Upon entering Delightful Pastries, located on Wells St. in Old Town, you are greeted by countless flattering sweets. But in the midst of the eclairs, carrot cakes, fruit tarts, danishes, and pistachio shortbread cookies, Delightful keeps things fresh by incorporating seasonal items. Being that it is almost Fat Tuesday, Delightful is starring a famous Polish dessert: Paczki’s.
The family, who has owned this pastry shop for 16 years, keeps their Polish traditions alive by celebrating Paczki day, which falls on Fat Tuesday (March 4th) this year. This tradition was created when folks in Poland needed to consume items in their pantry like lard, sugar, and eggs before Lent.
Paczki’s are eaten at the traditional Polish Fat Thursday feast and enjoyed up until Ash Wednesday. Paczki’s are presented much like a jelly donut, and you can choose to have it filled with custard, jellies, or more gourmet options like a canoli paczki. Delightful also added a little more pizzazz to their selection and offers booze-filled paczki’s like Jameson Whiskey with chocolate custard, vodka and custard with Madagascar vanilla, and lemon curd with moonshine.
I indulged in the ‘classic’ paczki, which, though simple at first glance, is the perfect fluffy cake-like doughnut topped with chocolate glaze that is filled with a vanilla custard. Nearly devouring this fulsome pastry in one sitting left me almost blushing.
While Delightful does shine with pastries and sweets, this local shop also extends an invitation for you to dine in for brunch or lunch daily. The new brunch menu, which ranges from $6 – $10 is clever in style with sweets like apple cinnamon french toast and apple pancakes and egg creations including omelets and eggs benedict. If you’re in the mood for a morning sandwich there are two kinds of breakfast sandwiches that will tempt you. It might be worth your while to treat yourself to Delightful’s version of the British breakfast which encompasses eggs, thick bacon, crispy potatoes, tomato-based beans, vegetables and of course, blood sausage.
But the most fanciful (and my favorite cake) are the carrot cake pancakes. What you get are three stacked cakes, topped with carrot shavings, candied pineapples, and a dollop of icing. Eyes closed, you may confuse this treat with actual carrot cake.
If you are a later brunch crowd, you may be enticed to try the Polish ham and Swiss sandwich or the big fish with tuna salad that is mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and vinaigrette. Some members of the menu not to be overlooked are house specialties like spinach lamb pie, ham and gruyere quiche, and gourmet pierogi’s.
Delightful Pastries, which is located in Jefferson Park, Old Town and the Chicago French Market not only has tasty treats, and an innovative brunch menu, but it also presents you with some of the kindest and genuine staff members who truly make your experience memorable.
Stop in for a cappuccino and a pastry, order a cake for a special occasion or enjoy brunch in the cafe. Whatever experience you are in the mood for, Delightful Pastries will calm your savory and sweet cravings.
*****Paczki’s are now available — order today!
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