My last day in Chicago, at the height of summer, was my day to get spitcakes with my copilot (who is also named Sam). I knew that Chi-tonw was home to Lutz Café, up by Horner Park, and Racine in the Polish-Lithuanian southwest side.
The display of Lutz baumkuchen available to-go.
Racine šakotis/raguolis in its protective plastic wrap.
Lutz Café, which offers baumkuchen, is very much a restaurant and tea room. Racine is rather a specialty supermarket which happens to have šakotis (which they call raguolis, equally valid). Both places bake their cakes on-site, though only Lutz has the option of eating it there. Most are packaged up and sold just like a mass-produced confection. This seemed unjust to me, but I didn't have much time to dwell on it. Sam and I splurged on cakes, loaded them into a cooler, and early next morning set off for a little hamlet in Ohio, to meet a man who needs no introduction...