Sugar Rush: Raspberry Coffee Cake from Jam
Oh, Jam. Like a fickle high school boyfriend, you suddenly announced that you wanted to pack up shop and move away, eventually growing into cooler, more mature digs. The original Jam location in Ukranian Village earned a loyal following for its creative breakfast dishes—especially the knock-out French toast—a BYO policy, and an energetic patio. While those in the UKV were left brokenhearted when Jam closed, they don't have far to bike to the restaurant's current, sleeker pad in Logan Square.
There, a grown-up Jam still offers many of the old menu favorites, as well as a rotating selection of breakfast pastries that are a fantastic prelude to a main course like a Scotch egg, chilaquiles, or heavenly soft scrambled eggs. Recently, Jam's been baking up a light and crumbly raspberry coffee cake ($4). The traditional crumb top gives way to an interior that's more reminiscent of a muffin than a coffee cake, with pops of just-tart-enough raspberry to counteract the sweetness. On the side, a swipe of deeply fruity raspberry jam is addictive, but regrettably not plentiful enough to smear over every slice. Should you need further indulgence, a dollop of butter dares you to add further richness to the cake.
My waitress informs me that I can't go wrong with any of Jam's breakfast pastries, and I'm inclined to believe her. They're all small enough to order as a prelude to the rest of your savory meal, which is likely to include perfectly cooked eggs and in-season produce. With a wistful sigh, you'll realize that just as you were for that high school boyfriend, you'll be genuinely glad that Jam's grown up and moved on, but it won't keep you from swinging by a few times on your bike just to see what he's up to.