Recently, I took my kid to Chicago for a fun little getaway that I hope also served to encourage an interest in architecture and design. While we were there, we bonded over LEGOs and skyscrapers, but also, over delicious donuts.
It started, unexpectedly, when we checked into the Hyatt Magnificent Mile and concierge Jan Viscum gave us vouchers for a free donut at Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken, next door at 233 E. Erie St.
Yeah, we ate and enjoyed delicious and hearty and huge chicken sandwiches and fries for lunch. But, first, we ate these babies while we waited for our food...
Incredibly moist chocolate cake donuts, slathered in a fudgy chocolate sauce. Yup, we ate dessert first. And we'd do it again. If the sandwiches hadn't been so huge, I might have been tempted to have another of these donuts afterward. This was one of the best donuts I've ever had.
Next time, I hope the bin marked "Nutella paczki" – I kid you not – isn't empty.
The following morning, we headed a few blocks north to Glazed & Infused in the lobby of the Raffaello Hotel. It's a tiny space, with a single small table, a little counter with coffee and a spread of alluring donuts and, well, that's about it.
But it packs a wallop in terms of flavor. We ordered these:
On the left is a glazed long john with a strip of candied bacon across the top. Unlike the State Fair chocolate covered bacon on a stick – which I think is two great tastes that seem to cancel each other out – this is a delectable, bacon-y treat, sweet and salty and insanely sinful.
That glazed donut with the chocolate shavings was pretty darn delish, too.
Between donuts, we ate dinner at Level Two in the Hyatt Mag Mile, which is casual and intimately proportioned. As a bonus, it also has a great craft beer menu that specializes in small brewers from the Chicago area (though some Wisconsin beers are represented, too).
While I was enjoying the chicken pops, the restaurant's unusual take on wings, trimmed and covered in a mildly tangy soy-ginger chili sauce and toasted sesame seeds ...
... food and beverage director Lucas Ziegler, an ex-pat Milwaukeean, brought over a flight of extremely varied Chicago brews to get my opinion and to show off the impressive depth of the restaurant's craft beer offerings ... each was better than the last.
Don't worry, those glasses are "flight" sized, not full-sized, though unlike the donuts, I didn't have to share with my kid.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.