Thursday, July 7, 2011
Day 2: Hoboken
Yes ... I'm a fan. I admit it (check out Da Friggin Cake Boss in one of my earlier entries). Buddy and his family run Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ. The greatest cake baker/engineer/designer in the business ... well at least ... I think so.
So ... we hop the subway at Radio City and head to 34th Street where we catch the Path train to Hoboken.
Pretty slick huh?
Except we missed Hoboken.
Just a few short steps from the exit ... and there it is ... Carlo's ... wow ... hardly a line.
However ... Little did we know.
A Carlo's tee-shirted employee stopped us and said: "You got tickets?"
"Tickets?" I said.
"Yeah ... you need tickets."
"See the line down there?" He pointed across the street a block down.
"THAT line?" I said. "How long a wait is it?"
"Three ... four hours."
Wow ... Debbie and I looked at each other and decided we loved Buddy ... but it wasn't worth the heat for three hours to spend fifteen minutes inside with the other gawkers.
So, dejectedly we decided to mosey down the street to get a bite somewhere ... when suddenly I stopped.
"Wait! I have ... I have ... "
"What do you have?"
"I'm not used to this feeling but I think it's ... yes ... an IDEA!"
Debbie rolled her eyes ... and against her better judgement, she followed me.
I walked up to the same Carlo's employee that asked us for tickets.
"Excuse me, my friend (he raised an eyebrow). Can I ask you a quick question?"
"Yeah." That's New Jersey for: Of course sir, what can I do for you?
"If I wanted to order a cake, is this where I would come?"
"Yep. There's an appointment line number to call. They will tell you when to come back. I can give you that number."
"Well ... You know we are visiting from Florida and thought maybe we could speak to someone today."
"When are you leaving?"
"Sunday." I gave the pregnant pause routine and then continued."Well ...you know ... it's okay. We were thinking of ordering a BIG cake ... but maybe when we come back ..."
We squeezed our way through the packed house ... urged on by staff members ... until we were there right in front of the cashier.
"Okay," said Debbie. "Now you did it. I guess now Mr. Big Shot better order some pretty BIG cake now."
"Not so fast ... Mr. and Mrs. Big Shot need to check the prices, you know?"
I said hello to the cashier and told her we were there to order a big cake.
"Yes sir, " she said, "Someone will be right out to help you."
"Were you looking to order a cake?"
"Why yes ... we were ... right dear?" I said to Debbie who shook her head sheepishly.
"What size? What price range?"
"Um ... I'm not sure. Do you deliver to Florida?"
"Were you looking for a sheet cake or a specialty cake?"
"Could be a specialty cake. Can you do a giant bull? I was thinking that we might have a cake for our university, USF, a kind of celebration (Yeah, that's the ticket) for our Unstoppable Campaign."
Debbie was now looking physically ill.
"Those are done upstairs through Buddy and his staff. Let me see who can help you today."
Buddy? We might see Buddy? We could go ... upstairs???
"A bull cake?" Debbie was in the middle of admonishing me when the girl comes back to tell us that they will call us and discuss it over the phone ... they were busy. "Whew!"
But then .... low and behold ... Buddy's sister Lisa comes up right next to us.
"Hey Lisa ..." I said. "We are such bigfajhgbs (supposed to be big fans, but I couldn't get it out.)"
"Would you mind if we ... well ... can we have a picture?"
"Debbie ... take this ... will ya?"
Debbie said (gripping the camera) ... "Of Cawwwwwwsssse."