After being resuscitated by reality television Crumbs Bake Shop reopened the first of its cupcake emporiums this morning, bringing back the frosting-laden treats plus some new, fingers-crossed pastry mashups it hopes will reinvent the brand. At 7:30 a.m. today, Crumbs reopened at 1385 Broadway between 37th and 38th Streets to a crowd of cupcake fans and news trucks. Inside, the chain's signature oversize cupcakes awaited, in flavors like Lynn's Water Melon and one covered in lacquered chocolate candies.
Before going under in July, Crumbs had released a knockoff Cronut it called a Crumbnut; was there anyone not offering something like that at the time? Now, it's baking up something called a Baissant, which it says combines a croissant with a bagel. In flavors like plain, cinnamon sugar and everything, the creations don't quite live up to either half of their forebears. They're too heavy to mimic a croissant—though there's a hint of butteriness—and while dense like a bagel, they require almost too much chewing to cut through the dough.
Better are the Crozels (eye roll), half croissant and half pretzel. The texture much more resembles the flaky French pastry while a scattering of coarse salt both enhances the sweetness of the pastry while making sure it stays out of cloying territory. Sure, there's a little bit of that signature "chain chemical" flavor, but if you're biting into one of the Nutella varieties, you won't notice quite as much.
Today's opening is the first volley in a larger campaign to reopen 26 stores in the next month, 16 of which should be in the New York area. You can also find pre-packaged Dippin' Dots at the new stores—CNBC reality show host Marcus Lemonis owns the futuristic frozen treat; after that, expect a Crumbs ice cream line in grocery stores.