Sugar Rush: Galaktoboureko from Artopolis

Sugar Rush

Reviews of desserts in Chicago.


[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

Until recently, my Greek pastry knowledge was limited to that king of Greek sweets: baklava. I set out to correct this embarrassing gap in my sweets consciousness this past weekend at Artopolis, one of a few restaurants in Greektown where you can catch a pleasant breeze on a nice day thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in the front. Because it is also syrup-soaked and encased in buttery crisp phyllo dough, the next logical rung on the Greek pastry ladder after baklava is galaktoboureko ($3.50).

For those who are also Greek-pastry-naive, don't feel ashamed doing the ol' menu point and "I'm not sure how to say this..." The waitress could not have been nicer about it. She also could not possibly have said "galaktoboureko" any faster, and as a result, I still have no idea how to say it. That will definitely not stop me from ordering this again though.

Imagine if baklava, a lemon bar, and bread pudding had a square, kind of homely food baby that ended up with all of the best qualities from its trifecta of parents. Baklava traits can be seen in the layers of both syrup-laden and crispy phyllo dough that encase a lemony, mildly sweet (but not tart!) custard filling that tastes and feels like bread pudding without the textural differentiation provided by cubes of bread. The entire square is steeped in a thin syrup that amazingly doesn't push the entire thing into too-sweet territory, instead just ensuring a moist, sticky custard pie.


306 S Halsted St. Chicago IL, 60661 (map)