CHICAGO (WLS) --Bakeries in Chicago usually offer the same kinds of sweets: cookies, muffins, cakes. Maybe a macaron or two. But a pair of new bakeries in the city are offering some truly unique sweets and savories.
Fans of Bad Wolf Coffee Shop in Lakeview, may remember the unique pastries and the lack of seating. Since they closed last year, one of the shop's former employees has taken over, renamed it for a female wolf, and now offers about a half dozen pastries each day that you'll never find anywhere else.
The mood is extremely casual inside Loba, the sequel to Bad Wolf Coffee on Lincoln Avenue. The female wolf in question is Valeria Taylor, who is trying to offer something completely different.
"There's items that people recognize, like a muffin or a Danish, but I wanted to make a flavor that would be enticing and different from what other people are doing," said Taylor.
So a muffin might be a mix of chocolate and cardamom, since Taylor loves spices.
"Cardamon is one of my favorite spices, I like how fresh and minty it is, but it's almost like a chile pepper," she said.
Her pumpkin danish is unique, in that she subs in cinnamon for the usual pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg. A nod to Mexico - and any vegan customers - in the form of a pepita crunch bar, based on oats and flour, with a topping of candied pumpkin seeds and almonds bound together with honey.
Her black sesame buns are another unique offering. She makes a black sesame dough, rolls it out several times and adds some room temperature butter, then folds it in on itself three times. The final time, she spreads on her homemade sesame paste, rolls it up, then cuts it into individual pieces. Placed into a greased muffin tin, she sprinkles over some black sesame seeds for additional flavor. The resulting buns are flaky, with a deep, intense sesame flavor.
Less daunting, but no less tasty, are her "robbies" - essentially a flourless cake topped with a not-too-sweet orange blossom glaze, best served as warm as possible.
"I wanted to make something in between a cake and a doughnut, but still very moist," said Taylor.
Loba Pastry & Coffee
3422 N Lincoln Ave