Alright, if you have been keeping up with me for the last 7 days you know I spent last weekend in Chicago….. Eating. I took the train from Michigan and my sister flew in from Texas.
When I first arrived I went straight to the hotel. I was greeted by a picket line of striking hotel workers. I had just found out the day before I was to leave that there was a strike. I wish we had learned this earlier. We would’ve made arrangements somewhere else. Although this was going on outside of this historic hotel; management tried to give the illusion that everything was business as usual on the inside. I’m just going to say that it wasn’t the worst service I had ever seen but, it was not the level of service that I had reserved for.
Anyway, I got to the hotel and had my bags held until check in time. I had already decided that a meal was in order and I had my sights set on Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe’… I found this place online while searching for best breakfast near my hotel. I was captured by the menu headline: Pancakes. I love pancakes. Who doesn’t love pancakes? Who doesn’t love breakfast? Pancakes are like justified dessert, you don’t have to explain or justify a stack of pancakes with syrup, fruit or whipped cream do you. So, I ordered pancakes. And, bacon, hash browns and an order of biscuits & gravy. Don’t judge me.
Usually when I go to a new restaurant, I go for what I’ve heard was a good menu item or I go and try the basics. If you can pass the basics test then I will move on to something more interesting on the next visit. I did the basic test at Wildberry. I wish I had been more zealous immediately after placing my order. I was sitting at a table in the middle of the cafe and the people around me at other tables had just started to get their orders. Every plate of food that went by me looked so delicious. There were egg and cheese dishes, breakfast hash plates, and pancakes with all everything…. I was so hungry..
Finally my food came…I got just 2 pancakes since I ordered the biscuits and gravy. The pancakes were hot & fresh, generous in size and fluffy. The taste was perfect. I topped them with the standard butter and syrup and went to work on them before remembering about the biscuits and gravy.
The biscuits I don’t believe were made from scratch but they were not from a can either. So I won’t give them a failing grade on that. But the gravy… it was yummy… It was spicy and flavored with fennel, and what I think was sage. Wildberry passed the gravy test. The rest of my meal was bacon and potatoes. You really can’t mess those two up unless they are not done and I always ask for mine well done. I was perfectly pleased with Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe. I hope to return on my next visit to Chicago.
Later in the day when my sister arrived we took an Uber to another part of Chicago to visit the Brown Sugar Bakery. I first heard of this place when it was shared on social media by my cousin or aunt who live in the Chicago area. Every picture posted by the Brown Sugar Bakery made me so excited. It was always of what looked to be a three or four layer cake frosted so beautifully. And when we got there that’s exactly what they had cakes on top of cakes. I picked a slice of caramel layer cake and a slice of “german chocolate” cake. I tried both cakes when I arrived back at the hotel. My top pick would be the caramel cake. The cake was fresh, tender and just sweet enough. The caramel icing tasted just like caramel. That makes it a winner all by itself.
Next we went to Molly’s Cupcakes in Lincoln Park….I love the ambiance at Molly’s. The decor and set up reminds you of a class room from the lockers and lunch boxes to the tables and chairs in the bakery. The books and posters were all once a part of someone’s classroom. This stop was my sister’s pick as she was looking for vegan cupcakes. When we arrived they had one flavor left in vegan. I’m pretty sure it was vanilla. She had it topped with butter cream and chocolate icing…I opted out of vegan this time. I chose to try four others though. I picked peach cobbler, red velvet, chocolate chocolate and birthday cake..My favorite of the night was the peach cobbler… plain cake, topped with a whopped icing flavored with nutmeg and topped with a real peach slice. Actually all of the cupcakes at Molly’s were delicious. I would go back there again too.
That was my Friday Food Fest in Chicago… Stay tuned for Saturday…