Monday, August 24, 2009

Cupcake Wars: Eleni's Half-Price Cupcakes

Any place that gives me free cupcakes has a customer for life.

I found out about the half-price cupcakes at Eleni's in Chelsea Market shortly after we first moved to New York. Even without that incentive, I like visiting Chelsea Market, browsing the gourmet food stores and peaking through the windows of the tasty-looking restaurants.

And the building's pretty cool too. It's an old Nabisco factory, where the Oreo was invented (if Wikipedia can be trusted). Nowadays stores and restaurants are on the bottom floor, while the Food Network, Google, and other franchises have offices on the upper floors.

But back to the cupcakes. Eleni's offers half-price cupcakes the last hour before closing each day. Paul and I just happened to be walking by the market at 6:55 p.m. on a Saturday, so there was no way I was going to pass up a cupcake for $1.50, especially ones as good as Eleni's.

With only five minutes until the doors locked, there obviously wasn't much of a selection. It didn't take long for Paul -- who always chooses whatever sweet sports the most unnatural color -- to pick out a chocolate cupcake with about an inch of purple frosting, while I pointed at the blue. At the last moment, the cashier added two more brightly-colored cupcakes on the house.

The going rate for cupcakes in Manhattan and Brooklyn is $2 to $2.50, so getting four cupcakes for $3 is a delicious coup.

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