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Ugly Muffin Café

This location is closed

By Michelle Gienow | Posted 3/24/2004

There's a certain type of eatery you like to see succeed because the people who run it are just so sincere and genuinely nice. The Ugly Muffin Café is that kind of place. They really, really mean it when they ask, a little anxiously, "Does everything taste good?" And you can tell them "yes," if you order the right things. The namesake foodstuff, ugly muffins ($1.74), are an oddball example: lumpy, homely chocolate, caramel, apple muffins. It's a sort of strange but compelling combination of flavors in a dense, semisweet baked treat. Another winner is the huge medium-thick milk shake ($3.25), made the righteous way with an old-fashioned blender.

The best reason to eat at the Ugly Muffin, however, is the house specialty sandwich: "inside out pockets." It's an enormous demiglobe of flaky dough stuffed with various meat, cheese, and/or vegetable fillings and then deep fried, served with tubs of homemade sauces--garlic butter and an excellent marinara--for dipping. We tried the blackened chicken pocket, a bargain at $3.95--lots of Cajun-spiced grilled chicken breast in a glorious gloppy glue of melted cheddar, mozzarella, and Romano cheeses. We will be back for the Philly cheese steak inside-out pocket ($4.25) sometime very soon.

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