The Doughnut Vault

Happy Monday.  I am back in Prague after spending a couple days extra hot days  in Vienna with our house guests.  We had 35 degree plus weather every day but still managed to tour new parts of the city and stay cool with lots of gelato (even tried poppy seed gelato)!

Before I delve into Vienna later this week, I wanted to  briefly blog about the Doughnut Vault in Chicago.  This place looks awesome for a couple reasons.

#1 The Doughnut Vault makes fresh, home made doughnuts in interesting mouthwatering flavours such as Dreamsicle, Coconut Old Fashioned, Powdered Sugar Stack, and Double Chocolate Yellow Cake (to name a few)….

#2 The Doughnut Vault close after they sell out of their doughnuts- which is usually sometime before noon!  Using various forms of social media these doughnut experts alert customers what doughnut flavours (their blog/Twitter) they will have on offer that day and how long the line up is out the door. Brilliant digital marketing!

If you are not in Chicago, or don’t have a plan to visit the city, I thought I would provide you with a visual of the Doughnut Vault process.  Below is a beautiful time-lapsed video to illustrate the company’s popularity and impressive sell out rate.

Doughnut Vault Timelapse from Mark Pallman on Vimeo.

And don’t think I would leave you without some pictures!?!

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4,


sprinkles chicago

Sprinkles cupcakes opened a shop in Chicago last fall (2010) and the facade of the retail store is unreal!  They replicated their signature cupcake style on the front of the building.  How cool is that?  I can’t wait to visit next time I am in Chicago.  Sprinkles, Toronto is calling 🙂

via chicago cupcake crawl

via chicagonista


chicago: architecture

Some shots of my trip and my obsession with modern architecture/mixed use buildings:


chicago: eating

I had a fabulous weekend away in Chicago.  It was my first time visiting the city and I have nothing but positive reviews.  I could not believe how many times a stranger would walk up to me and ask if I needed directions.  So friendly.  It made me reflect on how unfriendly Toronto can be in comparison to the midwestern hospitality I was shown. 

My trip basically consisted of walking for eight hours a day, eating and taking photos of as much modern architecture as I could!  Thankfully I had good, windy weather on my side last weekend which made the aforementioned activities a pleasure.  My notable stops around the city included pizza at Quartino, Mexican at Zocalo, breakfast (aka amazing granola and a solid chocolate, almond ricotta coffee cake) at Milk and Honey cafe, drinking cupcakes (and a special tasting from Patty Rothman herself (*thanks Patty!!!) of the Valrhona chocolate, salted caramel (my favourite), red velvet and chocolate cupcakes) at More, a slice of apple rhubarb pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company, brunch at Cafe Selmarie, a lite snack at Brasserie Jo, and a pillow (home decor) from Homey.

Here are some shots- architecture shots coming soon:

Inside More Cupcakes - best cupcakes ever in Chicago

Amazing coffee cake from Milk and Honey Cafe

Signature granola from Milk and Honey Cafe

Hoosier Mama Pie Company Freshly Baked Pies

Buckwheat Pancakes from Elly's Pancakes

Argo Tea Love the Earl Grey Creme

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I am venturing to a new US destination tomorrow morning:  Chicago.  After almost eight years of back and forth to New York with only a small detour to San Francisco and Boston, I have not done my part to explore the US.  I drew the line when the talk of vacation to a US destination came up and decided if I keep going back to my usual haunts, I will never get to anywhere new.  How will I bring back new and inspiring ideas if I keep going to the same cities (not that there is anything uninspiring about New York, SF and Boston). 

I have a massive itinerary of food, food, architecture, food and men’s clothing stores (for my bf).  We are an odd bunch of tourists if you ask me.  Who goes to a city and completely bypasses the tourist stuff, the monuments, the things the city is well-known for and instead compiles a list of restaurants, coffee/tea shops, bakeries, and grocery stores as a way to tour a destination?  I figure, it is via food that we will experience the city, its neighbourhoods and what the rave reviews are all about when people talk about Chicago pizza, chicken and waffles, hotdogs and a long list of other “chicago” style items I have read about while doing my city research.

In honour of the trip, I put together a selection of event ideas from three Chicago blogs:, Itsajaimething, and Chicago Style Unveiled

Items mentioned below:

David Burke’s Primehouse

Flirty Cupcakes (aka the cupcake van)

Looking forward to reporting back on my experiences this weekend.

via chicagoist (david burke's pastry kitchen at Primehouse)

via it's a jaime thing "cupcake on wheels"

via Chicago Style Unveiled

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Sweet Treat Round Up

I have been making mental notes of new (that is, new to me) and notable sweet treats that I think deserve a prominent space at an event, as a host/hostess gift or just for pure indulgence.  

First up, Twisted Sisters by sisters, Missy and Jill are the two enterprising women behind the Toronto based gourmet pretzel company.  They offer four products with lots of variations including twisted apples, marshmallows, pop’ems (pretzel sticks) and of course regular pretzels dipped in chocolate, candies and more.  I have done chocolate dipped pretzels at a wedding, they were packaged in two’s for guests to share and they turned out to be a hit.  I will definitely keep Twisted Sisters in mind for my next salty/sweet table!

via food and drink magazine

Next up is More Cupcakes from Chicago.  Move over pastry chefs, owner Patty Rothman is a cupcake curator!   Patty designs cupcake creations using high quality ingredients.  To me, More Cupcakes look sophisticated and are a far departure from “grandmas kitchen” cupcakes.  For a sophisticated dinner party, More Cupcakes (sadly only in the US) would make a great after dinner indulgence. 

via jtwoo

via chicago bites

Lastly, Suite 88 in Montreal ranks high on my list of sweet treats that are not to be overlooked.  Their modern chocolates are complemented by the equally modern, minimalist interior design of their two boutiques in the city.  If you happen to be in Montreal and can stop by Suite 88, in addition to purchasing chocolates, you can relax in store and taste their amazing waffles, gelato, chocolate bars and rich hot chocolate.

via suite 88

via suite 88

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