I became a vegan in 2006 and in that same year I had the pleasure of eating at my first vegan bakery, Sticky Fingers Bakery (1370 Park Road NW, Washington DC 20010). My first memories of Sticky Fingers were that of awe and amazement. I devoured 3 cupcakes and 2 cookies before I headed out the door and even got a hot dog to go (along with a 1/2 dozen cinnamon rolls of course). As a "baby vegan" I was in heaven. 4 years, and literally thousands of vegan cupcakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls later I returned to Sticky Fingers. Unfortunately now that my vegan palate had a little more time to explore the world of vegan confections it no longer adored Sticky Fingers the way I did when I had never tasted a vegan cupcake before.
I took two of my omni friends with me on my latest trip to Sticky Fingers, ready to impress them with all the wonders of vegan food. I got a red velvet cupcake, strawberry crème cupcake, a sinfully delicious looking sugar cookie and a breakfast sandwich to go, for me to eat at the airport on my flight back home.
I barely made it half way around the block before I couldn’t resist taking a bit out of the sugar cookie. It was good, but not great. Nothing like I remembered it to be. It almost tasted store-bought. It had a slight lemony taste that I wasn’t expecting but the sweet pink frosting was its saving grace. One of my omni friends asked to try it and I reluctantly passed her a piece of the cookie. The look on her face said it all, not the worst cookie she ever had but definitely not the best.
I decided that the cookie was a fluke and later that afternoon decided to try the Strawberry Crème Cupcake. This was actually fantastic. Although I was a bit sad that the cupcake was more frosting than cake. I selfishly devoured it before giving my friends a chance to taste it, which I later regretted when the red velvet cake was all there was left to eat. That night was my friend’s 30th birthday celebration. She got a bid red velvet cake and I took my little red velvet cupcake as my vegan treat for the evening. I had been anticipating this little cupcake all day. The sweet taste of the strawberry crème cupcake was still in my mind and I knew the red velvet cupcake wouldn’t disappoint. When I took my cupcake out at the party everyone was jealous – they all wanted their own little personal red velvet cupcake. I beamed with vegan victory at making all the omni’s swoon and then I took a bite out of the cupcake. IT WAS AWFUL! I mean horrible. Horrific. It took everything in me not to spit it out. Not only was the cake itself not very good but the frosting was a lemon buttercream rather than the classic cream cheese that goes on ALL red velvet cakes. If there’s one thing you don’t mess with, it’s the classic taste of a red velvet cake. I tried to put on a brave face but my friends could see I was not a happy camper. When I revealed that there was lemon frosting on a red velvet cake faux pearls all around America were clutched in horror.
So far one out of three items I picked up from Sticky Fingers was good. I had a 7:30am flight out of DC, warmed my little breakfast sandwich up, tucked it in my backpack and was off to the airport before sunrise. Exhausted, I sat on the airplane and unwrapped my still warm breakfast sandwich from Sticky Fingers. Bleh! If they would have just left it as sausage and an English muffin it would have been fine but the nutritional yeast based cheese sauce and flimsy, almost sour, egg they put on it were so off putting that I handed the half-eaten sandwich to the flight attendant to throw away before we took off. Needless to say, Sticky Fingers Bakery is not the bakery I remember it being 4 years ago. Either my taste buds evolved or their food devolved but either way it goes on my next trip to DC I’ll be steering clear.