"It's refreshing to see a cupcake shop that can go beyond cupcakes."
When is a croque monsieur not a croque monsieur? And when is a little cake not a cupcake? These are the questions one ponders over breakfast at Sweet Revenge, the grown-up West Village cupcake (and liquor) bar.
Though known for their cupcake and wine pairings, Sweet Revenge strays into savory ventures as well. On their breakfast menu, the “Croque Monsieur” ($5.50,) is a loose interpretation of the classic French sandwich—a fist-sized ham and Jarlsberg cake, with a honey Dijon sauce on the side. I have to admit I was skeptical.
The Croque Monsieur cake looked like either a hammy scone or a crusted-over quiche, neither of which strike me as particularly appealing. But served warm, the cake was tender and egg-light, studded with generous cubes of smoky ham and occasional pockets of cheese. Strange though it sounds, the cake’s moist interior had that meat-softened quality of the bread in a real croque monsieur, and despite the non-French choice of Jarlsberg cheese, recreated the sandwich's flavors with almost eerie accuracy. The honey Dijon was tasty and pungent, but the cake didn't need it at all.
Back in sweet territory, the Totally American Pecan Coffee Cake ($3.50) is a scaled-down version of your typical Mom’s Sunday brunch cake—an anomaly in this avant-garde cupcake shop, where tradition rarely goes untweaked. The best part of this coffee cake, as with any other, is the brown sugar-pecan streusel on top. Though the fine-crumbed interior is perfectly tasty, Sweet Revenge wisely upped the topping-to-cake ratio. That sweet crumble creeps down the sides, delivering more crunch for your cake.
Like the Croque, it's a bit pricey for a breakfast pastry, but unless you’re a real sugar fiend, the coffee cake could easily be split between two. It's refreshing to see a cupcake shop that can go beyond cupcakes. Even when sticking to the mini-cake genre.
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