Life is a Combination of Cupcakes and Pasta!

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On every refrigerator, overshadowed by some silly magnets, photos of our furry friends and occasional family recipes from mom and grandma, lies an old sticky note telling you to “Take That Dream Vacation NOW”.

Mine goes something like this:

1. Go to a locals-only Italian town.

2. Learn how to make pasta from scratch.

3. Drink Red Wine. Lots of it.

So when I heard that The Pasta Peddler was moving to Hertel I took it upon myself to pay the store owners a visit and give them a warm “Hello Hertel” welcome.

And boy, am I glad to have done so!

What started as a hobby almost twenty years ago in Eric’s father-in-law Mike’s basement, has come a long way to become The Pasta Peddler we know today – proclaimed by many as the finest artisan pasta available in Buffalo.

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This is only one of the many feathers in his cap, for his wife offers a delectable selection of cupcakes and other baked goods – Wait For It – at the same store, making the location on Hertel a joint venture between The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets.

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What makes them unique though are their future plans, as the owner very enthusiastically informs me about the possibility of a not-for-profit winter market (thanks to a big and spacious retail space), and a pasta-making class in the near future which hopefully would involve some wine drinking as well!

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He already had me when he used two of my favorite words in a sentence: Wine and Pasta. But throw in some Buffalo knick-knacks scattered around the store, a tiramisu flavored cupcake aptly named “Hertel”, reclaimed wood counters from Buffalo Reuse, a la monferrina pasta machine (its like the Hermes of pasta machines), the fact that he is a fellow NoBo resident and Buffalo Believer, I am more than happy to buy pasta from him for the rest of my life! And I am sure, so are you.

So stop by the store and show them some Buffalove! Do not forget to try the raviolis and the dark chocolate salted-caramel “Blackbird” cupcake, you will thank me later.

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The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets are celebrating their move to Hertel with a grand-openeing on September 27th, 2014.

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Sheetcakes are for Suckers

I don’t need a special occasion to eat a cupcake.  I don’t really need a special occasion to eat any sort of dessert for that matter.   I’ll walk right into a cupcake shop on a random Sunday afternoon and walk right out, one bite in and three to go.  It just so happened that THIS particular random Sunday was my father-in-law’s birthday so I actually had a reason to visit Fairy Cakes Cupcakery, which is just about a half mile from Hertel on Parkside, right across from the Buffalo Zoo.

The party was in less than an hour and despite my time crunch, I knew that I didn’t want to bother with a typical sheet cake.  Sheet cakes are for suckers.   I’m better than that.

I could sit here and talk about how friendly the Fairy Cakes staff is, how the cupcakes are all on display in cake stands for your viewing (and drooling) pleasure or how the seating area is so inviting you’d consider curling up next to the fireplace in your Bills snuggie…but I won’t.

Instead I’ll get down to the nitty gritty – the double-chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting.  Yep. Let the salivation begin.  Only 3 words can describe this bad-boy. Oh. My. Gawd.

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First off, the only thing better than chocolate is double chocolate so there’s really no explanation needed on the actual cupcake.  It was moist and that dense type of cake you’d find in a wedding cake almost.  And then there was the frosting.  This frosting isn’t your airy, light-as-a-feather type cake topper.  This was a thick, creamy texture with just the right balance of sweetness to saltiness, almost like biting into a chocolate-covered pretzel.  Bottom line, the perfect accoutrement to the cake.

I’m going to expect you have one foot in the car already – destination: Fairy Cakes.  As for me, finishing up bite #4.