It’s April in Washington, D.C., but someone has forgotten to tell Mother Nature! Despite the fact that it should be peak Cherry Blossom time, persistently chilly temperatures and a spring snowstorm last week have kept the fickle, pink blossoms at bay. The Powers That Be now say they will bloom between April 6 -10, but unfortunately, if you have come to see them this week and have filled your time with monuments, museums and history, you might be searching for a few alternative activities.
On the north side of DuPont Circle, Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Cupcakes at 1654 Connecticut Ave., NW has the best cupcakes on the Circle (and maybe the best anywhere!). Larry and his wife Esen came to the United States from Turkey in 1985. They started this shop in this location. Despite numerous renovations which are chronicled in the photos on the wall, they have never strayed from DuPont Circle. Sometimes people will say “I know a Larry’s in….”, but NO, this is their only store. Don’t be fooled by imitations! They began with ice cream and even in winter there is a wide variety from which to choose. But the pièce de résistance are the cupcakes.
With the advent of cupcake shops, cupcake wars, cupcake tv shows, et.al., Esen decided to jump into the fray with a cupcake of her own. For six months she tested, sampled and scrutinized myriad variations on her recipe until it met her satisfaction. The result is an amazing confection that absolutely defies description. Served on a little plate, you can sit at the high tables in the shop and savor every crumb. If, before you dig in, you peel back the paper baking cup, the little cake is so light and delicate that it will jiggle back and forth like jello. Grab a spoon, because while it isn’t typical to eat a cupcake with a spoon, that is the best way to be certain not to miss out on any part of Esen’s secret recipe. This cupcake truly melts in your mouth.
Esen tells me that Red Velvet is the most popular flavor of cupcake, but I, who am not necessarily a huge fan of either cupcakes or chocolate, am partial to the chocolate cupcakes. At 74%, they are divine.
While enjoying your treat, be sure to examine the copy of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica which hangs on the wall opposite the ice cream counter. It was painted by a friend of Larry and Esen who added a splash of color in the way of strategically placed ice cream cones. If you’re not getting to Madrid this summer, you can get a really good sense of Picasso’s masterpiece – and you’ll get much closer to this one!