Creativity is the name of the game at Doodle's Doughnuts ( 1419 N. Wells St.; DoodlesDoughnuts.com ), which earns its name for at least three reasons.
First, there's a long chalkboard table that diners can use various pieces of chalk ( supplied ) to write or draw items. Second ( and more deliciously ), people can purchase the special Doodle Doughnuta vanilla-topped delicacy on which people can use various flavored piping ( for an additional charge ) and draw their own designs.
As for said doughnuts, overall, they're quite decadent. Some of the flavors include double chocolate cake, cinnamon twist, old-fashioned glazed, pink lemonade and maple bacon. There are also gluten-free items, including double chocolate orange and blueberry lemon.
By the way, Doodle's also sells bacon by the slicebecause Chicagoans can never have too much bacon. They come in candied, smoky and honey sriracha versions.
Oh, and what's the final reason the place earns its name? "Doodle" is the nickname of owner Dana Lanier, a lifelong baker.
LUXBAR beats the heat
LUXBAR ( 18 E. Bellevue Pl.; Luxbar.com ), situated in Chicago's Gold Coast, is a great spot for people-watchingand is also a pretty cool spot for summer dining and drinking.
I was fortunate enough to take in some of LUXBAR's recently unveiled summer fare on a gorgeous day. Sitting outside, I sipped on a dangerously delicious drink called I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson. ( The bartender is apparently a fan of '80s songs; besides this one, by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, there are Purple Rain and Thriller. )
Chef Jose Sosa's items are pretty tasty, too. The halibut crudo was incredibly refreshing, as was the crustacean-stuffed lobster roll. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the steak saladand the peanut butter trifle was positively sinful. ( Don't worry, though: LUXBAR still has favorites like buttermilk fried chicken and the Snickers pie. )
Note: LUXBAR is also offering a new rosé cart that beverage director Lawrence Kobesky selected. All wines are priced at $10/glass and $40/bottle.