Cupcakes and pizza in Chicago (Chicago Part 2)

When my bf and I landed in Chicago on a recent trip the first place we went was Gino’s East. We were drenched from the pouring rain and starving. Chicago-style pizza was going to hit the spot.

The moment we walked in Gino’s East I had a feeling we were in a huge tourist trap. I looked at the menu, conveniently printed on the paper place mat (classy!) and my worries were confirmed. Inflated prices and graffiti’d walls sealed the deal. I expected to have awful food.

We put in our order for a small cheese and spinach Chicago-style pizza. The server, who helped us avoid over ordering, told use our pizza would be out in 45 minutes. 45 minutes?! It was the middle of the day on a Thursday. No one was in the immense restaurant. Uggg I hate tourist traps. We focused on the flat screen televisions above the bar which, surprisingly was filled with regulars. The bartender called almost all his customers by name.

Another surprise? The pizza was really good. The crust is like cornbread and the toppings were immersed in cheese. I thought it tasted delicious. Maybe I don’t know Chicago-style pizza but I was satisfied. Next time I go to Chicago though I’ll probably try a different pizza place to get some variety and avoid the cheesy atmosphere at Gino’s East.

To kill time on the afternoon of the wedding we went in search of Molly’s Cupcakes. My bf listens to Ron and Fez on XM and they talk about this place all the time. Molly’s reminds me of Bakery Gingham in German Village however there are some distinct differences. Both bakeries have original and creative flavors but Molly’s Cupcakes are heavier. They both have an entrepreneurial feel however Molly’s Cupcakes was founded by Johnny and Molly is his third grade teacher who used to bake special cupcakes for her student’s birthday.

We purchased three cupcakes: cookee monster (vanilla choc. chip cake, raw cookie dough center, buttercream icing with a little mini choc. chip cookie on top; heavy but delicious), Boston cream (vanilla cake, pastry cream filling, chocolate ganache; I didn’t get a bite as it disappeared too fast for me to get a taste), and The Ron Bennington (named after Ron of Ron and Fez; choc. cake, pb-butterscotch filling, chocolate ganache, crushed butterscotch topping; I don’t like butterscotch so I didn’t taste it but I heard a lot of happy moans when it was being consumed). Def. put this place on your agenda next time you head to Chicago.

I love food but that’s not the only thing I enjoy while traveling. I really enjoy taking a walk and getting a feel for life in another city. Usually when my bf and I go to another city we spend the whole trip picturing ourselves living there.

Some of the things I really admired the most about the northern part of the city where we stayed are the stunning brownstones and the awesome public transportation. The shoreline was very beautiful on the last day of our trip when the sun finally came out. We took in all the beautiful colors like the bright red tulips and clear blue sky on our walk to the El. On the way out I got something I didn’t get on the way in, a beautiful view of the skyline.

If you go:
Gino’ East 162 E. Superior St, Chicago, Illinois (multiple locations in Chicago)
check out their website

Molly’s Cupcakes 2536 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 773-883-7220
www.mollyscupcakes.com

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9 Responses to “Cupcakes and pizza in Chicago (Chicago Part 2)”

  1. Gino’s is good pizza and also my first experience with Chicago Deep Dish (from when I vistited before I moved up). But may I suggest Lou Malnati’s next time you make the trip in??? It’s by far my favorite!

    *Amy

    http://secondcityrandomness.wordpress.com

  2. My recommended Chicago sights: Garfield Park conservatory on the west side, Mexican Fine Arts Museum in Pilsen (sw side), Museum of Contemporary Art (Michigan & Chicago, right by the water tower – definitely the coolest thing to do in that tourist-trappy area), of course the Art Institute, live music at the Green Mill or Schuba’s or Elastic (www.elasticarts.org). Thrift and secondhand shopping on Milwaukee Ave in Bucktown & Wicker Park.
    Food: Soul Vegetarian East on the south side, Ethiopian Diamond on the way north side, Devon Ave for Indian/Pakistani, Lula Cafe in Logan Square (my old neighborhood), breakfast at Victory’s Banner in Roscoe Village, if money is no object, dinner at either Moto or Alinea. Authentic Mexican at any number of places, most particularly in Pilsen/Little Village. And tons more but those are a good start. NOTE: none of those places are in the Loop.
    Most of all of that is el-accessible.
    Just my 2 cents.
    🙂

  3. Oh, and Lou Malnati’s for the “Chicago” pizza experience. Also do love Uno’s. Never liked Gino’s as much.

  4. Ron and Fez, 11-3.

  5. he loves R&F and Opie and Anthony. He said there’s a Tim who calls from Cbus a lot. Is that you?

  6. I used to instant feedback on O&A a LOT (as “Tim H from Columbus”). Never called, though.

    I’ve been browsing your blog and I really like it. It seems like you have an affection for Grandview. I work in Grandview on Goodale. Was able to watch the elephants walk by from my office window – good times, and very surreal. I actually watched those buildings burn, too. Got lots of pics…very sad.

    If you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s a blog about the Grandview Theatre renovation that’s somewhat interesting.

    https://grandviewtheatre.net/wordpress/

    Keep up the good work!

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