Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne at Lardo
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11am-midnight
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Kir Jensen towards the end of last week to chat with her about the grand re-opening of The Sugar Cube, her dessert baby. [The Sugar Cube moved to SE 12th and Hawthorne next to Lardo in August 2012]
The Sugar Cube, a cart specializing in desserts and all things sugary and sweet was originally located in downtown Portland up off SW 9th. Kir made a name for herself quickly with her signature cupcakes. I would drop by occasionally for a tasty chocolate chip cookie just to get my afternoon going. Kir’s original cart closed just weeks after she was profiled in Sunset magazine. It was winter 2009 and financially, some difficult decisions needed to me made. Kir decided to close.
Kir knew she wanted to have her own cart and knew she had a good thing going, just wanted to take the time to do it right. She spent the last year acquiring a new cart, perfecting her craft and acquiring the funding to get her cart off the ground and through what she learned to be the most challenging time for carts – the winter. Kir received a micro loan from Mercy Corp and Albina Bank – a new program designed to help small businesses make their dreams come true. Kir re-opened The Sugar Cube in November 2009 in Mississippi Marketplace to much fanfare. And we’re glad she’s here.
While The Sugar Cube was famous for their cupcakes and still is, Kir has broadened her menu to include a tasty caramelized apple browned butter tart and coffee caramel panna cotta. We had the pleasure of trying these new items while chatting with Kir over a beer at PROST. The panna cotta was creamy, with layers of salted caramel and grated chocolate and topped with a couple of gingersnaps to dip into the whole mess. The caramelized apple tart was a fan favorite at the table also. All items are served up on vintage plates from Kir’s family. Her belief- why let them sit in a cupboard? Why not use them. I loved seeing these tasty desserts on those vintage plates. It warmed the entire experience.
Kir, along with the other carts at Mississippi Marketplace are still working out their hours. They offer up something most every day from morning to night. We should all visit, say hi and help support them all through winter. Oh, and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Some of The Sugar Cubes offerings:
- Coffee caramel panna cotta- velvety smooth coffee panna cotta, topped with a layer of salted caramel, whipped cream, grated chocolate and served with a freshly baked gingersnap cookie.
- Amy Winehouse cupcake- Boozy yellow cake soaked with brandy and orange, dipped in some sexy bittersweet chocolate ganache. Served straight up with a coke straw and a sugar bump. Imported sugar from unknown Colombian region…
- Black N’ Tan cupcake- chocolate buttermilk cupcake, ethereal coffee cream frosting, caramel and toasted coconut.
- Caramelized apple browned butter tart served warm with fresh whoop, apple cider caramel and a dusting of fennel pollen.