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An Evening in Old Town

 Old Town WalkaboutOur good friend Patty, “Lady Patricia of Clan MacLaren,”  hosted us last night at the Medieval Madness banquet. What a great time, laughs, political satire, real sword fights, historical food and drink, and a great time!! The hours zoooomed by so fast and then we were done…out in the street. But, out in the street with a warm, holiday feeling both inside and all about us. Of course, Kelsey wanted to find the cupcake place she’d heard about and Kyle added his support…Kirsten’s “no” didn’t stand a chance. After a false start or two, we finally made it to “Alexandria Cupcake.” I am told that the cupcakes were awesome. I didn’t have one, only Kyle and Kelsey.Alexandria CupcakeThey ate their cakes at the table inside so we had the chance to watch other folks enjoy the cupcake experience. A few minutes after people would enter,  a transformation took place…people would walk in, either very business like or very uncertain or distracted (on their phones). Then they looked at all of the cupcakes gathered for their viewing pleasure and were greeted by a pair of very helpful “cupcake ladies”  answering all questions and providing a very sincere customer experience. By the time folks walked out, they were smiling at their cupcakes, at one another, and just about everyone else. What made it so? The Holiday Season or the awesome taste of the cupcakes or the Cupcake people? Probably a little of each but I’m hoping more for the cupcake options since the Season ends soon but the Cupcake People will be there throughout the year (I hope).Hank's Oyster BarOf course, I’m wondering–do they bake their cupcakes here in the store? If not, where? Are there ovens in the basement? I can’t imagine the code requirements. How do they decide which cupcakes to bake each day? Are they making money? What kind of margins do you have on a cupcake? How many must you sell to have two full time people working? But, I know, none of these have anything to do with the good feelings that people have when they leave.  But I’m realistic, unless this place is going “ka-ching” every week, something else will be in the building inside of a year. Kelsey would have us visit much more often to ensure the store’s survival. Maybe that’s not a bad idea at all! Any readers about live close to Old Town? Give these cupcakes a go!! As we left the Cupcake place, just a couple of doors down was Hank’s Oyster Bar. They looked busy, but of course, this was Saturday night in Old Town. And every place SHOULD be busy. We didn’t stop but we are curious and so probably will go back. I’m not sure I want to sit in this window, as if you are on stage for the world. The blue paint on the bricks and the dark frame of the window add a certain mystique to the place. I wonder if that feeling of mystique is warranted. I am guessing this is a place to try next. I googled the name and discovered that there are three of these, two in DC and this one. The one in DuPont Circle has a kid’s menu. Not this one, so I’m guessing this is a place where Diane and I will be going while the kids stay at home. Or…spend their time at the cupcake place.Not too many doors away was the old Gaulois Restaurant building which is now Notting Hill Restaurant. A gorgeous building and beautiful setting. One of the few places in Old Town that has reasonable outside dining. We had been to the old French Gaulois Restaurant many, many, many years ago and didn’t feel the arrogant style and the uber- prices warranted a return visit. But, the place was one of those very elegant restaurants with a reputation for great food. I wonder though, since the place closed something must have been amiss. We looked in the windows at the beautiful decor of the new Notting Hill. Only one couple eating…the rest of the place was empty. At eight o’clock on Saturday night. Oh oh. What’s up with that? Can’t be good.

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