Though less common in the Chicago area, Korean bakeries are ubiquitous in other cities with large Asian populations and, like our coffee shops, they attract everyone from teenagers to college students to older groups catching up with friends. Chicagoans can get Korean pastries at Bakersville and H-Mart's Bini Bakery, both in Niles, but the new Tous les Jours in Glenview, an outpost of the Korea-based bakery, has a much more substantial lineup of pastries and tables to sit and relax.
Golden pastries, loaves of bread and baked goods are lined up in gleaming cases that span the store, making it hard to know where to begin. There’s also a small warming case filled with croquettes in the corner and gorgeous cakes on display. Tous les Jours’s dough is shipped directly from Korea, and unlike typical European pastries, Korean pastries aren’t sugary sweet and they emphasize earthy sweet flavors, such as red bean, chestnut and sweet potato. Total beginner? Grab a tray and try these items.
Many Korean pastries straddle the fence between sweet and savory, such as Tous les Jours’s original mini cheesecake. Light and sweet, it has a surprisingly pungent cheesy flavor. I also liked the crunchy-soft panko crumb–covered curry croquette doughnut, which is filled with fragrant, spicy Japanese curry. The mini corn frank pastry is a thin sausage wrapped in a swath of thick, glazed croissant pastry and a dab of pizza sauce. I devoured the sticky-sweet meat pastry so fast, I immediately went back for a second one.
Other hits include the chestnut pastry, a gleaming behemoth of bread with craggy glazed peaks that’s intimidating in size. I broke the dense pastry open to discover mounds of chopped chestnuts, which were delicately sweet and creamy. The milk bread, a round, slightly sour, chewy pastry, is stuffed with luscious, vanilla bean–speckled custard. One disappointment was the sweet rice doughnut, which had a gummy, nearly impenetrable mochi layer, while the rest was mostly air, except for a dab of sweetened red bean paste.
There are whole loaves of bread to go, like the milk pan bread, a snow-white bread that’s sliced just a touch thicker than ordinary bread. It has the ideal chewiness, richness and crumb to make a perfect grilled cheese—it’s just the thing to tide me over, until I get another craving for a sausage pastry.
|Venue name:||Tous Les Jours||Contact:|
1685 Milwaukee Ave
|Opening hours:||Daily, 7am-11pm|
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