Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jam [Chicago]

I am honestly in love with brunch here in Chicago. Not only are there restaurants that specialize ONLY in the art of breakfast food, not only do they serve large portions, but they also like to put twists and creativity in their dishes.. and they do it well.

After finding out about Jam, we quickly planned it into our weekend to go first thing in the morning (to beat the rush). This cash only byob is subtly located on Damen St in Ukrainian Village. Being such a beautiful day, we decided to sit outside on their lovely rather big patio. It had a backyard vibe because of all the plants and their dog and cat on the side.

The menu is small but filled with breakfast favorites with a unique twist you would not expect. Egg Sandwich with pork cheek, ricotta, and green apple ketchup.. Pork Loin with poached egg, rice grits, and cumin spiced carrot puree.. There is definitely nothing bland or boring about this menu!
We decided to order a half order of the Malted Custard french toast (with macerated fig & Quince, citrus cream, and pink peppercorn) to start, and I had the eggs benny (with pork belly, and pea hollandaise), and friend had the buckwheat crepe with braised lamb and hazelnut-sage glaze. Under the direction of Chef Jeffrey Mauro, who has worked at Charlie Trotter's and North Pond, our waitress assures us we cannot go wrong with whatever we get. She was right :)

To start, we got a amuse bouche of a snicker doodle cupcake. A nice sweet bite to start. I love amuse bouches :) Our french toast was perfect size for us since I am not a big fan of them. It was soft with a burst of custard flavor, going well with the fig & quince. The only thing that was offputting about this dish was the peppercorn.. which I did not like at all.

Our mains come and this has to be the prettiest eggs benny I have ever seen. The pork belly went fantastic with it and I loved how the sauces were on the side so it didn't overload my eggs benny. The lamb crepe was soft and flavorful, but could prove to be a little too heavy for a breakfast.

Service was prompt with our water glasses filled at all times. Having overheard our convo about where else to eat, our waitress gets the sous chef in training to give us some recommendations on diner joints (since we hinted how much we love them). The only downside I think, is that they don't have business cards (weird). Other than that, make sure you try Jam for brunch! :)

Jam on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Glenn's Diner [Chicago]

Last Summer, I had cable. and not just cable, I had up to channel 59 (I don't usually have cable, I just need ninjavideos and in my case right now, hulu :]). I really didn't care for all these channels, except one- the food network. Because I didn't really have internet last summer (what a pain), I would fall asleep watching channel 52. One of the shows I frequently watched was Diner Drive ins and Dives. Man, that show is a godsend. Greasy, oily, deep fried, meaty, massive portions, etc of food, how can you not like it?? So imagine my excitedness when I had a chance to go to Glenn's Diner.. one episode I actually vividly remember watching (because I remember the cereal boxes ha).

Located right at Montrose station, this little diner is known for serving 16 fresh fish daily. Inside, outside seating, either way you choose, you still get to see the chalkboard written fish specials of the day. We decided to share a crab cakes to start followed by Rainbow Trout for me and Mahi Mahi for friend. The crab cakes weren't bad, they were filled with crab meat but they weren't very big. Apparently Hugo Frog's has the best crab cakes. I will have to check it out soon :)

Our mains arrive and they look SO good. Not only was the piece of fish massive, but it was very fresh as well. My rainbow trout with pecan sauce went so perfectly together. Served with asparagus and potatoes, I finished up every last bite of it. It was made so well. My friend's mahi mahi, however, was overcooked :( How unfortunate. it looked nice though.

Service was great, and the desserts looked good but we were too full to eat on. Now I have to try Kuma's Corner and Depot Diner from the show :) Link to the Clip

Glenn's Diner on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yolk [chicago]

I am basically IN LOVE with Chicago. This city has it all.. shopping, tall buildings, beach, and obv the food. Last morning after tanning on the beach (which is 5 minutes from us, as opposed to 40 minutes before in Van), we were craving breakfast food so I suggested Yolk. The place was raved about and the menu sounded DELICIOUS.. might I add it was also extremely close to where we live. Score.

Turning onto Wells St, we see a giant mass of people. Ah crap, there's a massive lineup. But I must say, the people at Yolk are extremely efficient and the table turnovers is quick and fast. Although they quoted us 30-45 minutes, names were called every 1-2 minutes so they were making it down the list of names quickly. Yes, it did take the quoted time.. but what did we expect on July 4th weekend.

We kept busy during this time by deciding on what to eat.. since the menu was quite large and I honestly wanted EVERYTHING. I was craving fruits and wanted Granola but my friend told me she would hit me if I waited for 45 minutes for some fruit and granola. She has a point. So after basically drooling over the guy who sat by the window's dish of something that looked like veggie omelette, I decided on getting the green garden omelette that came with fruit/potato and pancake/toast for 9.99. Friend got the scrambler for 7.99 that came with the same sides. Other things I wanted to try a lot were the tour de france (sample of the 3 french breads for 9.99) and the eggs benny (supposedly best in the whole chi?) and obv.. the yogurt and granola. :(

Finally having our name called, we quickly ordered. The restaurant is pretty large and food was bustling out the kitchen at record speed and my gosh, there was a LOT of food. We finally got our order and WOW it was MASSIVE. For a side of fruits, I honestly expected those stupid fruit salads of melons, pineapple, and grapes in small portions.. but they gave us a watermelon slice, a bunch of grapes, 3 orange rounds and a pineapple slice (which I was CRAVING). I was impressed. The omelette was huge as well absolutely filled with veggies such as asparagus, tomato, mushroom, etc with sour cream and cheese on top. Man if I was hungover, this would have been HEAVEN. It was still pretty good but I was soo full I couldn't finish it all, the omlette was also a little too runny/watery for my liking.

Loved it, well worth the wait. I can't wait to try Lou Mitchell's and Ann Sather now. more chicago posts to come.. and vancouver too :)

Yolk on Urbanspoon