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! :)