Sweet Revenge: NYC: West Village

I have a strange relationship with Sweet Revenge (a cupcake bakery/bar).  Before I moved to NYC much less ever gone there, I was poking around on Google Maps at the neighborhood of the apartment I'd found on Craigslist.  One of the things that convinced me that it would be a good place to live was the presence of Sweet Revenge.  I looked at their website and found fun menus of sweet and savory baked goods and drinks, though the latter less interesting to me and more expensive than I care for.


Fortunately there were or would be other nearby places in my neighborhood that are awesome because it turned out that that Sweet Revenge was in the West Village.  I never ended up visiting the Sweet Revenge in Bed Stuy, though I've heard it's actually a pretty cool bar that does one of those $5 backyard BBQ things on Sundays in the summer.


I did, however, visit the Sweet Revenge in the West Village. At one point in my NYC time I joined the NYC parks and recreation for 6 months, which only costs $37.50 (yes, for the whole six months).  This gets you into any of the gym/rec centers in the 5 boroughs, and there are a lot.  I developed a routine on my off-work/off-diet days where I would have my library book holds sent to a different library each week, find a couple of restaurants I wanted to try nearby, and find the rec. center nearest these places (there's usually a rec. center near each library location).  I'd eat at a café, go to the library, go work out at the gym, and then eat at another restaurant.  Sometimes I would find a gym I liked and stick with it for a few weeks.


The one with which I had the longest phase was the Tony Dapolito Rec. Center in the West Village.  On the way from the A stop at West 4th St. to the rec. center, you pass all kinds of great stuff (like the IFC Center and this one gelato-on-a-stick place I always wanted but never got around to trying), including Sweet Revenge.   It's always fun to happen upon some place you know of but had never seen before, and here was the place I'd thought was in my neighborhood, on the way to the gym in the West Village!


On one of my TD Rec. Center/Gym and off-diet days, I went to Sweet Revenge for a pre-workout meal:


Jamaican Curryv – West Indian Curry Spices, Chick Peas, and Ricotta Cheese Cake with Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce  5.50

This was tasty, to be sure.  The little savory cake crumpled in my fingers though, especially when I tried to dip it in the "dipping sauce" or cut it open to try spreading it on.  Oh well.  I think I would've really liked this as more of a biscuit with the sauce inside it on top of eggs, cheese, and/or sausage.. something like that.


After my work out, I went to Slice for some post-work out protein, but then I wanted dessert and wanted to try the sweet side of the revenge equation.


It happened that some chocolate tour was in session and was currently at Sweet Revenge for their Dirty Cupcake:


Dirty Cupcake - Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Truffle 3.50




There not really being enough room for everyone inside the store, I struck up a conversation with some sweet, overweight, middle-aged man on the steps who worked for a chocolate sourcing company somewhere in Middle America.  When they started passing back cupcakes, he got one for me.


As they were leaving, I really wasn't sure if mine was paid for somehow as part of their tour, but it wasn't the one I would've ordered had it been my choice, so I decided to believe that this man's company was paying for it.


I mean, it was tasty, dense, chocolatey deliciousness, don't get me wrong, but listen to some of my other choices:


Bird of Paradise – Lime Chiffon Cake with Mango Buttercream & Fresh Lime Zest 3.50
Café Mocha
 – Espresso Swirled Mexican Vanilla Cake with Mocha Buttercream 3.50
Carnivale
 – Mexican Vanilla Cake, Spiced Apple Filling, Salted Caramel Frosting 3.50
Casablanca
 – Pistachio Cardamom Cake and Rosewater Buttercream 3.50



(not to mention daily specials!)


My advice to tourists or those touring around someone who's not from NYC, skip cliché Magnolia and Crumbs, and get a cupcake at somewhere such as Sweet Revenge.  Not only will the cupcakes probably taste better and have more interesting flavor combinations, but it's a lot more fun to say that you went to "this one little bakery in The West Village - I think it was called, oh yes, 'Sweet Revenge', that's right" than to tell people you went to the same damn chain everyone else goes to.
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Update from June/July 2011:


On my trip back to NYC for Pride 2011, I had planned where I wanted to go for coffee and breakfast on the way to the parade on Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, when I got to the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, I had to pee quite badly and they have no restroom there, and so my plans had to change.  I remembered that Sweet Revenge was nearby and had a restroom, and so, in an uncharacteristic move, I went somewhere because it was something I knew.


That being said, I knew I'd like trying more of their food.  I wake up starving, so by the time I'd made it into Sweet Revenge (and peed), I was famished.  Thus, when I saw a salad on the counter there, it looked even more wonderful than it otherwise probably still would have.


After reading the brunch menu, I asked after the salad I saw there.  It turned out that it was the owner's lunch, basically the BACHO & VERDE SANDWICH 12.95
"Hot Pressed Sandwich with Bacon, Avocado & Granny Smith Apple Slices. Served with Roasted Thyme Potatoes. (Vegetarian available)", except with mesclun greens instead of on bread, with balsamic vinaigrette, cranberries and chipotle pumpkin seeds and no potatoes.

Bacho and Verde, as a salad

It was really, totally delightful.  After everything I'd eaten the day before, I wanted something healthful and refreshing yet satisfying and delicious, and this was awesome for that.

All that bacon, all that avocado, mesclun, mmmmmmm

One of the things I like about this place is that it's somewhere you can get good and fairly interesting food (and super cupcakes) but is very casual, so you don't have to worry about what you're wearing at all.  While I was there, in cargo shorts and a tank top, for instance, an older man in flip flops came in and settled down for some work on his laptop, and at one point another man who looked pretty darn homeless to me came in and ate at the counter.

And of course, my double espresso:

espresso rating: 6


We were all treated so nicely by the waitress.  She was a paragon of friendliness.

The bad news was the bill.  The double espresso was $3, which is normal for a place like this, though it still strikes me as ridiculous that restaurants with okay espresso almost invariably charge almost twice as much as coffee shops with great espresso.  The Bacho and Verde as a sandwich with rosemary and thyme potatoes would have cost $12.95, but they added a $2 substitution charge for me to get it as a salad with no potatoes.  Did they really spend more on ingredients for my substitution?  So my double espresso and salad, after tax and tip, cost me $23.50.  That's.. pretty shitty in my book.  It makes me wonder if when they say "vegetarian available" they mean they'll not put in bacon and will charge you $2 for doing so.. but now I'm just being bitchy probably.


Still, this year's Pride breakfast is a vast improvement over last year, when I was tricked into eating at San Loco for the first and only time.

I wanted to get at least one of the cupcakes so badly as they looked incredible, but after the previous day's hedonism and wanting to be able to enjoy Pride this year, I resisted.  Check out the temptation, in ascending order of oh-my-god-I-want-that-so-bad-ness:

Very Strawberry - Mexican Vanilla Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Pure Pride - Mexican Vanilla Cake with a Rainbow Frosting of Raspberry, Mango and Coconut!

How could I stay mad at them about the expensive espresso and $2 sub charge when they made us special Pride Cupcakes?!  Oh wait, that's just good capitalism.  Still.

Crimson & Cream - Raspberry Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

How good do those look?

Sweet Revenge - Peanut Butter Cake, Chocolate Ganache Center, and Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

Dear god.



Sweet Revenge on Urbanspoon


Service: Very Friendly
Restroom: Yes
Brunch: Yes
Espresso Machine: Yes
Good Value: Only for cupcakes
Solid Food: Mostly