Saturday, September 27, 2008

One of everything, please: Miniature desserts at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba

I like tapas for a reason. And it's not the eclectic range of Spanish-inspired fare that reels me. Nor is it the span of spices, meats and artisan cheeses that I know I can always count on at a decent tapas joint.

What pulls me to these sharing-friendly spots is the scaled-down portions; when I eat tapas, I know that I can single-handedly down two or three platefuls of food and not have to undo the top button. The small serving size allows me to revel in a little bit of everything, which is especially great given my indecisive nature. There's just no room for entree envy when everything is made for sharing.

My tapas-love grew tenfold after dessert at Lincoln Park's Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. The restaurant's menu ranges in fruity choices like blueberry goat cheese flan, cherry bread pudding and mango sorbet, to more decadent selections like truffle chocolate cake, butterscotch custard cream and a caramel marcona almond tart, $2.75 each.

Never has it been an easy feat choosing from a trailing list of sugar-shackled treats. Typically I'm that girl standing in front of the pastry case with her mouth all agape and brows scrunched in utter disappointment that she can't order one of everything. But at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, I can pick as many bite-sized sweets as I like (the list tops out at 9) without a wince of sweet-tooth shame.

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