Pleasant House Bakery & Café | Bridgeport, Chicago

British-slanted garden-to-table at Pleasant House

"A lot of yield out of a little space" is Arthur Jackson's aim for his three garden plots, located in Bridgeport, in Pilsen, and in the small Illinois town where he grew up. "Kind of like our restaurant," he says.

Pleasant House, the tiny, BYOB Bridgeport café he opened with his wife, Chelsea, last week, packs the ambition of a far larger venture into the low-ceilinged, one-room building next to Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar.

As the weather warms, the produce grown by the pair along with Chelsea's brother, the garden manager, will find its way into Cornish pasties and savory pies, cucumber and salmon tea sandwiches with zucchini pickles, and tarts, scones and cakes. Hops from the garden will eventually star in house-brewed beer, which will be featured in the steak-and-ale pie.

For now, find the garden's kale in a kale-mushroom pie ($7), and its herbs in house-made sausages. Sit at one of the seven small tables and compose a meal by adding a side of mashed potatoes ($2) or triple-fried chips ($2), and a house-made tea soda ($2), a flowery, crimson combination of hibiscus, rooibos, orange and mint.

Go Friday nights for fish and chips–an unexpected, but exciting, taste of Britain in Bridgeport.

Pleasant House Bakery, 964 W. 31st St.; 773-523-7437 or