Delightful Pastries: Not Just for Pastries
While Delightful Pastries does serve sweets that are delicious, they are not limited by their name. Two of Delightful Pastries’ locations, Old Town and French Market, serve savory dishes as well as sweets.
I was invited to try the savory fare at the Delightful Pastries West Loop French Market location. Try I did. And try. And try. I left the French Market quite full and glad I had ridden my bike so I had the opportunity to burn off a portion of the calories I had consumed.
Delightful Pastries serves sandwiches; soups; quiche, frittata, and lamb pie; and pierogi; any of which make great lunch – or dinner – choices. Most of the sandwiches are served on buttery croissants.
The perfectly buttery croissants are a carryover from the days when Delightful Pastries served only pastries; they have been well adapted to this savory use. Pastry chef Dobra Hawryszczuk Bielinski takes pride in the fact that the croissants – along with everything else – is house made from local, fresh ingredients. That rich, creamy butter didn’t travel far before it made its way into the croissants that cradle the sandwiches.
No vegetarian sandwiches, but there are some vegetarian options including vegetable quiche, the frittata, and both the cheese and potato, and mushroom and sauerkraut pierogis. There are also a few gluten-free choices, some soups and that frittata again.
Since I eat all the kinds of meat, and gluten and I get along fine, these weren’t a consideration for me when Dobra, her brother Robert Hawryszczuk, and his partner Nico Hua – all co-owners – brought me (and my lucky dining companion) a feast.
The sandwiches are all tasty, and they have fun names like the He Lives!, a peanut butter, jelly, banana, and bacon number – yes, that “he.” The Thanksgiving has turkey and cranberry sauce, of course.
The Three Piggly Wigglys has – it’s true – three kinds of pork: ham, bacon, and schnitzel. Oh, and pickle, to offset some of the porky goodness. The Three Piggly Wigglys is served on an “everything bun,” topped with shallot, sesame and poppy seeds, rather than a croissant, because something heartier is needed to hold all that pork. Delightfully, this sandwich is served with a choice of three very different sauces: Japanese-inspired sweet, mayonnaise-y; pretty pink beet and homemade horseradish; and ghost pepper barbecue. All of the sauces complement the sandwich nicely but my favorite, for the spice, was the barbecue.
The pierogis had tender exteriors and tasty interiors. You can choose either four or six pieces styled either “Chicago” or “Grandma.” Chicago is topped with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese, and served with tzatziki sauce. The more traditional Grandma is topped with caramelized onions and served with sour cream. The caramelized onions are delightfully peppery.
I was full. FULL. Nonetheless, I was sent home with a goodie bag that included a sampling of pastries that gave Delightful Pastries its name.
Knowing that fresh, local ingredients are used, and preservatives never touch anything, I felt obligated to taste the pastries after my 4+ mile bike ride home. I thought I didn’t like macaroons. I like Delightful Pastries’ macaroons, so maybe I just hadn’t had the right ones before. Gluten-free and quite pretty – colors reflect the various flavors including pistachio, raspberry, and chocolate – the macaroons were gone first.
Then there were several other sweets including brownies, pecan bars, cranberry orange squares, and more.
Next time you’re in Old Town or West Loop remember that Delightful Pastries serves meals – if you need to justify something hearty before their wonderful sweets.