Editor's Note: Sugar Rush is a weekly column exploring the sweeter side of Chicago's restaurant scene. Leading the search is Kate Bernot, who recently counted down where to find great breakfast pastries.
Lula Cafe's fresh, flavorful breakfast and lunch menus are easily two of the top excuses to find yourself out for a weekday morning brunch. If you'd written off Lula due to its notoriety for lengthy lines, rejoice at the restaurant's new expansion, which added much-needed seating and a reservation system. Since you're likely to polish off a veggie-heavy sandwich or a seasonal soup, you'll have no trouble justifying an order of one of Kate Neumann's pastries for dessert.
If you're lucky, one of the three rotating choices will be the smoked pecan sticky bun ($4.00), a smaller pastry with a only a distant relationship to cousins in the Ann Sather clan. That doesn't mean it's leagues lighter or less frosted than the satellite-dish-sized classic, just that the pecans add both a complementary smokiness and a textural crunch that make all the difference. When you need that nostalgic, sweet bite to cap a savory meal, Lula's sticky bun doesn't fail, and it leaves you wondering why you don't find room in your schedule for weekday breakfast dessert more often.