the hunger games: baked & wired

I sit and write from my cozy kitchen while outside, snow layers the D.C. area. By the time I left the office, the city had already shut down (even though due to the warm temperature, not an inch had yet accumulated).  We were free to leave by two o’clock, but I managed to sneak in a quick five mile run in the fitness dungeon before catching a deserted Maryland-bound train.

Such a different night than last—when, in the warm young evening, I trotted down the C&O Canal Canal path to Georgetown’s baked & wired to meet a friend. She provided the recommendation, and after a number of cafe successes in this fine district, I was up for adding to the record.

The multi-leveled shop is bright and cheerful, with Etsy-like design touches that made me want to poke around before I ordered. There was a chalkboard where someone had written the question: “Who would you like to be snowed in with?”

I picked up a piece of chalk and added “Julia Child” to the list of worthy shut-in dates.

krista’s macchiato and chocolate buttercream

The feminine touch, though by no means overdone, is one thing that sets baked & wired apart.

Chinatown Coffee Company, my first D.C. love, exudes “Seattle hipster,” as my western-bred friend observed. There are often guys behind the counter, dressed in grays and blacks (or purple tights) and sporting heavily-framed specs.

The star roastery, Qualia (don’t judge them by their website!) is more living-room cozy. Here, average-Joes man the counter. (Notice I did not say average Janes.)

Peregrine, the brisk, efficacious Eastern Market roost, is also largely run by men. On one occasion a woman put my order through, but guys still wielded the tampers.

the goods go on forever

It could have easily been the luck of the visit, but baked & wired’s feminine touch was refreshing. Though their latte milk was not quite up to Chinatown’s par, the service and sweets selection helped even the balance. After placing our drink orders in one nook of the cafe, we crossed over to a counter spread with everything from brownies to apple tarts to homemade fig newtons.

Somehow I have to try to make myself forget that this place is only a 10-minute walk from my office.

my leafy latte and chocolate chunk cookie

each has its own sign

I must confess that I’m not a huge cupcake fan. There are, however, plenty of treats to keep even fluffy-cake abstainers like myself happy. I finally settled on something that somehow suited my mood: a plain old chocolate cookie.

My companion chose a cupcake named after someone named Karen, and I had a small piece. I must say, even as one indifferent to most cupcakes, it was a sign that something good is happening here.

The cookie was good, too, and like the conversation, the treats were warm and satisfying.

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