Best place to eat and drink for a good cause | Best of Chicago 2011 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

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Best place to eat and drink for a good cause 

Blue Sky Bakery & Cafe

3720 N. Lincoln

If you want to feel good about yourself while indulging, cross the street to Blue Sky Cafe & Bakery the next time you're going to or coming from the Trader Joe's on Lincoln. The place is staffed by at-risk and homeless youth who go through a three-month training program so that they'll be employable when they finish. On a recent visit the young woman behind the counter was finishing up her tenth week and pointed proudly to some cupcakes she'd made. I ordered the black bean burger on homemade ciabatta. That and my soy cappuccino set me back $7.99. There are a few hiccups in service—by around 1 PM on a weekday the cafe was out of turkey sandwiches and the chicken sausage quiche, and my burger seemed naked without lettuce, tomato, and onion. I was offered fresh spinach instead, which sufficed. I noticed that my order led to an informal lesson back in the kitchen on how to foam soy milk, so I felt that I was contributing my part. There's also free Wi-Fi. —S.L. Wisenberg

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)