DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN?

The new Ugly Cupcake Muffinry & Cafe is in a beautiful spot a block from the ocean, with a menu made up of muffins that I guarantee you’ve never seen. What started out as a side business for Ivy Wolf and her two children has now turned into a deliciously satisfying full-time job. After Wolf and her family started selling their humongous muffins at Beaches Green Market, they noticed there was a large demand for the interesting and unique flavors they’d concocted, like PB&J and Pepperoni Pizza. Four-and-a-half years later, they’ve opened their own restaurant.

While the Ugly Cupcake Muffinry may sound like a stranger, creepier version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the reality is that it’s delightful. The restaurant is in the same location as Wolf’s catering company, Cravings Catering, in a charming yellow two-story house between First and Second streets, on Fifth Avenue South in Jax Beach. In fact, it’s so close to the sand dunes, you can get a muffin or six to go and enjoy them by the ocean.

Because it’s a popular breakfast and lunch spot, you’ll want to get there early. There are plenty of seating options – if it’s a nice day (and it usually is), the front lawn or the second-floor balcony are the best spots.

If you’re hungry for a full meal, there is an abundance of choices on the breakfast and Muffinwich menu. There’s no getting tired of the same old thing at Ugly Cupcake, because the menu changes a little every day. On the shop’s website it says the fare can include “whatever else we dream up for the day.”

It’s always breakfast time as far as I’m concerned, so we tried the Bruffin ($6) and the chicken hash ($10).

The chicken hash comprised a heaping portion of potatoes and crispy chicken caramelized to a slight sweetness, blanketed with scrambled eggs and a sprinkle of fresh green onion. Instead of the sad, limp afterthought that often accompanies an order, crisp, fresh fruit was a happy addition.

The Bruffin sandwich, a spin on a classic breakfast sandwich using the house muffin as the bread, is customizable with eggs and your choice of meat: Canadian bacon, tempeh, or turkey sausage. You can make your Bruffin a combo with a drink and a side of fruit ($10).

Open every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the cafe maintains the proprietors’ promise of freshness by making everything in-house daily with “no shortcuts.” Wolf is proud to say that they serve vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options, and use only European milled flour, which has no bleach or bromides. You won’t find any glassware – all of the paper products, cups and utensils are biodegradable and compostable. Wolf says Ugly Muffinry is striving “to be a zero-waste restaurant, and … is currently down to 3 percent [waste].”

With inventive and new flavors popping up all the time, both your sweet and savory cravings will be satisfied. Don’t miss out on the spinach and feta, pizza, banana brown sugar and cannoli muffins ($4 each). With all these options, it’s easy to be overcome with indecision. Pick your pleasure then indulge yourself into a carb coma. Don’t worry, we won’t judge.

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