Food Beat: Unaffordable Intelligentsia; Sugar Bliss Misery

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(Photo: Lido’s Caffé food porn. Why, again, do I bother to go to Intelligentsia?)

[Update 2/16/09: The former recommendation of the news blog, Chicagoist, has been deleted from this post. After three years, I thought they had learned that making fun of fellow bloggers is simply not a cool PR strategy. Judging by the open contempt aimed at me and my blog in this post from today, I see I was wrong. So count me back out as a reader or recommender of Chicagoist. Sadly, what on earth was I thinking?]

Good lord, sometimes I should just eat in.  The latest from my Gapers Block: Drive-Thru foodie byline? Two downtown establishments: one I used to love, one I doubt I ever will, but both giving me agida in the same week.

With options like that in downtown Chicago, is it any wonder I and my laptop have been spending more and more time at the hyper-friendly coffee-, cookie-, and gelato-laden Lido’s Caffé in Oak Park?  Twenty minutes on the Green Line is worth it for me not to have to deal with drama the likes of which you can read all about in my latest Drive-Thru reports, below.

Bliss Is Not More
A recent visit to Sugar Bliss and a bevy of mixed comments and Yelp opinions point out a curious lack of consistency at the Loop’s new gourmet cupcake joint.  You may get a great product, or you may go home with three arid, overbaked hockey pucks covered in sickly sweet, bathroom-grout consistency, altogether disgusting frosting. You know, like I did?

Intelligentsia Dumps Affordable Drinks on Randolph Street
And then there’s my formerly beloved downtown coffeebar, Intelligentsia, where a string of recent, not necessarily customer-friendly changes have left this regular patron un-headed to the premium brew shop any longer. The straw that broke this coffee camel’s back? Choosing to make their menu even more expensive–and then gloating about it to their own customers.

On a more positive note, I hope you’re all reading through the rest of Drive-Thru and its parent site, Gapers Block. They remain among the coolest home-grown Internet news and feature sites ever to come out of the Windy City. And they sure don’t pay me to say that–it’s all love, folks.

Drat, I hate it when I lose my cool like that…

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