), and "Shot of Meaty" (with a raspberry vodka filling).

Oh, and don't be surprised if more cupcake creations find their way on the menu in the future....

I've had the privilege of working at a bake shop, making large numbers of cupcakes (and other comforting treats). This is one impressive cart. I've only had a very small sampling of what they have to offer -- and that's really the only reason I forbid myself from rating any higher. Check them out (open Tue-Sun)! 8.5/10

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