Tuesday, December 10, 2013
You still have one day left to head to the Old Port, grab your "Sweet Weekend" passport and earn sweet rewards.
Sweet shops were buzzing today as customers with sweet tooths popped in and out of Old Port businesses to get their passport stamped so they could get a rewards card. Here's how the program works:
Pop into one of seven businesses - Gelato Fiasco, MDI Ice Cream, Old Port Candy Co., East End Cupcakes, Bam Bam Bakery, Two Fat Cats bakery, or Dean's Sweets - and ask for a passport. Then visit five of the seven businesses to collect a stamp.
I went with two adult friends and two children who thought they had been transported to Superman's Bizarro world, a strange planet where parents let their kids visit five dessert spots in one day. Fudge! Cupcakes! Ice cream! You don't have to spend any money to get your passport stamped, although it will require a Superman-like effort to pass by that many treats without pulling out your cash. (Salt caramel chocolate cupcakes? Kryptonite!)
But you do have to perform a silly little task before you can get your stamp. At least those are the rules. But only a couple of places made us actually do it.
We did find ourselves purchasing a few treats, which is kind of the point, I guess. Here's my little pal Peter with his nose in some cookies 'n cream ice cream at MDI on Exchange Street:
Our second stop was Old Port Candy Co., where the nice lady behind the counter gave the kids a sample of fudge. At East End Cupcakes, we got a stamp and some cupcakes to go after I recited the only joke I know, ("What do you call cheese that isn't yours? Nacho cheese!") Here's the peanut butter and jelly cupcake and the salted caramel chocolate cupcake:
Then we hit Gelato Fiasco, where we had to come up with rhymes that use one of the flavors. Ours were pretty lame ("The whole bunch ordered Hazelnut crunch" and "Pomegranate Lime is Sublime") but they gave us the stamps anyway.
Our final stop was Two Fat Cats because I had to buy a blueberry pie for a gathering I'm going to on Sunday:
Once we had our final stamp, we traded in our passport for a rewards card that entitles us to a total of 10 upgrades at the various shops. You have to go here to see what the ugrades are. You must get your five passport stamps this weekend, but the rewards cards are good all summer.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod