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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 22

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Restaurant Fri Sep 28 2007

Lovely's Naked Cupcakes

Lovely Bake Shop's chocolate cupcakes are vegan when they're naked - that is, before the buttercream frosting goes on. And they're often naked ones lying about in the morning. Why are the cupcakes half-vegan? One of the owners, Gina, told me that she picked a great recipe for the chocolate cake, and it just happened to be vegan. She and co-owner Brook, both came out of Chicago's French Pastry School. The next day, I sat at the bar, chatting with Brook, hearing that they make the gently sweet apple butter I was having with natural peanut butter on a famed H&H Bagel from New York. The bagels come par-baked, and they finish them every morning. Lovely also makes lavender-peach preserves and berry jam. Gina walked by and remembered me as the chocolate cupcake guy. Gina and Brook are both fun to chat with, especially when they were playing a 1980s mix just before closing. Lovely sells DIY wares on a sidewall. One piece of furniture is a holdover from the Casa Loca furniture store that used to be in Lovely's space, next to a nook high in the corner that keeps a cruiser bicycle. How fun is that?

Lovely is on the way biking into the Loop on Milwaukee. A tin ceiling painted green and wooden floors set the scene for an old general store wooden table in the middle and a refurnished wooden bar on the side. The bar sits across from an espresso machine on a wood counter along the wall, below a wooden cabinet. The cabinet's doors are open, showing brightly colored coffee cups in red, green and blue. It sits on a ledge over a short rise of white ceramic tile. Newly vinyl covered stools alternate between showing white polka dots on pale green and flowers of pink-red and yellow-orange with greens against white. Charming glass and wood cases show off their bakery items.

1130 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 572-4766

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Illinois Master Gardener / September 28, 2007 9:36 AM

Lovely's sounds lovely!

I wonder if an alternative to butter cream would be considered and that is Smart Balance (light) with or without flax. It sounds vegan to me. However, I would want that confirmed by a vegan.

Its statements that it has a "real butter taste" and is healthier than butter are not an exaggeration!

Rose / September 28, 2007 10:26 AM

After riding past this cute shop with the big "L" logo on the window a few times on my bike, I was happy when my friend and I finally decided to stop in for a visit on our way to work. Who would want to get to work early when instead, you could be a part of this wonderfully charming loft space, sit at the bar, drink coffee, enjoy fresh baked goods and good company!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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