Jam Restaurant Chicago Illinois (A Breakfast Gator Top Pick)

Jam WEBSITE

Good Morning All!

Jam doesn’t open until 7 which of course is really late as far as I’m concerned. I’m used to going to breakfast at 6-6:30. I was Taking pictures outside at a couple minutes before 7 and our Server Vicky Waved us in.

Jam Exterior
Jam Exterior

We went inside. I chose a spot right in the front window

Jam Interior
Jam Interior
Jam Interior
Jam Interior
Jam Interior
Jam Interior

Vicky 9 asked if we wanted Coffee. Yes of course. They made it fresh. They use Metropolis Coffee.  The Coffee was worth the wait  8. The Table was High and the Clear Plexi chair was uncomfortable for Tubbies  5. The interior style is Modern  8. and Carpet Free  10.  I really couldn’t tell what the music was. I had a general Idea what I wanted but I had a final consult with Vicky.

Burrito Suizo

Buckwheat Crêpe, Braised Beef, Tomato Crema, Jardinière, Smoked Gouda, Sunnyside Egg

Usually I have to work pretty hard to make a haphazard presentation look good but this was beautiful as is.

Jam Chicago Burrito Suizo
Jam Chicago
Beautiful Burrito Suizo
Jam Chicago Burrito Suizo Close
Jam Chicago
Burrito Suizo Close
Jam Chicago Burrito Suizo Cut
Jam Chicago
Burrito Suizo Cut

Egg could have been used a bit more cook time  7. Tomato Crema – Yummy  8. Frizze Salad was a bit Salty and I am the king of salt  7. The Beef was Tender Tasty and Juicy  8. This is a Delicious Entree.  9 Worth the drive.

Eggs Benedict

English Muffin, Poached Eggs, Crispy Pork Belly, Maitake Mushroom Hollandaise

Jam Chicago Eggs Benedict
Jam Chicago
Eggs Benedict
Jam Chicago Eggs Benedict
Jam Chicago
Eggs Benedict

Eggs were very close to my preference  8. Square Muffin was interesting. Not your standard medium low grade english muffin.  8. would have been a 9 if it was toasted a bit more. Maitake Mushroom Hollandaise  A tasty  8. Needs More of it. The Pickled Mushrooms add a touch of acid to cut through the fat from the Pork Belly  8. Deep Fried Pork Belly. Can’t Miss  8.   This Dish Another Hit  8

 

Malted Custard French Toast

Macerated Stonefruit, Lime Leaf Cream, Pink Peppercorns

Jam Chicago Malted French Toast
Jam Chicago
Malted  Custard French Toast
Jam Chicago Malted French Toast Interior
Jam Chicago
Malted Custard French Toast
Interior

Compote was Pretty Good.  Semi Sweet  7.  Super Fluffy Whipped Cream With Pink Peppercorns  9.  French Toast. This is the first French Toast that I’ve had in the last 10 years from a restaurant that was made properly.  9  They are NOT going to get “THE LINK” My regular readers know what this means. This is a major accomplishment! Congratulations Jam.

Wrapping it up, Jam Makes a Breakfast Gator top pick. You need to go there!

OK That’s it for me. I’m off to my next adventure!BreakfastGator_Color_Logo_1R

 

 

Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin Illinois

Sweet Berry Cafe WEBSITE

Good Morning Breakfast Fans!

It’s about 6:25 and I’m waiting for the opening bell. I grab camera 1, my bag, and head out.

Sweet Berry Cafe Exterior
Sweet Berry Cafe
Exterior
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin Exterior
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Exterior

I saw them unlock the door so I headed in.

Sweet Berry Cafe Waiting Area
Sweet Berry Cafe
Waiting Area
Sweet Berry Cafe Interior
Sweet Berry Cafe
Interior Note the Large Fruit Photo
Sweet Berry Cafe Interior
Sweet Berry Cafe
Interior with more Fruit Photos
Sweet Berry Cafe Interior
Sweet Berry Cafe
Interior

I wandered in. The Hostess was busy doing something and told me to sit anywhere. I sat in a booth by the window of course. The table was really high. Chest high to be exact. My Very Friendly Server Jonathan came over. Coffee? YES! Yes there is Splenda. He came right back with Coffee and a Carafe.  Coffee  7.  Carafe  10. They tout that they have Kona Coffee. Little do they know that they are dealing with Geno Beano. Kona Coffee is a Varietal Coffee from the Kona region of Hawaii and it’s WAY too expensive to serve in a restaurant as their regular Coffee. what they are serving is a Kona blend. Kona Coffee is actually pretty bland anyway. It has a great aroma but it has very little body. It really is not a great Coffee to serve for breakfast. I personally would much rather see a blend that leans more on the Sumatra or Kenya side. End of Coffee Rant…

Decor is Plain. Fairly Modern. Pictures of Fruit and Vegetables.  7.  NO Carpet 10.  Music is upbeat Coffeehouse music. Train, Dave Matthews etc.  8.

