I met up with fellow Croissant Quest participants, @piratealice and @lacabezag, to try the flaky offerings at Lovely. It’s an old-timey spot that reminds me strongly of the antique stores my folks used to drag me to every weekend. Hand-embroidered aprons? Check. Wash basins? Check. Advertising signs from the 1930’s? Check. I’m sure people without tortured childhoods will love the chance to wallow in kitsch. The rest of us can enjoy the big tables, tons of outlets and for an extra buck, bottomless cups of coffee. But the floor-to-ceiling egg beater? I have no idea why it’s there.
We picked up a couple of plain and chocolate croissants, loaded up with coffee and berry-flavored lemonades, and snagged a few other baked goods before taking over a largish table for the next hour or so. Good times. A nice, trendy tattooed crowd wandered in and out for pastry, but it never got too bustling or loud.
Unfortunately, the croissants were on the wrong side of crispy. Not too offensive, but a little disappointing considering the offerings at other places. The cupcakes we tried were an even split between desert dry and spot on. And I guess that sums up this bakery: it does some things just right and everything else — from the decor to the baking — is completely overdone. Based on what we’ve tried in the past few weeks, I have to put Lovely in the middle of the Croissant Quest pack.
If you have a Croissant Quest 2010 recommendation, send us a tweet or leave comment. Thank you!
1130 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Croissants are $2.25 for plain and $2.50 for chocolate.
Croissant Quest 2010 Stops (in order of preference):