Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Heaven, with donuts.
You know where I never, ever eat? Dunkin' Donuts. And do you know why? That's right, because their donuts suck. Puffy oversweet yeasty things, or mushy, oversweet cake. Or so I recall. It's been years years since I've put one in my mouth. My wife says their coffee is still good, but we'll have to trust her there, because I'd never event get coffee at a Dunkin' Donuts because I might accidentally order a donut while I was there. And that would be bad.
You know where I go every time I'm in the vicinity, as if drawn in by a tractor beam, because their donuts are just the best? That's right, one of the three Huck Finn Restaurants on the Southwest Side.
Sunday morning, we drove a young Southern cousin to Midway, so she could fly to New Orleans and deliver a chemical engineering paper. (Betcha didn't know I had a Southern cousin, eh? Well I do. A senior at Alabama. Roll Tide!)
We had to leave at 6:15 a.m. to get there, and my wife happily volunteered to go with me. Again why? Because she is a wonderful person? A sweet and supportive wife? Certainly true.
But that's not the reason she went.
Again Huck Finn's. Because while I certainly could bring donuts back, and have, she wanted to try out the full breakfast. Frankly, I'd be happy with a couple donuts, but I am flexible, particularly when it comes to ordering more food. Sure honey!
So we went, dropped the cousin off, slid over to the Huck's at 67th and Pulaski, the place just starting to fill up, with older couples and kids still in their St. Patrick's Day gear, a lady cop at the counter and various salt-of-the-earth Chicago types in watch caps and Teamsters jackets, all reading the Sun-Times.
My wife and I shared an excellent spinach and mozzarella omelet and has browns and big fluffy pancakes and bacon and cup after cup of good hot coffee that kept coming because it's the kind of place that keeps the coffee coming. You never have to ask; it's just there.
After, we ordered a dozen donuts to go, mostly the old-fashioned, crispy on the outside, glorious on the inside, the variety that first drew us to Huck Finn's. A dozen's too many for two people, but they freeze well, and Edie bestowed a pair on her sister and brother-in-law, just to let them share in the wonder. (We do that kind of thing. Last week her brother delivered a pair of Victor Lezza cannoli and a pound of cookies from Elmhurst, because you really can't go to Elmhurst and not swing by Victor Lezza. It would be wrong. And then once you have some, it's selfish not to share).
Rarity is a blessing. I'm glad Huck Finn's is way the heck on the Southwest Side. It would be dangerous in Northbrook, and eventually might even lose its charm. The way Krispy Kreme was once exotic and special and hard-to-find, a purely Southern thing. Then one opened in New York City and in a flash they were everywhere and there was never any point to eat one because they were available in every supermarket and the mystery was gone. Scarcity is discipline for those of us who don't have any.