Magnolia & Crumbs Have Sporadic Free Samples; Cupcakes Seem to Be Recession Proof
Banana Pudding From Magnolia Bakery. Photograph from Serious Eats:New York
Earlier today I noted how Cosi was unusually empty at lunchtime… Lunch’er “Adam” checks in to say Magnolia Bakery & Crumbs are having no such problems (and Crumbs did have some free mini cupcakes, as promised):
During lunch, I visited the two new cupcake shops in Midtown. Here is my report… I first hit up Crumbs on Madison between 52+53rd Streets. Although I wouldn’t classify their sampling as “aggressive,” as the manager had promised, there were free mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles on top sitting on a plate next to the registers. Only about 8 cupcakes remained when we arrived. My friend and I each grabbed two in rapid succession, as it was clear the cupcakes wouldn’t last for long. We were correct — in a matter of 3 minutes, all of the cupcakes were gone. We decided to wait it out to see if there would be a new plate put out, but no luck. One woman even walked in and asked for free samples, but was told they were all gone. We made it just in the nick of time! But that victory was short lived…
My next stop (alone this time) was Magnolia on 49th Street and Sixth Avenue. To my chagrin, I was told by the greeter that I had just missed a batch of free brownie samples. He said that samples do come out, but very irregularly, and that it was not worth waiting around for. I milled about, pretending to look at the baked goods, but no dice. I couldn’t score a free sample. I wound up splurging for a small banana pudding — absolutely amazing! The cashier further doused my hopes of a free sample — she said that there are NEVER free samples of cupcakes, and only free samples of brownies if they are cut improperly.
You would never know there was an impending recession — both Crumbs and Magnolia were jam packed.