Under the Radar: Happy Hour Cupcakes, Best of Britain, ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’, Out of Sight Out of Mind

Under the Radar for the week of Tuesday, March 26, 2013.

Happy Hour Cupcakes!
Thursday, Mar. 28
5-7 p.m.
Whole Foods Market
20th and Callowhill Street
2001 Pennsylvania Ave.

Cupcakes and liquor – what could be better? Put these two things together on a Thursday evening and you get happy hour cupcakes at the Whole Foods on 20th and Callowhill streets. This unique food sampling has been going on for a few months, attracting couples, families and cupcake lovers who want free samples.

Erin Shaffer, a decorator at the bakery at Whole Foods, makes all the cupcakes by herself.

“The idea was a group decision from the production team. It’s been going on for probably three to four months,” Shaffer said. She comes up with the flavors herself, too.

“Sometimes I base [the flavors] on if I go out to eat and get a cocktail. Sometimes I look for ideas on the Internet. It’s just kind of whatever I can see around me as inspiration.”

Philly-based bakeries like Philly Cupcake, Pamcakes and Lil Miss Cupcakes are fine for everyday occasions, but if you’re looking for something special, unique and custom-made, you will find it at happy hour cupcakes.

“The flavors are unique every time,” Shaffer said. “I make them the day of. They’re custom made for this particular event. It’s almost like if you were to go to a bar and order a drink, it’s made right there in front of you.”

Imagine a Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary or Strawberry Daiquiri in cupcake form. That’s where Shaffer comes in and turns these popular drinks into yummy, edible sweets.

“Most of the time I make the actual drink and soak it into the cupcake.”

Doing so helps to enhance the flavor of the cupcake and it retain the flavor for a long time.

The most popular flavor Shaffer has ever made was the Pineapple Basil Mojito, which includes fresh pineapple, brown sugar and basil. Once Shaffer discovered this flavor was a big hit, she had to make it a second time, which was rare since all the flavors are new every week.

Not only do customers get to sample the cupcakes, but if they’re fast enough, they can grab a box and bring it home with them.

“We sell the cupcakes at the table. I make about 35 cupcakes each week and whatever we have left over we put in the case until they sell,” Shaffer said.

Customers don’t know what to expect each week, thanks to Shaffer and her creative imagination.  In the past, she has made Royal Bush, Hot Toddy, and more. As a result, Shaffer gets a variety of feedback, but the best feedback she’s ever gotten was something that’s stuck with her since she started.

“I [have had] a couple people tell me it’s the best cupcake they’ve ever eaten,” Shaffer said. “The best feedback is also people coming back every week to try to next flavor and knowing that people are looking forward to it.”

Best of Britain: Tribute to Aston Martin
March 23- April 14
Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays
Simeone Foundation
6825-31 Norwitch Drive

“Best of Britain” is a car show that displays a certain type of car every year at the Simeone Museum, and this year it’s featuring the Aston Martin for its 100th anniversary. Visitors will be able to see all types of Aston Martins as well as learn about them. The display will include a 1936 Aston Martin Le Mans – an Aston Martin specifically built for racing.

Season 3 of ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’
Tuesday, March 26, Wednesday, March 27, Thursday, March 28
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Red Room at Society Hill Playhouse
507 S. 8th St.

For $15, audience members get to sit back and relax while watching a play, eating a pie (a slice of pizza), and drinking a pint of beer. The one-act comedy KYOTO is presented by Tiny Dynamite and is “about hotel rooms, sexual desire, and climate change.” Come out and enjoy a hilarious night of entertainment and a typical college meal.

Out of sight, out of mind
Saturday, March 30
8-10 p.m.
DaVinci Art Alliance
704 Catherine St.

Italian artist Silvia Belviso displays her provocative artwork that portrays female’s bodies while leaving out their heads. There is a deeper meaning behind the art, so art majors may find the display particularly interesting. The evening will include live music and refreshments.

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