I walked into the lunch rush on the inaugural day of the Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery: Toddlers were crawling on the floor, a boomer parent was lobbying to get a summer waitstaff position for a college-age offspring and noontime diners were filling up almost every table. The city's first dedicated cupcakery seemed to be an immediate hit. Of course, I left with a cupcake.
The Cafe is in the former Bunky's spot at 2827 Atwood Ave. (while Bunky's has reopened in the former Goodman Community Center). The remodel has rendered the space light and airy, with a slight mid-century modern flair.
While Madison is a little behind on the trending cupcake curve, really, when is a cupcake not a good idea? Well, possibly if you do not have $2.50 to spend on one. The cafe has a few flavors featured each day -- I couldn't resist the springy lemon cupcake with a fluffy blueberry whipped-cream frosting (it looked lavender) which was diminutive (most cafe's breakfast muffins could squash this little miss) and a little top-heavy, but worth it for the supremely lemon-y cake. The frosting had an unfortunate encounter with my take-out bag, so perhaps the fluffiest cupcakes should best be eaten immediately.
The menu is way more than just cupcakes. Breakfast goes on for a page, with stratas (a kind of bread pudding, $8), omelets ($8), egg sandwiches ($7) and house-made granola ($5). The stratas are the keynote, and come savory (crimini and gruyere, chorizo and pepper jack, veggie) or sweet ("French Toast").
Lunch is extensive: seven sandwiches, four salads, meatloaves and burgers round out the menu. Burgers are 1/2-pounders (which seems oddly too large for a near-east cafe and more suited to a sports pub), although you can get a portobello burger ($9/$8). Meatloaf comes in ground beef, turkey, chorizo and in a veggie "mushroom loaf" version ($9, with potato and vegetable). Lunch is served until 2 p.m., while cupcake and coffee service continues 'til 5 p.m.
More reports and photos from opening day from Angela Richardson on Flickr.