Sometimes I like to spend a little time by myself, recharging or re-centering or whatever you want to call it when everyone else has plans and you don't want to stay at home. Letizia's Natural Bakery is a calm, cozy spot for some quality Me Time and has the added benefit that you will probably be surrounded by other loners—er, I mean re-energizers. Among the soul-reinforcing live plants, exposed brick, and a front as well as a back patio is a righteous buffet of cookies. There's a charming inconsistency to them—some are the size of wall clocks while others approximate a saucer—that gives you the impression your slightly senile grandma went a little crazy in the kitchen one night, churning out batch after batch of oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and chocolate chip cookies.
Though the chocolate chip may entice with a beguiling top hat of extra chocolate chips, skip it in favor of the Chocolate Oatmeal. Sporting some beautiful lacey butter and brown sugar edges and a deliciously chewy center, this is one oatmeal cookie unmarred by the inclusion of raisins.
Yes, I said it. I think raisins ruin most parties they are invited to. In the case of the humble oatmeal cookie, the chewiness of the raisins can unsuccessfully combine with the chewiness of the oats to create one jaw-tiring mess of a treat. Furthermore, the intense burst of sweetness provided by just one raisin is usually too jarring. It punches you in the teeth and overwhelms other more delicate flavors like cinnamon. Instead, Letizia's smartly includes good quality chunks of semisweet chocolate instead, so you can enjoy the oat and cinnamon party in peace.
Letizia's Natural Bakery
2144 W Division St., Chicago, IL 60622(map)