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Feb 9, 2004 10:53 AM

A.M.'s Lil Sweet Me Me's Bakery

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Ok, we've all had one of those days. You know the kind that I mean. one where you're so busy that you don't have time to eat despite the fact that you're around some great restaurants.

I had one of those days about two and a half weeks ago, where I found myself at around 3:30 in the afternoon pulling into the Walgreens parking lot at the corner of State and 75th. My mission? A snickers bar and a diet coke to tide me over until the end of the day.

As I'm standing three deep in line, contemplating eating the Snickers and handing the cashier an empty wrapper to scan, something catches my chowish eye: Neatly wrapped squares of thick sheet cake covered with a variety of frostings: caramel, chocolate, strawberry and lemon coconut. This doesn't look like commercial bakery fare. It looks homemade with its sweet icing dripping down the side of the cake squares and forming a decorative almost artistic pattern against the cellophane.

Executive decision time has arrived. I drop the Snickers back into its bin and settle upon one of these divine hunks o cake that have captured ny attention at the checkout.

The cake is simple. A light airy, yellow cake reminiscient of the type of cake that someone's grandmother (though certainly not mine) took great care in baking for her family generations ago. The caramel icing was simply marvelous the way good caramel should be.

Luckily for me, the cake is labeld "AM's Lil Sweet Me Me' Bakery, 11836 S. Western Ave. I think that this simple little bakery and its simple but delicious cakes deserve further attention. So, two Saturdays in a row, I stop in to sample its wares.

The outcome? Excellent pies-I sampled pecan, custard, apple. Beautiful old fashioned cobblers- I sampled peach. And those light airy cakes described herein. Everything is fresh baked in house. No commercial cake mixes are used. It's a small mom and pop place with only two little bakery cases and the owner's kids running around inside.

If you're looking for sophisticated patisserie, this is not your place. If you're looking for quality scratch made old fashioned cakes, Lil Sweet Me Me's offers great possibilities.

AM's Lil Sweet Me Me's Bakery
11836 S. Western Ave.

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    Paul Mollica

    The South Side is dotted with places that will sell you sheet cake slices, bean pies, schoolhouse cookies, etc. Another one that's been operating a long time is Abundance Bakery, at 105 East 47th Street. A Mobil station at Hyde Park Blvd. and Cornell always has a generous selection of slices (though I don't remember which bakery). I have previously written about a Dolton bakery, see the link below.

    A.M.'s has been especially successful at getting its name out. I've seen flyers for them in Hyde Park. They sell my personal favorite, red velvet cake, as well as 7-Up cake and other Southern specialites. They have something on their menu, "Atomic Cake," that I've never heard of or tried before. Does anyone know anything about it?


    6 Replies
    1. re: Paul Mollica

      Usually "ATOMIC" is yellow cake with layers of chocolate fudge, strawberries, whipped cream and bananas. Always a fav for birthdays in our house.

      1. re: Food Nut

        It's a long time South Side specialty for kids' birthday parties. I don't where it originated, but it does have some variations. Pierre's Bakery, which serves it at Taste of Chicago, has a cheesecake layer in theirs. At Weber's Bakery, it's layers of yellow, chocolate and banana cake with fresh strawberries, bananas and whipped cream.

        Pierre's Bakery
        2747 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago IL 60647
        12429 S. Western Ave., Blue Island IL 60406
        6310 W. Cermak Road, Berwyn IL 60402

        Weber's Bakery
        7055 W. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL 60638

      2. re: Paul Mollica


        On my way down Western, I noticed a place who's sign advertised "the original pulled pork sandwich". It was somewhere around 10000 south on Western Ave. I want to say that the name was "Pggies", but I know that's wrong.

        Do you know the place? If so, is it worth chcking out?

        1. re: YourPalWill

          That would be Porkee’s, “Home of the Famous Pulled Pork Sandwich.” I’ve been warned away by reliable sources. Perhaps someone with firsthand experience could comment further.

          “Gimme a Pull”
          10500 S Western Av

          1. re: Rene G


            I have first hand experience, consider yourself warned.

            Evil Ronnie, Vital Info and I stopped at Porkee’s, “Home of the Famous Pulled Pork Sandwich.” on a Westernathon scouting trip. My only comment, and I think the others will agree, is infamous may be be more accurate then famous.


        2. re: Paul Mollica

          Yes, funny you shoul ask. I was looking for lil's bakery for an atomic cake for my mothers birthday. I had one a huge one that did not last too long once word got out. It is simply delicious, thst is all I have to say about that.

        3. Thanks for the report on A.M.’s. These South Side bakeries deserve a lot more attention than they get. I had been hoping to visit A.M.’s but was worried for a while it had gone out of business. I think A.M.’s used to be on 79th (somewhere around 1800 E) but it closed about a year ago. Do you know if the A.M.’s on Western is a new shop?

          A.M.’s Sweet Lil Mem’s Bakery is one of a handful of bakeries that supply barbecue houses and other south side take out food businesses. I believe A.M.’s supplies desserts to Lem’s. Other similar bakeries include Moore’s, Original Bean Pie, Mrs Winter’s, and Reddy Freddie’s. Common offerings include individual size bean and sweet potato pies, and slices of coconut and sock-it-to-me cake. Next time you pick up some barbecue, jerk chicken or whatever take a look at the little pile of baked goods by the cash register. You might be pleasantly surprised.

          A.M.’s Sweet Lil’ Meme’s Bakery
          11836 S Western Av

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rene G

            The owner indicated to me that they had been on Western for about a year.