Many know ( or, at least, know of ) the Logan Square restaurant Fat Rice, with its globally inspired menu.
Well, since July 2016, The Bakery at Fat Rice ( 2951 W. Diversey Pkwy.; www.eatfatrice.com/menus/the-bakery ) has been right next door, serving pastries and other items that many would consider unusual.
They would also consider them delicious.
Chef Elaine Townsend arrived at the bakery just months ago, like a pastry-making angeland has come up with some intriguing confections.
Years ago, some of the items would've given me pauseand I would've missed out on some wonderful sweet and/or savory treats. For example, the ube milk bar combines purple yam, shortbread, coconut streusel and condensed milk jam. And the absolutely smashing Ceylon snickerdoodle is a twist on the popular cookie that incorporates gooey yolk-custard filling. Also, the miso fudge brownie is an mix of dark-chocolate miso ganache and sweet, salty candied almonds.
On the more savory side, there are items like the char siu "pineapple" bun with Chinese BBQ pork and scallion and the Chicago-style hot-dog bun, which practically takes you on a gustatory trip to Wrigley Field.
And, of course, no bakery is complete without coffee and teaand this bakery has both in spades, along with other options. I had magnolia oolong tea, which was simply splendid. However, patrons can select items such as Hong Kong-style milk tea, iced coffee and even the Mango Dreamsicle ( mango juice with a splash of evaporated milk ).
The Bakery at Fat Rice is open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays ( closed Mondays and Tuesdays ). Expand your horizons and give it a try.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
A place that deals with something much more familiar to dinersbut is no less wonderfulis Honey Butter Fried Chicken ( 3361 N. Elston Ave.; HoneyButter.com ).
Yes, the name comes from the fact that patrons can put butter on the chicken ( courtesy of antibiotic-free chickens from Indiana ). ( It's a very tasty option, but be forewarned that there are no cardiologists in sight. )
However, there's far more at this spot than two-, four- and eight-piece meals. Sandwiches include varieties such as the very delicious Camchi ( fried-chicken strips with kimchi and spicy honey mayo ) and Honey Buffalo ( which comes with blue cheese, and carrot and celery giardiniera ). ( Note: For vegetarians, fried tofu strips can be substituted in any sandwich. )
And HBFC, as the place calls itself, also has mouth-watering specials. For instance, Thursdays as when the restaurant has fried-chicken nachos, while Tuesdays allows customers to purchase two fried-chicken tacos, a can of Tecate and a shot of Corazon tequila for $12.
I initially visited this place during weekend brunch, and was instantly smitten. Items like fried chicken and French toast as well as the popular biscuits and gravy will leave you simultaneously sated and wanting ( to come back for more ).