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Jun 14, 2011 01:12 PM

Vallejo: Ganache Cupcakery and Catering – Chicken and waffle cupcakes, but service has no panache at Ganache (F-)

If only the service was half as sweet as the frosting … if only the frosting was half as sweet.

These are upscale $3 cupcakes with some eclectic flavors such as the chicken and waffles, the frosting topped with a piece of fried chicken … at least I think that was what it was as the clerk leaped in front of the case to protect the cupcakes from me. After that, I needed to keep a close eye on her rather than the baked goods.

I had hoped the cupcake would be so great, I could overlook the service. Not the cupcake I bought, but some of the others might be better.

For anyone interested, it is service roulette. The clerk was over-the-top nice to some customers and curt to others. If you go, you might luck out with the former … but be prepared for the later.

Some of the other cupcake flavors included avocado, bacon, strawberry lemonade, birthday cake, red velvet, just chocolate.

Cookies included chocolate chip, triple chocolate, snicker doodle, Oreo milk shake, ginger, kitchen sink. The kitchen sink looked interesting, a cd-sized cookie loaded on top with chocolate pieces, nuts and such.

Here's what I had rated from A+ to F -

C + … Apple caramel cupcake

Service: F - … What service will be like in hell

Ambiance: C + … Slightly above average

Price: $$$

Flickr photostream

Details in first reply

Ganache Cupcakery
448 Georgia St, Vallejo, CA 94590

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    APPLE CARAMEL CUPCAKE: C + … Slightly above average

    Looks 10, taste 4.

    Even if the frosting had not been so overwhelmingly sweet, it just isn’t the style of cupcake I prefer.

    The frosting is light whipped butter cream, the cupcake also light like cake mix cakes. I like denser butter cream with more butter flavor.

    There was absolutely no caramel flavor. I’m just back from Guatemala where sweets there often mean pure sugar formed into pretty shapes. This would be too sweet for a Guatemalan. There was a tasty piece of Granny Smith apple and two nuts on top.

    The cupcake itself had nice apple and interesting spice flavor which makes me suspect some of the other flavors might be better choices.

    Also they use quality ingredients. One of my favorite Bay Area chocoletiers is used. I don’t want to mention the name because this is a negative report and I don’t want that place dinged by association with Ganache.

    SERVICE: F - … What service will be like in hell

    Congratulations Ganache. This is the first F- I’ve awarded to anything.

    Not only was this the worst service I’ve had since 2002 when I began reporting on Chowhound … and I’ve written about over 1, 000 restaurants in that time … it is the worst service I’ve had in my life.

    I won’t get into the issue, as I don’t want to divert the discussion to that.

    I will say I was in a super good mood that day. It was my first day out after returning from Guatemala. To say I was ecstatically happy was an understatement. Otherwise, the clerk’s persistent effort to egg me into a fight might have been successful.

    After the leap, I said all she had to do was say “xxx” rather than doing that. She went on about how reasonable she was and was not raising her voice … as the tone of her voice rose.

    At that point, I asked for her boss’s phone number. It took three tries. I had to return to ask and inform her that if she refused to give it to me, I would stop back later in the afternoon when she mentioned the owner would be back.

    She did what she did throughout the exchange, denied what she had just done.

    She said, I left suddenly before she could give it to me. Well, after shoving the cupcake at me, she pointed toward the door, told me to leave, followed me to the door and slammed it. I got to the car and thought … “wait a minute … I still don’t have that phone number”.

    I didn’t call the owner though. I only would have done that if the cupcake was so great that I would want to go back. I don’t.

    It took four requests to get my cupcake. She snapped at me four times “Do you want anything?”. I repeated, “apple caramel cupcake” four times.

    When she waited on every other customer, some who came in after me, she walked to the sink and slowly washed her hands which took a few minutes. She didn’t do that with any other customer.

    Why not leave? Well, at that point I was curious what the cupcakes were like because after that they should have been fabulous … sadly, not fabulous enough.

    Seriously, a smile and a friendly request would have made everyone happy. Consider it Ganache.

    AMBIANCE: C + … Slightly above average

    It is nice enough. Large windows looking out on the street let lots of light inside. The high tables and wooden chairs with straw seats didn’t look comfortable or inviting, so even as I entered, before all the nonsense, I thought I didn’t want to eat there but would take the cupcake with me.

    Also, the shop isn’t environmentally friendly, using plastic containers for the cupcakes. If there had not been so much of a distraction, I would have said I’d just take the cupcake and didn’t need a container for a few minutes it would take to return to my car.

    PRICE: $$$

    In an economically devastated town like Vallejo, a shop selling $3 cupcakes should review the service issues.


    I won’t be returning. However, had the service not been so abysmal, I might have given them a second chance trying other flavors and a cookie.

    I have no idea what the catering business might involve … whether it is just sweets or more. There wasn’t anything in the shop about what they offer as caterers.

    The reports on Yelp are extremely mixed. However, it is consistent that the service for large orders has been bad. Ganache has been selling at the farmers market since 2010.

    Despite a negative report, I think I have been more than fair to a little business. I wrote about some of the interesting flavors so maybe others might brave the service issues and give them a try. I’m not out to bash small businesses. I hope someone else does try them and gives a favorable report. It won’t be me though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      This is too bad re: the service. I noticed the place also recently driving through town and thinking this could be a nice addition. I'm not a cupcake person, but it was kinda' good to know that I didn't have to go all the way to, say, Napa to pick something above grocery-store-level cupcakes should the occasion call for it.

      With the service issues you experienced though, I'm not inclined to stop and shop

      1. re: josquared

        You know, they are the quality of some of the Napa joints ... not as good as some ... better than others. So should you need that sort of cupcake and don't want to travel, as long as you know the service might be ... wonky, I just don't like that sort of buttercream, so the service killed any desire to see if anything was better ... or to give the cookies a try.The only thing I wouldn't suggest is make any large order due to the reports on yelp.