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The former Austrian Bakery offers European breads, cookies, pastries, and specialty cakes, plus a cafe menu including Austrian soups.

Our Review

The ryes at Chicago Polish bakeries where owner Michael Mikusch used to work are "compromised," he claims, with "wheat and some coloring." His uses "100 percent rye flour, genuine sourdough, and little yeast” to yield a dense, naturally moist loaf, with a "shelf life of five days." This small but busy Lincoln Park shop showcases European recipes and baking techniques and deli imports from Wisconsin, Canada, and Europe. The sunflower-seed bread’s flavor is "from the ground," Mikusch says, and the key to the dough of his apple strudel—the traditional sweet he’s most proud of&mdash:is to make it with olive oil and "stretch it paper thin." Other desserts include Sachertorte, bienenstich, and delightfully light Pertikus and Linzer butter cookies, which I couldn’t stop eating. (American bakeries, Mikusch complains, overuse butter and sugar.) If you don’t want to grocery shop for rarities like Bavarian Weisshurst, Debreziner, and Black Forest ham, you can sit down for frittaten or goulash soups (the best goulash I’ve ever had-­-sorry grandma) or create your own sandwich. There are also several salads and an array of birthday and wedding cakes sans artificial flavors.

Ryan Hubbard

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