Category Archives: cheap, tasty brunch
I have a love/hate relationship with weekend brunch in this city. On one hand, well, I love it, especially when I go with friends who are down to order their own egg entrée to appease the salty cravings, and are totally fine with throwing in an order of pancakes, scones or waffles to share, and simultaneously satisfy the sweet. Sometimes I love it just for the endless warmups of coffee in thick porcelain mugs, and also because I can say that I’ve already been social for the day and can easily just do a whole lot of serious nothing for the rest of it. And what I hate? Well, waiting. And being hungry, and waiting. Sometimes outside and totally coffee-less for up to a good hour! So when I ventured up to the new and highly praised Bakin’ & Eggs in Lakeview a couple weekends ago, I expected a wait, and there was one, 40 minutes..but I didn’t mind a bit. The place, decked in shades of chocolate brown and light blue, is spacious and bright, so you don’t get that crammed-up-against-the-bar hovering feeling while you wait, trying not to let any drool get on the passing platters of heuvos rancheros and eggs benedict. Large, wide open wooden church pews await, and are conveniently placed near self-serving coffee stations, and well, things like this…
An endless bakery case filled with goodies that’ll hold you over until your name is called. Cupcakes, pies, danishes, cookies make up most of the Bakin’ side of the menu, and are a natural addition being that the brunch spot’s owners are also behind Wicker Park’s Lovely Bakery. Sit, snack, appease hunger.
And once you do sit, the eating adventure continues to the salty side, with a somewhat limited, but still tasty array of items like breakfast sandwiches, chicken apple sausage, fresh spinach, mushroom and gruyère frittatas, cheese grits, biscuits and gravy, and more sweet stuff like pumpkin pancakes, banana bread French toast, and a bacon waffle. And speaking of bacon, (nope not sick of it!), the $5 bacon flight is relatively pricey, but novel and interesting, so how can you not give it a go? The bacon isn’t cured in-house, but does offer an interesting array of tastes that hit each bud, like a smoky mesquite, spicy jalapeño, sweet honey, maple pepper and cherry-smoked, which was probably the least distinct of the bunch. Taste, ponder, compare, feel gross, finish it all anyway. Bakin’ & Eggs, 3120 N. Lincoln, 773,525.7005
2 napkin rolls, 2 saucers, 2 coffee mugs, salt, pepper, plate of sugar and sugar substitute, 2 spoons. 2152 N. Damen Ave., 773.862.5555
Well, I survived another holiday weekend in Milwaukee, sans speeding ticket and full of great food. Every time I head up there to visit my family I try to scope out great, newish restaurants and old hidden gems. Just a quick two-hour drive up is totally worth it for visit to the Calatrava at the Milwaukee Art Museum, or to one of the many lakeside fests (from Summerfest to Polish fest) that go off all summer. We devoured all the usual suspects, including fantastic steak at Coerper’s Five O’Clock Club, vodka milkshakes at At Random, burgers and custard from Kopp’s and discovered Trocadero for brunch. Reminiscent of a Parisian café and located in a great, historic building, the often-packed restaurant has a fun outdoor terrace area complete with a fountain and lights, heated patio and small café tables with wicker chairs inside. French-style breakfast crêpes include a smoked salmon and herb cream cheese, brie and portobello and ham with spinach and gruyère. The rosemary potatoes that come with other dishes like smoked salmon omelette and croque madame beat any breakfast potatoes I’ve had in Chicago, and the coffee and espresso drinks come with actual sugar cubes and a square of Valrhona chocolate. Dinner looks just as delish with mussels, steak frites and other bistro-inspired goodness. 1758 N. Water St., 414.272.0205