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Sweet E's Bake Shop

My husband and I have an almost foolproof technique when it comes to hitting Miracle Mile food trucks during lunchtime. We show up later in the lunch service, when the lines have shortened, but the trucks haven't yet run out of food or put their doors down. Sweet E's, however, foiled our plan - they'd sold out of much of their stock by the time we made it over to their van, and we were faced with a largely empty baked-goods display. I knew then that their sweets must be "on point," as the young people say.

All smiles at Sweet E's

Sweet E's calls itself a mini bake shop, because its petite creations are "2-3 bites of pure delight." Since I'm a sweetaholic, 50 bites of pure delight is more my thing, but I know it's good to practice moderation, so instead of buying up all their remaining stock, I limited myself to a cookies-and-cream whoopie pie ($3) and a chocolate chip brownie ($1.25).

The Whoopie Pie featured cookies-and-cream icing sandwiched between two dense chocolate cakes. When icing's bad, it's really bad: before I take my first bite of anything iced, I'm always slightly wary of potential lardiness, grittiness, or tooth-piercing sugariness. I had nothing to be afraid of here; the Whoopie Pie's center had the smooth, perfectly blended consistency of ice cream. I also had no complaints cake-wise - they had a great chewy:cakey ratio, and their sweetness seemed like it'd been dialed down a notch so as not to compete with the icing.

Whoopie Pie and brownie from Sweet E's Bake Shop

If the Whoopie Pie's cakes were dense, the brownie was like an edible version of a black hole - just the way I like them. It was hard to believe there was any flour whatsoever in that thing. I couldn't hold it for more than a second without it melting all over my fingers, so, of course, I had to eat it very quickly. (I wouldn't normally have done that, you see. No, really.) In a remarkable display of self-control, I managed to save some for my son. After he'd finished it, he didn't believe me when I told him there was no more, and even demanded I show him the paper bag it had come in, just in case I was hoarding some for myself.

The next time I can make it out to the Sweet E's van, I plan to sample an assortment of the Cake Pops, chocolate-dipped mini cakes on lollipop sticks. I've been running my mouse pointer over the cake pop menu, watching the pictures of the cakes flash by, and drooling. My top three flavors to try: lemon cake dipped in white chocolate; chocolate cake dipped in peanut butter; and pumpkin spice cake dipped in white chocolate.

Sweet E's Bake Shop truck


Lake Street Creamery

Lake Street Creamery truck

Ice cream + food trucks = perfection, as far as I'm concerned. My trip to Lake Street Creamery only served to strengthen this conviction. The service is exceptionally accommodating, and the (ridiculously good) ice cream comes in unique, interesting flavors.

I love the look of the truck: its powder-blue wrap and classic fonts come straight from the 50s, but its logo is hardcore gangsta. The speakers were blaring the Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Dirty Boogie" album when I visited, which added to the 50s vibe.

Lake Street Creamery menu

The kind folks at Lake Street Creamery obliged us by letting us taste a few of the ice cream flavors. Donut was awesome, but my favorites were Black Jack and California Zephyr. Both were incredibly subtle flavors that still managed to be memorable. Black Jack is licorice-flavored, but isn't so intense that it blows your head off. California Zephyr blends Tahitian vanilla, mint and Meyer lemon. I expected it to be much tarter and tangier, but there was only a hint of lemon - the perfect amount. I eventually opted for a single scoop of Holiday Chocolate ($4), which featured cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and ginger in a base of Ghirardelli chocolate. The bits of ginger gave the ice cream a nice kick, and were the ideal size - big enough to be recognizable as pieces of fresh ginger, without being giant chewy chunks.

The scoop came in an edible waffle-cone bowl that stayed crisp all the way through my leisurely devouring of the ice-cream inside it. Seriously - my husband and I were amazed at this waffle bowl's ability to keep its shape and not get in the least bit soggy. A feat of culinary engineering! It was crunchy and sweet, with a touch of molasses flavor - one of the best waffle cones (and the only waffle bowl) I've had and it's eco-friendly, too.

The Pancake Breakfast flavor had maple syrup, bacon, and big cakey slabs of flapjack, all topped off with a sprinkle of fresh-ground coffee. My only beef? The pork. The bacon flavor was just too overpowering - maybe it was the size of the pieces. I'm not generally a huge fan of bacon in my sweets, however, and judging from the very positive online reviews, this flavor's a fan favorite, so what do I know: try it, despite what I say.

Lake Street Creamery offers floats, too - mix any of the truck's sodas with any ice cream flavor, and, as the English say, Bob's your uncle. Try Donut ice cream with chocolate soda for a Chocolate Donut float. There are also a whole bunch of flavors the truck serves as daily specials. One I definitely want to try is the Don Draper: vanilla ice cream with smoke, bourbon, and caramel sauce. Another is Bananarella: banana ice cream with chunks of banana and a Nutella ribbon. I'm going to have to go back to Lake Street Creamery for a return visit very soon.

Holiday Chocolate ice cream from Lake Street Creamery

Photos by Oliver Seldman