Formerly: Whether you go to Bleeding Heart for the pastries, the politics or for both, you’re bound to leave satisfied. Owner Michelle Garcia uses organic ingredients and buys from local farmers whenever possible. Sticky buns, monkey bread, buttery brioche and inventively flavored scones like dill and cheddar fill the shelves daily. Take your eyes off the hot pink walls and fur-covered pastry case and sink your teeth into delectable desserts like organic lemon bars and vegan and s'mores brownies. Other choices include tarts, charlottes (the winter flavor is pumpkin with fresh yogurt), cakes and cookies flavored with ingredients like rosewater and polenta. Not only is everything natural and delicious, it's affordable. The vegan banana walnut brownie is big enough for two at $2.50 and is so perfectly cooked it tastes like fudge.
If you're not in the mood for sweets, not to worry. Garcia's husband, Vinny, provides the savory foods: Two salads, two dips and four or five sandwiches are available daily, and brunch is served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on the weekends. Don't miss lunchtime's mac and cheese, made with extra-special goat cheese from an Illinois-based organic creamery: It'll put your grandma's version to shame.
Since Bleeding Heart is all about community, Garcia sells organic ingredients from local farmers; you can also purchase organic flour and sugar and attempt to invent your own baked delights. Or stop in for a cooking class.
Reviewed By: Emily Fiffer