Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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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Sunday, March 3

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« Mmm, Midweek Links + Pre-Thanksgiving Happy Hour A Trip to Alinea, Illustrated. »

Review Sun Nov 30 2008

Go West, and Pick Up Some Cookies While You're Out There

Ancona's cookiesIf you've ever had to go to a reception in a church social hall following a mass or religious service, the idea of what constitutes a "refreshment" can boggle the mind. In my past, I've downed my fill of generic orange drink and bland grocery store donuts, and have perused the plastic trays of SuperValu brand vanilla sandwich cookies, heavily sighing, plate in hand, unrefreshed.

Things changed for me tonight as I entered the basement social hall after attending mass. Greeting me was what I always wanted to see in those drudgery-filled first Sundays of the month at Saint Robert's church in my hometown: plate after plate of cookies from Northlake's Ancona Bakery.

Ancona's is the kind of old school Italian bakery that specializes in the sweets that are familiar to an Italian-American: biscotti covered in chocolate and a dusting of pistachio nuts, lemon-covered taralli, crescents dotted with cherries, amaretti, coconut macaroons, crunchy sesame-covered cookies, and almond shortbread quickly disappeared off the tables over the course of an hour. The bakery also specializes in cannoli, breads and wedding cakes. Ancona's has been in business since 1937, a family-owned business that thrived in the city's west side at Chicago and Hamlin until a 1992 move to the suburbs. Sure, Northlake's a far hike from the city, but the product is worth the drive.

Ancona Bakery
25 East North Avenue, Northlake
Open daily

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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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