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Pastries in Evanston, IL


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I'm finally setting aside a day (tommarrow, 11/7/05) to check out Bennison's bakery in Evanston, IL. . As I understand I must try their crossiants? What else must I try there?

I'm seeking other reccomendations in that general area. Chicago......at least on the north side is fine, and all surrounding suburbs. I'm a pastry chef and adore good pastries, chocolates and breads. I'll be alone and not really seeking to sit down anywhere, just drop by a few spots and pick up some treats and get home before rush hour. (Home is far Northwest Burbs) Any great grocery stores or culinary shops that have a good baking section.....would also be really great to know of?

Don't assume that because I live in Chi area that I know what's available.........I'm REALLY out of the loop of whats good/cool because I stick to my geographical area 99.99% of the time.

I do this soooo rarely and I'd hate to waste a rare day off.........please help me locate some good eats and shopping for a pastry nut.

thanks

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It might be not quite north enough for you (it's just a few blocks from the Chicago stop on the Red Line), but Sarah's Pastries and Candies is worth a trip.

Then there's Red Hen Bread on Milwaukee or Diversey.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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There are other great food spots in Evanston but the one which immediately comes to mind (and relates to your mission) is Belgian Chocolatier Piron. It's a great spot for hand-made chocolates made in the Belgian tradition. Bob Piron learned his trade in Belgium and the confections he turns out are great.

Belgian Chocolatier Piron

509 Main Street

Evanston, IL 60202

847 864 5504

Another great spot is Casteel Coffee. They make their own blends and do their own roasting there. They also sell raw beans, coffee machines and other supplies for the home enthusiast. An excellent destination.

Casteel Coffee

2924 Central Street

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 424-9999

There are a lot of talked about places in Evanston for lunch. But, if it were me, I'd head a bit further south to Rogers Park and hit Hae Woon Dai. It is, IMO, among the best Korean food in the entire Chicagoland area. They (or you, as the case may be) cook over coal, not gas and the food is sensational.

Hae Woon Dai

6240 N. California

Chicago, IL 60659

773 764-8018

Or, if there's something specific you like to eat, just say the word and maybe one of us can point you in the right direction.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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After thinking about it, I have a couple other thoughts on this. There is a Foodstuffs in Evanston on Central Avenue. It's kind of a mixed bag but they do have some decent pastries and their breads are very good.

Foodstuffs

2106 Central Street

Evanston, IL 60201

847-328-7704

And, especially if you're taking the Edens in either direction, I'd highly recommend Rolf's Patisserie on Touhy Avenue. They turn out great, old-world-style product.

Rolf's Patisserie

4343 W Touhy Ave

Lincolnwood, IL 60712

847 982-9400

Right around the corner from Rolf's is Lincolnwood Produce, which is arguaby one of the best and most complete groceries in the area. Their produce is amazing and they carry tons of other great products.

Lincolnwood Produce

7175 N Lincoln Avenue

Lincolnwood, IL 60712

847 329-0600

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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:cool:

You may also want to spend a little time walking around either (or both) of the two Chinatowns -- the older, larger one at 22nd and Wentworth, or the smaller and newer one on Argyle Street on the North Side -- to sample cha' siu bao (steamed buns stuffed with Chinese barbequed pork) at Chiu Quon Bakery, for example. Superb way to put a foundation under sweeter fun to follow.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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:blink:

Silly me: forgot to mention Konditorei Lutz, out a ways west on Montrose. A fast Google will get you the precise street number. Wonderful pastry, and coffee service, and some nice if maybe not masterly sandwiches, soups, and salads around the lunch hour. But go for the finest-kind Viennese pastries, do.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Sarahs Pastries does greatly interest me (I read the thread on it a while ago). But I thought it was more down town Chi town..........where parking can be a problem if I'm just making quick stops? no...... or can you tell me where I might find on the street parking near there?

Is there any specific item at Chocolatier Piron you'd reccomend? What do you buy there?

I am very familar with Rolfs, thanks for mentioning them.

Lincolnwood Produce sounds cool! I'll have to find that and bring a cooler with me.

Foodstuffs, I've never been to, perhaps it's time..........I thought it could be hit or miss? Is there anything they make that really stands out specificly?

Redhen might be a good place to pick up lunch on the run.......any specific items that are to die for? Korean food may need to be a seperate visit all on it's own.

Isn't there a Sur La Table somewhere downtown or northshore? Do they have a big pastry department or are they just like William Sonoma?

Oh NO.........I just remembered I better get corned beef and bagels at Kaufmans........too die for..............

Any other last minute thoughts?

and thank-you for your help........this has really helped me!

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Sarahs Pastries does greatly interest me (I read the thread on it a while ago). But I thought it was more down town Chi town..........where parking can be a problem if I'm just making quick stops? no...... or can you tell me where I might find on the street parking near there?

Sarah's is on Oak near State (Gold Coast area) so yes, I imagine that street parking would be difficult but not impossible. (I never drive there.) Perhaps someone else has some first-hand information.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Sarahs Pastries does greatly interest me (I read the thread on it a while ago). But I thought it was more down town Chi town..........where parking can be a problem if I'm just making quick stops? no...... or can you tell me where I might find on the street parking near there?

