The Medici Bakery (Bakery & Restaurant, Hyde Park)

The back of their shirts brag that Obama ate here, and I understand why he did. The Medici Bakery in Hyde Park first lured me in from afar; a happy customer enjoying a water ice that looked too good to pass up. Or Italian ice, whatever you midlanders call it. I followed the trail of smiles to a garden patio and an old world bakery. It was wonderful. There was a case of enticing pastries and a wall full of fresh breads. Take your pick of their bushel of specialty sandwiches or make your own. I am not sure how I finished my sandwich because I could not stop remarking that it was the best sandwich I’d had since I came to Chicago. Mozzarella, red peppers, greens, prosciutto… I’m in Italian heaven. I might as well have been eating the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Then there was the dessert, the item that had drawn me in in the first place. The first time I went I thought their Italian ice flavors were somewhat restrictive, only passion fruit and lemon. But the next time I went: mango and kiwi. What a lovely surprise! Each is delicious and is among the smoothest Italian ice I’ve ever had. The Medici Bakery isn’t large, and with the wonderful sandwiches they serve up it may be hard to snag one of the few tables inside. I had no problem sitting in my own secret garden on their patio though. Grab a sandwich, an Italian ice and a book from one of the local bookstores. Who knows, come 2012 they may wear shirts bragging that you ate there. Probably not though.

Phil Kranyak

About Phil Kranyak

Phil grew up in small town in southeastern Pennsylvania. His family still lives across the street from a cornfield. Phil tried working at the farm when he was too young to get a real job and he left after one day because the farmhand was total creep city. He showed up to Phil's front door the next day wondering why he wasn't at work. Now Phil lives in Chicago and he thinks it was a pretty good choice.

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