Just back from a brief run to Chicago to see the Lascaux Caves exhibit at the wonderful Field Museum. Between my long-standing love affair with the Art Institute of Chicago and secondary affection for the Museum of Science and Industry, I'd never made it there before. Where else can you see paleontologists taking dirt from a dig, a coffee measure at a time, and going through it bit by bit under a microscope?
No restaurants nearby; my pal and I ate at the museum's outpost of The Corner Bakery. A sign promised local tomatoes and lettuce on their BLT plus BACON (their caps) yielding, therefore a BBLT. One of the sides was a bruschetta salad. The salad - no bread - used chopped tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, diced mozzarella and a little arugula, all in a basil-laced vinaigrette, very good.
But the blowout was the BBLT. Grilled sourdough and a balsamic black pepper mayonnaise, yes, but also excellent tomatoes and plenty of really good bacon. It's a summer special at The Corner Bakery - this could make Crown Candy a little uneasy if there were TCB stores in St. Louis.
More: Glazed and Infused, just west of the legendary Billy Goat Tavern, has a walkup window upen until the wee hours on the weekend. Doughnuts to soak up partying, yes, but also a brisk business with morning commuters for both lattes and carbs. The maple bacon bar has an entire strip of black pepper bacon for the good fo man- and womankind. Also creme brulee doughnuts, and bismarks, like jelly doughnuts, du jour; I had a lemon curd with raspberry frosting.
Shaw's Crab House, a longtime favorite of ours, is on the same block. I am surprised to report a softshell crab special gave almost flavorless crabs overwhelmed by a very tart (? underripe ?) fresh tomato coulis. But the steamed king crab legs, a house classic, were great and so was key lime pie, raspberry pie and a creme brulee godo enough to remind us how this classic-turned-cliche ought to be done, with tender custard and a crunchy, toasted-marshmallow-flavor top. More on a visit to The Publican soon.