After some discussion with Jonathan I’m ready for round one. In spite of the fact that I have a carafe of Coffee on the table Jonathan kept my Coffee mug full. NICE!

Pork Belly Skillet.

Beer Roasted Pork Belly, Onions, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Jack Cheese, Potatoes, Balsamic Vinegar Reduction, Two Eggs

Pork Belly Skillet Aerial View Complete with Orange Slice
Pork Belly Skillet
Aerial View
Complete with Orange Slice
Sweet Berry Cafe Pork Belly Skillet Closeup
Sweet Berry Cafe
Pork Belly Skillet Closeup

Eggs are cooked well  8.  Pork Belly is Delish Good seasoning Tender Porky  8.  Potatoes are OK potatoey  7. Cheesy  I would actually be OK without the Cheese. Did I really say that?!  And lets not forget the Orange slice. WOOHOO! OK Kids do you want to say it with me? “1965 called and they want their garnish back”  Overall a Delicious Dish. a reorderable item  8.

Sweet Berry Pancakes

Sweet Berry Cafe Sweet Berry Pancakes
Sweet Berry Cafe
Sweet Berry Pancakes

Pancakes alone. Decent. quite possibly not a mix. light fluffy a touch of salt  7.  Premium Fruit Big fat Raspberries and Blueberries. Nice Strawberries.  8.  Creme Anglaise was good  7.

Entree 2 Seafood Benedict

Blue Crab and Tiger Shrimp Cakes topped with two poached eggs and drizzled with carrot chipotle hollandaise sauce.

Sweet Berry Cafe Crab Cake Benedict Aerial View Double Orange Slices!
Sweet Berry Cafe
Crab Cake Benedict
Aerial View
Double Orange Slices!
Sweet Berry Cafe Crab Cake Benedict Closeup
Sweet Berry Cafe
Crab Cake Benedict
Close Up

Eggs a near perfect  9.  Crab Cakes. Crabby but too much filler  6. Carrot Chipotle Hollandaise. Interesting. Spicy. I have to say that I haven’t had anything like it before.  8.  Fruit cup.  Fresh Pineapple Melon Grapes  7.  I wasn’t crazy about this dish but I give them props for trying something different.  I’m not going to rate it.

This was not my first visit to Sweet Berry. They are right in my Hood, on my way to work, and right next door to where I get my hair cut. It’s a good thing the place it’s decent. Sweet Berry goes into the Breakfast Gator category of good reliable consistent places.  Thanks Jonathan. Great Service  10.

OK so that’s it. I’m off to my next adventure.BreakfastGator_Color_Logo_1R

 

 

Egg Harbor Cafe Geneva Illinois

Egg Harbor Cafe WEBSITE

Good Morning Everybody! It’s about 6:40

Egg Harbor Cafe Geneva That Way
Egg Harbor Cafe Geneva
That Way

I felt as though it was about time that I reviewed this popular chain. A lot of people asked me about it and it’s a regular spot of my buddy Dan

Egg Harbor is located in the southeast corner of a cul de sac. It’s kind of hard to describe but it will make sense when you find the place.

They have a lot of waiting area. I’m sure that they need it on the weekend.

Egg Harbor Cafe Entrance
Egg Harbor Cafe Entrance
Egg Harbor Cafe Back Side Including My Shadow
Egg Harbor Cafe
Back Side
Including My Shadow and wispy clouds
Egg Harbor Cafe Waiting Area
Egg Harbor Cafe
Waiting Area
Egg Harbor Cafe Inside Waiting Area Including Chicken Mat
Egg Harbor Cafe
Inside Waiting Area
Including Chicken Mat

I went inside to an abandoned Hostess stand.

Egg Harbor Cafe Host/Hostess & Check Out
Egg Harbor Cafe
Host/Hostess & Check Out

I went into the actual restaurant and found my server. I chose a table near a window of course. Ordered Coffee. Water is already on the table in a pitcher and there is Colored Pencils for the Kiddies or the child within.

Egg Harbor Cafe Water, Colored Pencils, and condiments
Egg Harbor Cafe
Water, Colored Pencils, and condiments
Egg Harbor Cafe Water Pitcher
Egg Harbor Cafe
Water Pitcher and Lemon Slice
Egg Harbor Cafe Colored Pencils
Egg Harbor Cafe
Colored Pencils

I perused the menu and Linda 10.  brought my Coffee immediately in a custom 10 pound Egg Harbor Coffee Mug that proudly announces that they were established in 1985 and a Carafe of Coffee.

Egg Harbor Cafe 10 pound Coffee Cup
Egg Harbor Cafe
10 pound Coffee Cup

Linda and I consulted on my Choices and I ordered up.

The Decor is Chictacular. 5. Carpeted  0. You KNOW how I feel about Carpet! Music is mixed era rock music  8.

Egg Harbor Interior
Egg Harbor Interior
Egg Harbor Interior
Egg Harbor Interior
Egg Harbor Interior
Egg Harbor Interior

 

 

Food Time!

