Wandering through the streets cluelessly should be recognized as a strategy game. Why not? You get to unearth hidden gems out of nowhere. But what do you do if you excavate a whole town out of exploration?
Jump in joy!!
So did I when I found Greektown in Chicago. The town completely laden with greek stores, restaurants and accessories is a dream to visit and was difficult for me to select one place out of these treasures. Luckily, I was in mood for some coffee and desserts and every passerby recommended only one place making my job effortless.
It was Artopolis. This Greek bakery and cafe is quite famous in Chicago for serving authentic Greek desserts and coffee and I was a sucker for those! Got hold of this place around half past three in the afternoon and the place was not that busy which is totally fine for me to wander around and I was astonished at the interior ambience this place consists of.
It was huge and illuminated with radiant lights all over the place. I got the best seats in the house which allowed me to take this snap. There is a bar at the left where the coffee along with the cocktails are served followed by the bakery situated at the end. The right hand side has all the desserts displayed in glass cabinets. You can thank me later for this panoramic view, as I went ahead and ordered their best authentic desserts along with coffee.
The server was up with the coffee.
It was Greek Coffee Papagalos specialty coffee with a double shot and cream. Piping hot and a strong dose of caffeine is all you need to reignite your senses and this has to be the thing to achieve it. Creamy and rich in flavor, this coffee is best tasting when milk is added to it and sure did not disappoint.
The party has started with the first dish arriving,
Known as Creme Caramel. This custard dessert has a soft layer of caramel on top with a vanilla orange zest pudding at the bottom and is also called as Flan. Personally, I love Flan and ordering it here is a no-brainer considering the greek twist it adorns. Went ahead and scooped away, the custard is so soft and creamy that it melts away at the slightest touch of your palate. The vanilla and orange zest are quite unique and complemented each other quite well. A definite order for all the custard lovers out there!
Can't wait but jump on to the next order.
They are Loukoumades. A traditional Greek favorite. The crisp and fluffy puffs soaked in honey syrup and topped with cinnamon, nuts and sesame seeds are a treat to watch. They were warm enough for me to fall in love with them. Dipped into the honey syrup and popped one right in, and to much of my astonishment, this dish is mediocre. I have had better Loukoumades and this one, though had toppings which were drool worthy, the puffs were too thick for it to soak in the sweetness, thus making it dry and bland. Would have been a better dish if executed properly. Maybe another day!
Then made its way to the table was,
The Greek Cookie Plate. An assortment of their famed cookies served on a platter for me to get all fired up. Eight cookies, each with a distinctive flavor of its own is surely a herculean task cut out for me.
The first one at the center dusted with powdered sugar is called as Kourabiedes which means butter cookies. They are so soft from the inside and crisp from the outside that I fell in love with it right away. Get a dozen of those if you happened to be here!
Those two rusk cookies are made from cherry and anise and they were so rich in flavor that I couldn't help but ask for another serving. The rusk was not too over the board but perfectly balanced and delicious.
Then there were the butter cookies with sprinkles which is an American rendition to the kourabiedes and it tastes decent. Also, the dark brown cookie on the bottom left is called Melomakarana which is a gooey honey cookie which was too soft and delectable. You have Ergolavi beside the original butter cookie which is a Greek style macaroon but is actually an almond cookie. Not too sweet but just enough to make you fall in love with. The one at the background was a walnut cookie glazed with honey which was really good as well. The one at the right foreground was a butter cookie with sesame seeds which had a quite fluffy texture inside which makes it toothsome. All in all, a decent plate worth trying!
Phew, the party hasn't ended guys!
It is the Mango Yogurt Mousse. Ever visit a Greek cafe, make it a point to order a yogurt mousse as told to me by the passersby earlier and so I did. The fruit flavored Greek yogurt comes with a glazed finish and topped with strawberry and chocolate ganache. Carved a spoonful through the creamy yogurt and relished it immediately. Such a divine feeling. The best of the lot, hands down! Such exquisite flavors that this dish carries have kept me in awe. The strawberry with the ganache and the mousse is a combination that you wouldn't want to miss for the world. Please try this and I am sure as hell promoting it!
A perfect dose of glykas in Greektown!
306 S Halsted St Chicago, IL 60661
Value For Money: 8.5/10