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Restaurant Tue Mar 31 2009

Something to High Five About

I recently had the perfect Sunday. It began with a cozy skype conversation with a friend in Hungary (and yes, I was); followed by a homemade brunch; wandered into thrift stores on Milwaukee Ave. and culminated in a late lunch. This perfect late lunch was at Letizia's Natural Bakery (2144 W. Division St.).

As I stood in line waiting to order I found myself torn over whether to go with the creamy Tomato Basil Soup or the Bella Capri (A "Grilled Baguette, Fresh Baby Mozzerella, Ripe Tomatoes, with Homemade Basil Pesto"). My friend, Johanna, saved me from my conundrum: "Why don't we split both?" The food was delivered to our table in the sun. It glistened. First: the soup. We each took a spoon, dipped it into the frothy tomato bisque and lifted it to our mouths. I looked over at Johanna and it seemed she was equally moved by the experience. We smiled coyly and lifted our hands to high five in celebration of the flavor. At about the fifth bite (but who was counting?), Johanna said, "I think this may be the best tomato soup I've ever had." I agreed.

Next: the sandwich. This was no ordinary sandwich. The baguette was crispy and tender; the kind of bread that resists your first attempt on breaking through, but eventually gives way and fills your mouth with supreme satisfaction. The fresh ingredients complemented one another to perfection. One might think having both a tomato basil soup and tomato and basil on the sandwich would be overwhelming, but the flavors maintained their distinctness. Once again we took a bite and were forced to clasp hands. Mind you, I do not high five over just any meal. This meal had it all: a great ambiance, a sparkling sun, an enthusiastic eating partner, an affordable price and a delicious bounty of flavors. Some may give it five stars, I give it two high fives!

Edie Lewison / April 1, 2009 9:34 PM

Thanks for the tip, Jessica! Letzia's sounds great. Will definitely have to check it out.

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Jesse Valenciana knew what he wanted his mole-inspired stout to taste like, but he was a cook and home brewer, not a professional brewmaster. The co-founder of ManBQue, the local men's grilling and social club, and recent author needed a...
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