I've come across at least 4 women whom I have overheard or spoken with directly about salt stained shoes. They all were bummed about the road salt staining their leather shoes and were going to throw out their shoes or felt their shoes were ruined. Gals... call your grandmothers! 3 parts white vinegar, 1 part water will get those stains right out.
Since I'm on the salt kick. There's a bar made entirely of salt. It's at the old Jolly Club banquet Hall on Irving just west of Narragansett in Chicago. You sit in chairs surrounded by tons of salt. It's supposed to be good for your system. Perhaps just a psychological ploy to fool your senses into thinking you're at the beach! Whatever!
I'd also like to use this blank space to share with you my feelings, to date, about where the best cupcakes are around Chicago - on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) (follow the link for the cupcake for a cool Threadless tee modeled by Indi)
1) Dinkel's - 10
My ALLTIME FAVORITE. Choclate cake w/ white buttercream. Great cake. Light buttercream. I'm still trying to coax the icing recipe from the. No dice.
2) Southport Market - 1 - They sucked. Horrible. Dry cake, overly sweet buttercream. Good food tho. The only thing worse would be finding hair in it.
3) Lutz Bakery - 5
Dry, bland cake, very, very light buttercream with interesting flavors.
4) Duncan Hines Devil's Food w/ Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge icing - 6
This is good cake. Icing will due in a pinch. I've been trying to make my own icing but can't seem to perfect the lightness of the buttercream. Lower rating because I don't have good icing for it.
5) Sweet Honey Bee Bakery (Ravenswood on Montrose) - 7
Cake good. Great variety. On the small side. Red velvet a thumbs up!
6) Costco - 8 (priced helped a little)
7) Trader Joes frozen Choc/choc. - 3
Defrosts fast. Cake rocks. Icing tastes how formaldehyde smells. Avoid embalming, and these cupcakes, until you are dead.
Excellent cake. Icing a bit sweet but you can't beat the price!
Places yet to be rated: Sweet Occasions (Andersonville), BomBon in Pilsen (food always GREAT), Swedish Bakery. Dinkels' still rules after years and years. Visit them on Lincoln north of Belmont and see for yourself. They rock! (get choc cake w/ white icing - donuts are awesome too - very awesome).
Lastly, just as a fabulous FYI... Costco Wholesale (my favorite store) now sells their awesome cakes in cupcake form! Woohoo~! Enjoy