Through eating, we sometimes seek, crave, and desire transport, a mental whisking toward another time and location, to places of comfort, the spots which may now not be near, but where we once were when we experienced profound happiness. For you, this may be your mom’s kitchen, the state you grew up, in or the European city that changed your life. We are not always physically able to return to those places, but in a local bite, we might still experience a reasonable mental facsimile.
I didn’t know it, but I’ve waited all my life for this. And by this, I mean a real French person saying the words “Mountain Dew.” First, I want to apologize for America. No one from the land of champagne should even be aware of the neon-green soda.
Are they crazy?
There are restaurants, and then there are respites. It’s tough to say whether Baker Miller, a newish Lincoln Square shop from the former Bang Bang Pie Shop partners Dave and Megan Miller is a restaurant. They bill it as a bakery and millhouse, but there are no glass cases showcasing pies, cakes and pastries—though they do sell those things via a chalkboard menu and a utilitarian metal rack tucked behind the counter. There’s a restaurant-like brunch offering hearty bacon, sausage, oatmeal and savory tarts. There are brews worthy of the most discerning coffeehouse (from Sparrow Coffee Roastery in the West Loop) and a butter and jam bar featuring spiced maple butter and riesling jam to slather on slices of the daily baked bread offering ($3.95).
This being the year of the foodie ploy—cronuts, wonuts and so on—I grimaced when I heard about the secret spicy chicken sandwich served on a glazed doughnut at recently opened Do-Rite Donut & Chicken (233 E. Erie St. 312-344-1374) in Streeterville. Just a marketing gimmick, right?