Breakfast and Brunch, Coffee, Streeterville, The Loop

Do-Rite Donuts

Do-Rite Donuts
Breakfast, Coffee
Neighborhood: Streeterville, The Loop
Address: 50 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601
233 E. Erie St. Chicago, IL 60611
Phone Number: Randolph St. – (312) 488-2483
Erie St. – (312) 344-1374
Website

Price Range: $1.95-2.50/donut
Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5

What We Tried: Vanilla Bean Glazed, Pistachio-Meyer Lemon, Chocolate Old Fashioned, Buttermilk Old Fashioned

Our Take: If 16 years of Catholic schooling has taught me anything, it is this: Embrace Fat Tuesday with all of your being.

Despite my native Detroit’s affinity for Paczki on this particular day, I prefer my donuts sans filling. To be honest, because my previous donut experience was pretty much post-Church donuts in the social hall, I didn’t think I liked donuts that much at all. That was, of course, until I moved to Chicago. Chicago, I am convinced, is the donut capital of the world. And if Chicago is the donut capital of the world, Do-Rite is its ruler.

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why donut you just give me all of them

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spent fat tuesday with this donut.

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donut ask…

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this one’s a little do-nutty

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donut you just love old-fashioners?

I tried three different donuts from Do-Rite (we’re embracing, remember?), and I can honestly say with complete conviction that these three donuts were the best donuts I’ve ever tasted in my entire life (I’ve had more than my fair share since moving to Chicago). While Do-Rite may not serve up the variety of Stan’s, they do the classics, and they do them flawlessly.

To make sure my opinion was well-rounded, I tried a yeast donut, a cake donut, and an old-fashioned (If you don’t know what that means, click here). The Vanilla Bean Glazed (yeast) was pillowy soft and light as air, so much so that it required gentle holding to avoid getting squished. The glaze was perfect: light and sweet, but not too sweet, with the vanilla bean adding the perfect amount of flavor.

The Pistachio-Meyer Lemon and the Buttermilk Old Fashioned were both cake donuts, and OH MY LAWD were they ever perfect. Never in my life have I bitten into something with such a perfectly crisp exterior and then sunk my teeth into a dense, cakey, and moist bed of flavor immediately afterword. If the yeast donut was a goose down feather pillow, the cake donuts were Tempurpedics – all about personal preferences, but I would fall asleep on, err eat, either of those options any day. The best part about the actual flavor of the Pistachio-Meyer Lemon was actually its subtlety. The lemon was like the pretty girl at the party who stands by the wall – everyone knows she’s there and she’s gorgeous, so she doesn’t need to show it off too much. The addition of pistachio was more about the crunch on top than neon green hues or the almond flavoring that usually accompany pistachio-flavored things.

It is definitely a good thing that we didn’t discover Do-Rite until the day before Lent; that being said, you know where to find me on Easter Sunday.

-Meredith

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Dinner, Lunch, Market, The Loop

Christkindlmarket

Christkindlmarket
Market, Lunch, Dinner

Neighborhood: The Loop
Address: Daley Plaza between Dearborn, Washington, and Clark
Website

Price Range: Pure, Unadulterated Joy is FREE!!!
Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5

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bliss.

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lighting up you your life this christmas season

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the clocks you didn’t know you needed

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o christmas tree, o christmas tree

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coming soon to your christmas tree

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i call this one, “christkindlmarket perfection”

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bringing us back to our travels in peru!

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so precious

What We Tried: Bratwurst, Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Gluwhein

Our Take: Christmas Spirit is the Christkindlmarket. The Christkindlmarket is Christmas Spirit. Seriously, if I hadn’t known better, I would’ve thought that Buddy the Elf commissioned this thing. Recommended to me by a native Chicagoan friend, the Christkindlmarket has been a tradition for his family and many others since its inception in 1996. Each year, the Christmas Market is put on by the German American Chamber of Commerce and pays homage to the traditional Christkindlesmarkt held in Nuremberg, Germany. Vendors from all over the world come to bring you hand-crafted goods, traditional German food, and lots of holiday cheer.

I met my friend Molly at the market after work, and we couldn’t stop smiling. Our first stop was the gluwhein stall because gluwhein is German mulled wine so, obviously. The wine itself was delightful and surprisingly smooth, but the real winner was the decorative ceramic mug that the wine came in because GUESS WHAT?! You get to take it home!! Hot chocolate is also available for the kiddos and wine-averse in the same adorable mug.

While we were stationed by the food stalls, Molly grabbed a brat. This is when I found that Germany and Chicago have yet another thing in common, both prefer their encased meats SANS ketchup. That’s right, German mustard all the way here folks! (Traditionally, Germans also go heavy on the sauerkraut, but we’ll give you some wiggle room on that one). Other traditional food options include strudel (sweet and savory (either is dinner-acceptable)), crepes, döner, pretzels, schnitzel, potato pancakes, and much more.

While many of the craft goods, some from nations as far-reaching as Nepal, Switzerland, and Peru, are quite pricey, you really can’t put a price on authenticity. Okay, maybe you can, but in that case, just look around and admire the handiwork. The market hosts some truly incredible artists!