Sarah's is on Oak near State (Gold Coast area) so yes, I imagine that street parking would be difficult but not impossible. (I never drive there.) Perhaps someone else has some first-hand information.

There is 15 minute parking in front of Sarah's and across from Sarah's that I have parked in a couple of times and I have parked in the alley next to her place for a quick dash in

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Foodstuffs, I've never been to, perhaps it's time..........I thought it could be hit or miss? Is there anything they make that really stands out specificly?

I was thinking of mentioning this too but was worried about the hit or miss business. Thing is, about the pastries and cookies, as a pro you'll probably have some idea what to stay away from just by looking. They often have samples of the baked goods out. Most cookies are pretty good I think. I also love a few things in their prepared food line, including fish quesadillas and some of the diet foods with Weight Watchers and/or carb data posted. They also have a nice little selection of candies. (I'm always having to send care packages of gummy worms to my sister in LA.) It is definitely a fun place to browse.

When I'm near that Central Street location I always go there and to the Spice House, which is right across the way and is even more fun for browsing. If you go in Spice House, get some of the new Ginger Nibs; they're amazing.

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Thanks, everyone for the help! I made it to Bennisons, Belgian Chocolatier Piron, Kaufmans and Food Stuffs today.....my stomach hurts from so much tasting/eating..........

So far the best buy I tasted was the crossaints at Bennisons.......... and the worst item was the black and white cookies at Bennisons too.

I definately want to do a better job next time charting out my driving and going to only downtown Chi town bakeries (next adventure). I lost alot of time today circling around getting lost in Evanston......but it's such a charming town I didn't mind.

thanks again.

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  • 1 year later...

Lived in Evanston many years ago, around the corner from a bakery that had been there a million years, but I can't remember which street, except either Dempster or Main, just off Chicago, or just west a couple or so blocks. I remember it was somewhere close to the Fishbowl store on the corner of Chicago and Dempster, but I keep confusing Dempster with Main. I lived on a street immediately west of Chicago in that area, just across from a small park.

I think it was a German bakery, and they made the best bread pudding I've ever had anywhere.

Anybody have a notion what I'm talking about? I'm hoping it's still there.

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The bakery on Main Street is no longer there. It was in the location currently occupied by Trattoria D.O.C.. It changed names several times in recent years. I believe the most recent name before it closed was Judy's Bakery.

Bennison's Bakery on Davis Street, mentioned above and founded 1938, is still there. They have bread pudding, in individual portions in foil cups.

Tag's Bakery on Central Street, founded 1937, is still there also. I don't think they have bread pudding; they are best known for their florentines.

There hasn't been a traditional bakery on Dempster Street in Evanston that I know of; however, Blind Faith Cafe, founded 1979, is still there, and has a bakery counter at the entrance to the restaurant.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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Yes, Meier's Bakery (their original, or at least long-time, name) was in the space that became Judy's Bakery and is now Trattoria D.O.C.

If you're looking for a traditional bakery, Bennison's and Tag's both do a decent job. You can also find some excellent baked products at Foodstuffs on Central Street. A couple of other north suburban places that have excellent baked products are Three Tarts Bakery in Northfield, and the Gourmet Frog (adjunct of Froggy's restaurant) in Highwood.

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HI,

I remember the bakery.  It was on Main St. just east of Vogue Drapery.  I can't remember the name.

Tim

That's it. I'd forgotten about Vogue Drapery.

No, not Bennisons. I think it was a German bakery, but I can't remember the name. Meiers? Maybe that was the name. The location's definitely the right one. Has it gone out of business altogether?

I remember Blind Faith, and although I'm sure there are plenty of good bakeries amongst those mentioned here, I can't think any of them do a bread pudding like the one I used to get at the place on Main street. I've never been able to find or replicate anything close to it.

[edited to clarify stuff....]

Edited by devlin (log)
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Incidentally, the name of the fabric store is Vogue Fabrics, not Vogue Drapery. Founded 1945.

I think it was a German bakery, but I can't remember the name. Meiers? Maybe that was the name.

Read tim's post above. :wink:

Has it gone out of business altogether?

Yes.

although I'm sure there are plenty of good bakeries amongst those mentioned here, I can't think any of them do a bread pudding like the one I used to get at the place on Main street. I've never been able to find or replicate anything close to it.

Try it at Bennison's. It's pretty darn good.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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  • 1 month later...
HI,

I remember the bakery.  It was on Main St. just east of Vogue Drapery.  I can't remember the name.

Tim

That's it. I'd forgotten about Vogue Drapery.

No, not Bennisons. I think it was a German bakery, but I can't remember the name. Meiers? Maybe that was the name. The location's definitely the right one. Has it gone out of business altogether?

I remember Blind Faith, and although I'm sure there are plenty of good bakeries amongst those mentioned here, I can't think any of them do a bread pudding like the one I used to get at the place on Main street. I've never been able to find or replicate anything close to it.

[edited to clarify stuff....]

I remember a Davidson's bakery in Evanston, but it's been forever since I've been up that way.

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