The talented chefs at The Churro Factory imbue crispy pastries with seven different sweet fillings to fashion a scrumptious, Spanish-styled snack, often introduced by an opening act of fresh deli sandwiches and milkshakes. Handmade in small batches to ensure freshness, traditional churros are dusted with sugar and cinnamon ($1.95 each, $9.95 for six), tickling tongues better than a feather-boa toothbrush. Palate-popular pastries include the filled churros with flavorful cores of vanilla, chocolate-hazelnut, cajeta, strawberry, or honey ($2.25 each). Appetites of larger proportions can match hunger against the oven-warmed Pamplones sandwiches ($4+ each), featuring the Chasturias with turkey and avocado and the Chadiz steak fajita with bell peppers and oaxaca cheese. Five enrapturing milkshake flavors mingle into the dining party, including oreo, strawberry, and chocolate ($3.29 each), tantalizing guests with their smooth sips and proactive straw postures.
At PJ's Popcorn, wall-to-wall shelves of popcorn tubs complement wooden racks filled with general-store candy and crates and barrels filled with gumballs, gift boxes, and confections. Visitors sniff the delicious scents of freshly popped corn, dusted in peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, and sprinkles. The popcorn flavors run the gamut from savory to sweet, with varieties as diverse as loaded potato, salt and vinegar, Oreo, and watermelon. A diverse selection of pro-football and collegiate popcorn tins allow snackers to show off their team pride without the need for eating with cumbersome foam #1 fingers.
Each day, Piece of Cake's bakers work from time-tested family recipes to whip up more than 20 flavors of cake batter. From this batter they craft cake balls and pops in such flavors as cinnamon roll and chocolate-covered strawberry as well as strawberry shortcake cupcakes. A deep roster of flavors ranging from peanut-butter-chocolate twist to maple bacon makes Piece of Cake desserts a go-to menu item for a variety of special occasions such as baby showers, birthday parties, and birthday-party reenactments.
Chef K., owner of MyGi's Bakery Cafe, shapes cakes into giant Ramen packets, plates tapas, and serves gourmet lunches and dinners. Glittering candy buffets coat tables with sweetness and sparkle, and her specialty cakes personalize birthdays. Chef K. sometimes infuses her food with Caribbean influences, but her skill set spans the globe: students can choose to craft sushi, for instance, or cook their food in a Scandanavian hot spring. Chicago native and Ladha Catering owner Chef Tammy joins Chef K. in spreading the joys of international cooking and entertaining in pallet-expanding classes. Whether teaching a novice to perfectly grill a steak or serving brunch to some hungry weekend patrons, the chefs' passion for food and sense of artistry guide their endeavors.