So, I have been getting crazy with the Cheez Whiz doing brunch lately. (Yeah, I’m that old that I reference lyrics from 1994. Not only did I do music pre-digital, I did it pre-CD. Eat that, young ‘uns.) Besides being a bit feisty, I’m behind on my thoughts on brunch.
Brunch, for those of you who may not know me well, is my favoritist of favorite meals. Mostly because you can have a sandwich AND pancakes on one plate and no gives it a second thought. Fried chicken and waffles? Oh, yes you can! And, omelets! The good lord has never invented a more perfect dish. Eggs folded with whatever foodstuffs for which you might have a hankering. Best of all? You don’t have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to brunch. Heavenly, I say. Here are two restaurants where I’ve brunched at recently.
With two large city locations (and one out the suburbs), Wishbone is a good choice for low-wait time brunching. I would call it Southern-inspired (although they call it Southern reconstruction). Six of one, half dozen of the other. It’s tasty and as we live south of the Madison line, we went to the West Loop location when my mom was in town. Keep in mind that this location closes between 3 and 5, so if you like to brunch on the late side, get in before 2:30 (when the kitchen takes last brunch orders and the bar menu turns over from mimosas to dinner cocktails).
What We Ate
I had the corn cakes which are pancakes made from corn meal, bits o’ corn and scallions. They come with red pepper sauce and two eggs as you like them. And, yes, they taste fabulous with syrup—just the right amount of sweet and savory. Surprising everyone at the table and eschewing the biscuits and gravy, Paul had the North Carolina crab cakes which comes with hollandaise sauce; two eggs; home fries, beans, or grits; and a corn muffin, biscuit, or toast. So, I guess there’s enough food there for Paul. My mom went for the Louisiana chicken salad—blackened and warm chicken on a bed of mixed greens with a corn muffin or biscuit. I can’t really remember what my sister had, but she seemed to like it.
What We Drank
Sweet teas and waters all around. We dined al fresco. There’s a surcharge for alcoholic beverages on the patio. Really? You have to charge us extra? Boo.
Location: 1001 W. Washington (you know, right near where Oprah hangs out).
Owned by the folks who own Big Chicks (right next door), Tweet has an amazingly large menu which stresses organic ingredients. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. If it’s crowded when you get there, pop over to Big Chicks and wait at their bar. They make great bellinis, Bloody Marys, and mimosas. Space is limited (with a few outdoor tables when the weather is nice). They also have a decent “keep the kids entertained” basket that they bring to tables with wee ones.
What We Ate
I LOVE their quiche of the day platter. It is always a sure fire hit for my insides. But, since I always get that and wanted to try something else, I ordered David Sharpe’s omelet. Basically, a three-egger with sautéed asparagus, shallots, and Swiss cheese. Comes with toast and potatoes (although I had salad). And, fresh fruit or compote. As I’m not a big fan of melons, I always choose the compote which contains apples and pears made mushy by sugar and heat.
Tweet has a copious number of specials each brunch period. My friends ordered mostly off of that menu. One ordered the breakfast tortillas with chorizo. It was a gooey pile of sauces and burrito fixins laid atop stacks of tortilla rounds. Another friend did the make your own omelet. Again, these are three-egg omelets so they are rather large. And, the third friend at our table ordered one of the special omelets. I can’t remember what it was called, but it had bacon and veggies tucked inside.
What We Drank
Coffee all around except for me. I had a vanilla chai with soy. It came in a tall glass plus an accompanying carafe. So much chai, so very good.
Location: 5020 N. Sheridan Road. There’s street parking, and depending on the time of day, it might actually be easy.