Monday, November 23, 2009

Milk & Honey Café

What starts with bad service does not always end with bad food. And yet, Milk & Honey Café was no exception to this general rule.

After the clean retrochic decor lured me in, I was greeted by a grumpy woman behind the counter who couldn't have cared less about my presence. I hate to break it to ya, but bad service and mediocre food do not inspire return visits... Milk & Honey breathes an indifferent air and provides little else other than a cool facade and a decent selection of baked goods (both in jars and behind glass). Don't expect to be amazed; its ambitions are not too great and its execution ain't either. It's a basic counter-based place with dull food and some insipid twists haphazardly placed throughout the menu.

I ordered the BLT on toasted Italian bread for $7.25. The menu claimed "thick-cut" bacon, yet I was served thin - and narrow - slices. The mealy, pulpy tomatoes lacked their typical moisture and the crunchy, fresh romaine wasn't enough to redeem them. I found the bread to be excellently crisp and tasty even if there was an unappealing abundance of it. The triple-decker sandwich was more of a BLT club than a BLT. In the end, it was too thick and too dry and forgettable.

The highlights of my visit, aside from the Steely Dan music that flowed out of the speakers, were the salty, kettle-cooked potato chips that accompanied my sandwich and a sizable chocolate chip cookie that I got for $1.75. It was thick with a good amount of chocolate, chewy in the middle, and brittle on the outside. Its wrinkled edges - with cool concentric circles - evoked skipping rocks on water and though it wasn't a life-altering treat, it shined in comparison to the BLT.

Back or Forth? I will be going forth; there are just too many better cafés like this in the city... But, I do think props are in order for the success of their granola.

Milk & Honey Café - Wicker Park - (773)395-9434 - 1920 W. Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 - Public transportation: buses 50/70 or the Division/Damen stops of the Blue Line.

BLT - $7.25 (they're doing a cookbook soon and they shouldn't include this...)
chocolate chip cookie - $1.75

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