Cake Boss Cafe
226 W 44th St (Port Authority)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (866) 987-9692
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Family Friendly
Area: West 40s
When I heard about the Cake Boss Cafe at the Port Authority, starring Buddy Valastro, my expectations were pretty low, even though his Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken maintains a high reputation. It just seems that celebrity chefs don't always live up to the hype. And there is plenty of hype to go around.
As you enter, the first thing you're hit with are oversized pictures on Buddy plastered on the windows. There are Cake Boss episodes featuring the entire family blaring on huge TV screens. There's even even a giant Buddy bobblehead that you can take a picture with.
Yes, Buddy you may have a big head. But you know what. You do know how to bake. And while the place is loaded with tourists, stressed out workers do their best to satisfy the throngs of people coming through the door. Ka-ching! And yes, you can easily drop $40 to $50 on a large cake. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! But there are plenty of other cheaper options to get you by, and the ones we tasted were quite good.
There are freshly-baked cannolis, an eternal Italian favorite, that are loaded with whipped ricotta cream and chocolate chips, while the shell maintains a nice crunch, even after an hour-long trip on the subway. Are they best in the city? Maybe not. Are they up there with the best, I would have to say YES. Another favorite of mine are the biscotti. They are a bit small for the price. But they are loaded with nuts. The almond and chocolate versions are excellent with a cup of coffee. My son went bonkers for the red velvet cupcakes which were moist and topped with a cream cheese frosting and a walnut. And what kid wouldn't love a cupcake adorned with a bright yellow sunflower or a red rose on top? Bring one home and I guarantee you will brighten their day.
While some of the reviews I read on Yelp were downright dismal (New Yorkers can be quite jaded), I wouldn't give up on the Cake Boss just yet. From what we could see, Buddy is still getting it done and raking in the dough!
Review By: Thomas Rafael