With blueberries at their seasonal apex during National Blueberry Month (aka July), now seems as good a time as any to binge on blue. The luscious fruits can currently be found on menus throughout Chicago in both edible and potable varieties.
Where to Eat Your Blueberries
Everyone loves blueberry pie, one of the quintessential flavors of summer. A sweet showcase for the seasonal fruit, the pie is at its finest at Hoosier Mama Pie Company, a homey cafe in West Town with a penchant for polished Americana. The pie shop does a masterful job with blueberry classics, along with apple-blueberry pie with pecan crumble. They've also got luscious and tart blueberry muffins on hand.
You love apple fritters; those massive face-sized slabs of fried dough flecked with fruit and strewn with sugary crevices. Well how about giving blueberry fritters a whirl? They're available at Stan's Donuts & Coffee. It's similarly indulgent and massive, albeit heaped with juicy pockets of fresh berries in lieu of apples.
Just up the street, acclaimed pastry chef Mindy Segal is honing her bakery chops by implementing daytime cafe hours at her revered restaurant, HotChocolate. By adding decadent pastries to her repertoire, diners can now get their fill of items such as blueberry-lemon Danishes.
In the heat of summer, blueberries and corn are BFFs. There's just something so symmetrical about the lustrous duo, what with their complimentary saccharine tendencies. The combo can be found at The Gage, where a corn and blueberry dessert takes the form of tarragon-blueberry compote, corn ice cream, gooey butter cake, and crispy corn crepes.
If you're looking to start your day on a berry-ful note (and why wouldn't you?), you can do so at Ceres' Table. The Italian accented Lakeview restaurant recently implemented brunch service, complete with chocolate crepes filled with chocolate cream, creme fraiche, and blueberries.
Where to Drink Your Blueberries
Blueberry pie, muffins, and Danishes are good and all, but you'll want to save room for some blueberry libations. Especially when they are as quenching as the blueberry soda on tap at Leghorn Chicken. The fried chicken sandwich shop in Ukrainian Village is currently pouring out the sweet soda courtesy of local artisanal company, Seasons Soda.
The soon to open Logan Square juice bar Owen + Alchemy has blueberry plans in the offing. Specifically, the blueberry-basil-grapefruit-lime juice set to take shop on the citrus portion of their expansive menu. Look for it to open this summer.
Just next door to Owen + Alchemy lies Slippery Slope, a great place to work up a thirst while dancing and playing skeeball. Quench said thirst with some blueberry beer. The Barracuda Blue comes as a Slope exclusive from Dark Horse Brewing.
For blueberries with a view, head up to THE dec, the cocktail bar poised atop The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, for a sip of the Pomegranate Picnic. The fruit-forward quaff contains Hangar One Wild Blueberry, blueberry-pomegranate syrup, blueberry puree, fresh lemon juice, Contreau and sparkling rose Cava. It's all garnished with a bit of mint and some pomegranate seeds.
Photos: @rsseattle via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0); HotChocolate and THE dec