crispy Mexican delights

Another great day on the wings photoshoot, and more raves about the recipes. But once again, it’s back to Chicago for my blog. Forget the tourists on Michigan Avenue. When I’m in the Windy City, you can find me in Bucktown and Wicker Park. It’s so great, I literally want to live there. For the most part, it’s cool shops, hip people, and trendy restaurants, except for Artemio Bakery. Artemio looks like it was built in the 1950’s or 60’s, and probably since I’m from the East Coast, I don’t think there is anything like it anywhere. Yes, I’m sure there are old-school Mexican bakeries in California and maybe the Southwest, but I’m talking about Chicago. That entire tray of pastries in the photo cost me about $2.70. In a NYC bakery, just one of those pastries would easily cost that much. But as great as the prices are at Artemio, the pastries are even better. Everything is a delight, but my rule is to stick with the simple stuff. The plainer it looks, the better. These pastries are all light, crumbly, and flakey. Some of them just melt in your mouth. They’re sweet, but not overly so. (The only really decadent thing in the bakery is the tres leches cake, but they don’t have it all the time. In fact, on this trip they didn’t have it at all, and I can get tres leches in a lot of places like my personal fave, Border Grill in Santa Monica.) As for these airy delights, I dream about them all year long, waiting until I have to go back to Chicago again. Every March, I fly into town, take the blue line to Damen Ave, buy myself a bag, and sample a bite of every single one as I walk down the street. I’m usually covered in crumbs in a few minutes. Perfect.

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