Finally, be sure to stop by the sweet shop and listen to the carolers sing (in German)! Don’t wait in the dastardly line to snag your candied nuts, though; there is an even bigger and much less crowded nut stall near the corner of Washington and Dearborn.

If at all possible, I’d highly suggest spicing things up and bringing out the Christmas joy on a weekday. My mom and I tried to stop in on a Saturday and were so packed in I felt like one of the encased meats mentioned above.

The Christkindlmarket only lasts for 4 weeks each year, so make sure to get there before Christmas! You will probably walk away with a hand-carved cuckoo clock, glass blown ornaments for everyone you know (and their mother), and twenty pounds of cinnamon roasted almonds, but you won’t care a smidge because you will be in an incredibly holly, jolly mood.

Frohe Weihnachten to all, and to all a good night!

-Meredith

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Breakfast and Brunch, Lakeview, River North, Streeterville, The Loop

Yolk.

Yolk.
Breakfast, Lunch

Neighborhood: the Loop, River North, Streeterville, West Loop, Lakeview
Address: Multiple
Phone Number: Multiple
Website

Price Range: $6-14
Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5

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Margarita Frittata

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Tuscan Frittata

What We Tried: Tuscan Frittata, Margherita Frittata, Build-a-Skillet (Among many other things, during many other visits)

Our Take: Yolk is Switzerland. Neutral, but in the best way possible. You can’t not like Yolk, because it has something for everyone. It has trendy food items for your hipster friends (Cajun Portobello Scramble) without being too off the wall for your Plain Janes (Two Eggs and Meat). It has crazy big portions for your guy friends who forget they no longer play football (2X2X2X2 Combo) while still catering to your “I’ll just have half a grapefruit, thanks” friends (half a grapefruit). Something for your Sweet Brunch Enthusiasts (Banana Blueberry Crunch Cakes), as well as your Savory Brunch Enthusiasts (Countryside Skillet). Something for your Health Nuts (South Beach Greek yogurt bowl) and your Couch-Potato-but-Still-Unfairly-Skinny friends (Red Velvet French Toast with a Cinnamon Roll on the side) ((It’s going to catch up to them some day)).

Get the picture? Yolk likes everybody, and everybody likes Yolk.

My Tuscan Frittata was everything I love about food. Sun-dried tomatoes, red potatoes, chicken, fresh basil, goat cheese… so good. Seriously even better than Sunny Side Up‘s amazing frittata. Plus each egg dish comes with a side of toast, pancakes, or english muffin, with only a slight up charge for specialty pancakes (worth it).

The only way this place could improve is with homemade jam and an amped-up muffin game (not worth the splurge for true muffin lovers).

The decor is somewhere between Ann Sather and Hot Chocolate. Not especially hip or eclectic, but bright, sunny, and pleasant. Again, Switzerland. Overall, Yolk is a great place to start your day.

-Meredith

p.s. Bonus points for anyone who finds the two very subtle Parent Trap references hidden in this post.

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Dinner, Lunch, The Loop, Vegan, Wicker Park

Native Foods Cafe

Native Foods Cafe
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Neighborhood: Wicker Park, the Loop
Address: Multiple
Phone Number: Multiple
Website

Price Range: $5-15
Our Rating: 5 out of 5

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Kale is Kool at Native Foods Cafe.

What We Tried: Jamaican Kale Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, Kale Macro Bowl, Roasted Vegetables Side, Oatmeal Cream Cookie Pie, Blueberry Hibiscus Iced Tea

Our Take: They say kale is the new black. My great aunt Mary was eating it before it was cool—and she was still playing tennis at age 92!—but I must admit that I’ve also jumped on the cruciferous bandwagon.

Enter Native Foods Cafe, an entirely plant-based restaurant. Though Native Foods is a chain with locations across the country, each restaurant features a regional menu. They use organic, sustainable ingredients, made fresh every day, and all the restaurants are energy-efficient. Namaste!

Last Sunday, I stopped at the Wicker Park location for a quick lunch. As I’ve stated in earlier posts, I’m not vegetarian, but after living in Nepal for a summer and trying to cook on a budget, I don’t have to eat meat every day. And if the opportunity to try some fancy vegan creation presents itself…it’s like that time my friends suggested we continue our night at a dueling pianos bar…”I live for that ish!”

You order at the counter, where I guarantee your server will be reallyreally nice. Either they’re all from Canada, or the whole “you are what you eat” thing actually works. **INSIDER TIP**~~ if you give them your phone number, you get a free drink on your first visit. And then if you fill out the survey on the follow-up email they’ll send you, you get a free dessert! I told you they were nice!!

My meal was equally delicious and beautiful, and you get a lot of food for a good price. And it doesn’t require any strategizing like a trip to the Whole Foods salad bar. The menu is large enough that I could go back again and again without eating the same thing twice, and diverse enough to satisfy whatever craving I have at the moment.

Native Foods, consider me a regular! In the meantime, I’ll be in the kitchen massaging my vegetables.

-Carolyn

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