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May 9, 2007 02:52 AM

1st time in Chicago, SD hound ISO bougatsa


I'll be visiting my best friend in Chicago next week. It'll be my first time in Chicago and I'm looking forward to some real Greek food since there's nothing authentic here in So Cal...

I'm looking for bougatsa--fresh phyllo pastry with a subtle sweet creamy, almost custard like filling, served hot (preferably not reheated) & dusted with (i think) powdered sugar and maybe cinnamon. I had it on the Greek islands last summer and have been dreaming of it. It's different from galaktoboureki (and there may be other differences) in that it doesn't have any syrupy sauce on top.

Also, I searched the board and it seems like the favorite Greek restaurants are The Greek Islands and several other places. Do any of them serve an authentic Greek salad... no lettuce & a nice slab of quality feta cheese on top?

Thanks in advance!! I'm sure I'll have more questions later! I hope you're enjoying the warm weather. :)

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  1. Try Artopolis, which is a cafe and bakery. You might want to call ahead to make sure they have it that day.

    I know Greek Islands has its fans on this board, but I'm not one of them. I prefer Santorini; I've also had a good meal at Venus, which is Cypriot. At Venus, though, we just ordered lots of meze, I haven't had any of their entrees. Also note that Venus is no longer open for lunch (except on Sundays, I think).

    If you are in Greektown during the day stop by Athens Grocery on Halsted between Jackson and Van Buren (closed Sundays, though). Maybe you can find some items to take home with you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Amata

      Another place you could try is

      Pan Hellenic Pastry Shop
      322 S. Halsted St.

      directly north of Athens Grocery.

      Enjoy your visit and let us know what you find.

      1. re: Amata

        I second Artopolis and Santorini. These would be my top 2 choices in Greektown

        Greek Islands is a fun place to go with a crowd, but the atmosphere is nothing special

      2. If any place has it, it will be one of the Greek places in Greek Town. You'll find a complete list in this topic:

        Greek Town is really a very small area; the restaurants are all along a stretch of maybe two short blocks of Halsted Street just west of the Loop. So it's easy to go there and walk along that stretch, peering at menus and poking your head in entrances to ask, to find what you're looking for. Amata's suggestion of Artopolis is a good one and a good place to start.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy

          Thanks!!! I will be in search of Artopolis and the Pastry Shop and will report back on what I find there! I can't wait!!! Oooh, real Greek food...

          1. re: tiffany

            also try Santorini for a great greek salad (no lettuce with tons of fresh feta)--they also have great seadfood--great grilled calamari, etc. The house wine is pretty good, too and great service. To me, artopolis is too smoky and food is not as good, but if you are just picking up, that would not matter! :)

        2. I highly recommend Greek Islands for authentic greek salad (you may need to ask for tthe feta), but they probably do not have bougatsa although they may have galaktobouriko (a close cousin, served room temp not warm like tru bougatsa, Artopolis is great, but more like a cafe, not really an ideal dinner place. Great for lunch though and desserts are pretty good, they have awesome salads too (the best in Greek Town), lots of students and people going for just coffee.

          3 Replies
          1. re: mageras

            Two tries: (1) My daughter, a lover of Greek desserts, in January had bougatsa from the Pegasus on the Fly food stand in the food court at Midway airport and raved about it. If that Midway stand is owned by Pegasus restaurant in Greektown, maybe the bougatsa served at the Greektown Pegasus is equally good. But I noticed that Pegasus on the Fly also sells artopitas, Artopolis' signature item (which I find too flaky and expensive although I like Artopolis for other reasons), so... (2) Like Amata, I like Venus. When I ate there last month I asked if bougatsa was available and was told it's available only on weekends but that the kitchen will make some any day upon request. It might be worth calling ahead.

            Good luck.

            1. re: Mugs

              Pegasus and Artopolis have the same owners, including the stand at Midway...

              1. re: mageras

                I love both Pegasus and Artopolis now I know why. I'll be checking out that stand in Midway next time.

          2. What a great question. The memory of my first bougatsa seems like a dream from another life. Waiting for a bus to a village high up on the island of Tinos, Greece, where I spent summers with my grandparents. An old man carrying a metal box filledwith fresh HOT bougasta! This way of getting this mouth watering treat, unfortunately, has gone bye-bye. Now you have to go to a bakery and time your visit. I can think of worse things. :)