As much as any major city, food crazes have a habit of coming and going in DC in quick succession. PX, The Gibson and The Columbia Room, among others, ushered in a wave of craft cocktail programs and speakeasies.
From their home, any Borderstan resident can probably walk to four or five mid-price-range restaurants with exposed brick or a converted post-industrial decor.
For some trends, the juryâ€™s still out: craft ice, anybody? But thereâ€™s no doubt that at least two of these concepts have taken root in this city, and have demonstrated incredible staying power: cupcakes and frozen yogurt.
To wit: Georgetown Cupcakeâ€™s lines still regularly stretched around the block; and the ever present expansion of yogurt-serving shops SweetGreen, Fro Zen Yo and Pinkberry.
Cupcakes and Yogurt
Itâ€™s into these markets that YOCAKE boldly steps in. Located on the very southern edge of the Borderstan neighborhood, YOCAKE is the second location of a Bethesda-based brand that sells both cupcakes and frozen yogurt. Itâ€™s not a new model by any means (see: the TangySweet/Red Velvet Cupcakery mashup on P Street, or cupcake sales at Mr. Yogato), but unlike other previous attempts, itâ€™s one brand behind both.
Sitting on the second floor of a townhouse, the look is polished and clean and quasi-futuristic, with its use of purples and silver and glass. In many ways, itâ€™s quite a juxtaposition from its neighbors on the block: bars/lounges like Mighty Pint and Ozio, kabob houses and the strip club Camelot.
The array of cupcakes is impressive: solid favorites like red velvet or triple chocolate are interspersed with lavender lemon, almond and pear and peaches and cream. The cupcake recipes from the brother-sister team that own YOCAKE are derived from their motherâ€™s French culinary training, though weâ€™re told that â€śtheyâ€™ve been sweetened a littleâ€ť to match the American palate.
And then thereâ€™s the piece dâ€™resistance: the eponymous YOCAKE itself, a serving that features a cupcake topped by frozen yogurt. On this trip, we didnâ€™t have a chance to taste it, but the thought itself sounds quite decadent.
Located at 1829 M Street, YOCAKE is now open for business.