22 April 2011

Easter greetings!

La Boulangerie Bakery's French macaronsPosted by Picasa
No, they're not Easter eggs; they're macarons from La Boulangerie Bakery in Chicago's Logan Square area--one of many fabulous sweet shops I visited while in the Windy City. From the baguettes, croissants and traditional crepes or galettes (swirled fresh in front of you) to the little handwrapped homemade caramels sold by the register (their caramel filling goes in one of the macaroons), to the lovely tiny bags of lavender buds, the Parisian-styled shop is a feast for all the senses. Tip: "Eat the caramel at the same time as you have your coffee; it all melts together," advised the manager. He was right.
If I lived near here, this is where I'd come every morning to purchase a baguette or two (like the woman in the photo below).
Posted by PicasaOr actually, if I really lived in the area, I'd sign up for their Bread Flix: and have my bread delivered to my door twice a week (by a cute guy on a cute imported bike).
La Boulangerie, 2569 North Milwaukee Avenue, at Logan Boulevard (773-358-2569).

03 April 2011

Chicago: A Windy City visit

I'm heading to one of my favorite cities this week: Chicago! It's for a writer's meeting and I am excited to check out some more new spots. I was just there a few weeks ago for a story I wrote for the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Winter in the Windy City. (I don't know if it is still available online--although you can try clicking on: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/travel/116915968.html if you're interested in reading it.)

As you can see from the top blog photo here, I was working quite diligently while there. When you work that hard, it is important to reward yourself. So I did. At Chicago's Garrett's Popcorn shop. There is nothing like the "Chicago mix" they pop up there--cheese and caramel corn mixed together. While I was there, I also ate at the acclaimed Sable Kitchen & Bar where I love just about anything chef Heather Terhune prepares. (She used to be at the Atwood Cafe in the Hotel Burnham --I'll never forget her chicken pot pie there, her bread pudding, or her French toast with warm chocolate sauce. Decadent.) Anyway, I stopped in the Sable bar one afternoon as well (for research purposes, of course)--and discovered their Cocktails 101 "menu" booklet is as fun to read as choose a drink from: chapters are titled: "Hot. Gentle. Round. Bold. Complex. Trust Me..." As it turned out, I ended up staying an extra day in the Windy City during that visit because the weather turned nasty. But this week coming up is supposed to be spring-like. I'll bring my umbrella.