The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Del Ray: The Muffin Saga

Sophia Jones and Meera Trujillo

Staff Writers

As muffin consumers, we pride ourselves on understanding the ins and outs of muffinery. Each place we visited was rated on a scale from 1 to 10 in three different categories, the highest ranking being a 30 and the lowest a 0. Texture, taste, and density were the three categories under evaluation. Though we went for muffins, the atmosphere and pricing were also part of our concern about the perfect Del Ray muffin. 

JUNCTION BAKERY & BISTRO (1508 Mt Vernon Ave.)

The most noticeable thing about the Junction venue was the inclusion of indoor and outdoor seating.The aesthetic is a sort of “Train-Station Cafe chic.” The smell of coffee and baked goods gave us lots of hope. Subtle jazz music from the overhead speakers added to the welcoming vibes of the Bakery and Bistro. The muffin types available were few but looked promising. The two muffins we tried, a seasonal Pumpkin Walnut and a Blueberry muffin, were priced at $5.00 each. For $5.00 one might hope the muffins would be amazing but you would be disappointed. Out of the two the Pumpkin Walnut one was the most satisfying, earning Junction a 20.5 out of the 30 points attainable. Texture was a 7/10: gooey, but it worked, as is the case with many treats of a pumpkin flavor. Taste: 8.5/10 – Bright, not too sweet, walnuts added crunch and texture. Density: 5/10 – As all pumpkin-flavored items, it was heavy and gluey. The blueberry muffin was average at best.

SMALLCAKES CUPCAKERY & CREAMERY (1506 Mt Vernon Ave.)

After our solid start to our journey, we were hoping that Smallcakes would house a muffin to break our scales. We were surprised by the complete lack of muffins as when looking online, the shop appeared with others under “Muffins near me.” We decided to cut our losses and try a cupcake anyway. After having average muffins the taste of an extremely flavorful chocolate cupcake was satisfying, if not overwhelming. The cupcake was about $4.50, not that expensive for a cupcake. The small yet cramped shop held the atmosphere of a wedding venue, white accessories and accents decorating the surrounding area. Given a 6/10 on texture and a 5/10 on both density and flavor, Smallcakes earned a 16/30 overall. 

BUZZ BAKESHOP (901 Slaters Ln.)

It was an enduring journey just to get to Buzz Bakery, but we were nonetheless excited to be there. Upon walking in, the aesthetic screamed “Grandma’s Living Room” with a floral wallpaper and chairs and tables where customers typed away on their laptops. Though there weren’t any options for muffins at Buzz Bakery, there was one Bran muffin remaining. And so we decided it was meant to be. We made ourselves comfortable at the outdoor seating and unwrapped our Bran Raisin muffin.

We were severely disappointed. It crumbled at touch, yet was moist. The first bite was salty and malodorous to say the least. The raisins were squished and astoundingly sour. $4 for this? We agreed not to put ourselves through any more agony and threw the muffin away. Even then, the afterburn of the bran muffin festered in our mouths. Perhaps we ordered the wrong muffin. It’s not to say that every treat served here was as traumatizing as the bran muffin, but we gave it a 1/10 on all categories. The only thing worse than a sparsely spiced chocolate chip muffin is a muffin with an inconsistent texture.

ST. ELMO’S (2300 Mt Vernon Ave.)

After the bran muffin affair, we reluctantly decided to eat just one more muffin before we called it a day. St. Elmo’s had a cozy and casual atmosphere with a light arrangement of jazz in the background. We picked the lemon muffin and sat down near the counter. We were pleasantly surprised. Taste: 10/10 — The muffin was sharp and tangy. It wasn’t too sweet and just a bit tart. Overall refreshing and pleasant. Texture: 10/10 — It was soft but didn’t crumble. It was just what we needed after Buzz Bakery. Perhaps it was the low expectation set by the bran muffin, but our experience at St. Elmo’s was perfect. Density: 10/10 was light with a sponge cake-like texture. It was oddly soothing. St. Elmos was overall a 10/10. Not to mention the price was significantly better than the rest and was only about $3. We’ll definitely be coming back here in the future, but for the next few weeks, I’m not sure I want to hear the word ‘muffin’ again. 

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Del Ray: The Muffin Saga