Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hella's Pastry Shop

Ambling around the neighborhood on my way back from Hema's Kitchen, I found Hella's Pastry Shop, an authentic Greek Bakery. Some people on the interweb like to refer to it as Hellas because of the text on the center front part of the awning, but the sides of the awning have Hella's Pastry Shop printed on them...

Anywho, the place itself was modest through and through. It sat on an unassuming corner of Ravenswood / Lincoln Square and the interior was bare save for a few sentimental photos of Greece behind the counter. Clearly, the pastries were the focus.

The owner was very welcoming when I entered and you could see how his passion influenced his work and his shop philosophy. I marveled at how well he dealt with the customer ahead of me (explaining the history of the place, going in depth about some of the baked goods) and then ordered myself a single baklava. Many of the pastries looked delicious, but I had to leave some things uneaten for a future visit.

On top, the moist and crunchy baklava filling flowed well with the flaky phyllo though I do have to say that on the bottom it was a bit soggy due to some oversyruping. The flavor was exactly what I wanted - sweet, nutty, rich - but the texture fell a bit short. I think that a baklava should be somewhat syrupy, but when syrup is dripping, but not dripping wet or leaking.

Oh, and if you have a nice smile, you may be walking out of there with a free cookie or two!

Back or Forth? I will be going back.

Hella's Pastry Shop - Lincoln Square / Ravenswood - (773)271-7500 - 2627 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 - Public transportation: Rockwell stop of the Brown Line.

Baklava - $2.75

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