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Comfort In A Cup

By Erin in Food on Jan 4, 2005 5:16PM

If 2004 was the year of tapas, or small-plate dining, then 2005 will be the year of the Comfort Food.

Comfort food — think hearty, filling — has been making its way onto menus for some time now. After 9/11, the school of thought was that restaurant patrons wanted something that would soothe the mind as well as sate the belly. Meatloaf, for instance, has popped up in some unexpected places such as Bar Louie, the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, and the Drake Hotel's Coq d'Or, and it's been the star attraction at places whose main focus has always been comfort food, such as Kitsch'n On Roscoe, Hotel Monaco's South Water Kitchen, and Twisted Spoke.

So it seems fitting that two of the restaurants receiving the lion's share of buzz for 2005 solely feature two of Chicagoist's favorite comfort foods of all time: cereal and soup.

As reported previously here at Chicagoist, Cereality Cereal Bar & Cafe is moving its headquarters from Boulder, Colo. to right here in Chicago. We've been excited about this development since we learned back in September we'd get our very own cereal bar. Chicagoist can think of no better brunching option than to handle our hangovers by hunkering down over a nice container of chocolately, crunchy goodness.

While we question the location, only because some of Chicagoist live on the far north side and the idea of traipsing down on a Saturday morning to the Financial District for Lucky Charms covered in malt balls seems unlikely, we're certain the concept will catch on enough for them to cater to everyone.

Simply Soup Co., the new gourmet soup store from Madison, Wis. that recently opened in Lincoln Park, brings with it an arsenal of more than 200 soup recipes, of which about 12 are featured each day. 2005_01_simplysoup.jpg

The choices range from traditional beef stew to more experimental fare such as Curried Carrot Soup with Wasabi Cream. There is something for everyone as vegetarian, low-fat, dairy-free, and low-carb soups are available.

Its chef makes the soups from scratch and owner Greg Roche is a graduate of the Johnson & Wales culinary school, so we'd expect nothing less. There are some interesting choices such as the Dill Pickle and Mac & Cheese that cause us to shake our head in wonder, but no doubt we'll give them a shot. We're suckers that way.

Images via Cereality Bar & Cafe and Simply Soup, Co.