Fried Green Tomato Benedict

A southern fav! Sauteed bacon, roasted red peppers, fried green tomatoes and poached eggs atop an English muffin with creamy hollandaise sauce. Served with cheese grits.

Egg Harbor Cafe Fried Green Tomato Benedict
Egg Harbor Cafe
Fried Green Tomato Benedict

You know that I am not going not let them get away with the messy plate right?

Egg Harbor Cafe Plate goo
Egg Harbor Cafe
Plate goo
Egg Harbor Cafe Fried Green Tomato Benedict Closeup
Egg Harbor Cafe
Fried Green Tomato Benedict Closeup
Egg Harbor Cafe Cheese Grits
Egg Harbor Cafe
Cheese Grits

Hollandaise. Eggy Lemony  7.  The Eggs could have used another 30 seconds  7.  Bits of Bacon and Red Bell Peppers  8.  English Muffin was actually Toasted  8.  The Fried Green Tomato was soggy from the Egg and the sauce  4.  but the Tomato supplied a little fresh acid  pop to the dish.  8.   The Cheesy Grits had a bit of raw crunch and could have used a touch of salt.  7.

Overall this was a good dish. A definite reorder item for me. a High 7 Low 8. Order this.

The Manager was happy in his work. he was cleaning and whistling Badly while he was doing it.  My sweet entree arrived.

Summer in Italy French Toast

Rich and creamy strawberry flavored Italian cheese layered between three slices of extra thick French toast garnished with fresh berries, crunchy granola, powdered sugar and a drizzle of raspberry sauce.

Egg Harbor Cafe Summer In Italy French Toast
Egg Harbor Cafe
Summer In Italy French Toast
Egg Harbor Cafe Summer In Italy French Toast Closeup
Egg Harbor Cafe
Summer In Italy French Toast Closeup

I might as well start off with “THE LINK” and get it out of the way. For newbies to my blog I feel like it’s a really rare restaurant that makes french toast properly. “THE Alton Brown Makes French Toast LINK”

This Dish was beautiful but disappointing. It was a few slices of commercial brioche bread   6.  some fresh fruit  8.  and some Mascarpone  7. Overall for me a sad 6 because it lacked actually being Buttery Eggy Delicious French Toast.

That’s a wrap for Egg Harbor. A solid reliable chain choice.

 

OK Kids That’s it for me. I’m off to my next Adventure!BreakfastGator_Color_Logo_1R

 

Katie’s Kitchen Des Plaines Illinois

Katie’s Kitchen WEBSITE

Good Morning! It’s 6:20 am. I pull into the stripmall parking lot and there is a car already waiting however my breakfast guest is not. I wait in the Breakfastmobile and listen to some Kansas while I wait. It is now 6:30 and I see the “OPEN” sign is flipped around. I grab the backpack.

You can tell right off that this is a classy joint by the poster of the half naked woman on the abandoned Tanning Salon next door.

Katie's Kitchen Exterior Half Naked Chick on the poster next door
Katie’s Kitchen Exterior
Half Naked Chick on the poster next door

I went inside as my guest hadn’t shown up yet.

Katie's Interior Large waiting area
Katie’s Interior
Large waiting area

The place was probably something in it’s heyday. It really needs a makeover.

Katie's Interior
Katie’s Interior
Katie's Interior
Katie’s Interior
Katie's Interior
Katie’s Interior

There wasn’t anyone standing inside so I wandered a little further and ran into a bus person who tried to seat me. I asked if I could sit at another table and he reluctantly gave in. I sat my camera on the table and put down my backpack. As soon as I put it down my server came in and asked if I could change tables. I was taking a “Regulars” spot. I moved. I usually like a spot by a widow but their really wasn’t any. The only spot near a window was a spot on “The Bench” My regulars know that’s not going to happen. My guest arrived.

This place doesn’t really have an interior style. It has a fireplace and a few tuscan paintings and on the wall in the other room some kind of abstract mural. Worn wood tables and worn carpet 4.  The music is contemporary pop/rock  7.

Katie's Worn Table
Katie’s Worn Table

Our VERY friendly Server Mary  9.  greeted us and asked if we wanted Coffee. Yes of course and YES there was Splenda. The Coffee 6.

Mary disappeared then reappeared with a couple of mini Strawberry Muffins.  Muffins 7.

Katie's Kitchen Strawberry Mini Muffins
Katie’s Kitchen
Strawberry Mini Muffins

AS per my normal procedure I ask my server for some suggestions. One of their signature items is an omlette surrounded in hash browns. This is not the first time that I have seen this. So My 1st choice was Santa Fe Chicken Nest. This selection came with choice of Toast or Cakes. I chose Cakes with an upgrade to Bread Pudding Pancakes.

Katie's Kitchen Santa Fe Chicken Nest with totally unnecessary strawberry garnish ariel view
Katie’s Kitchen
Santa Fe Chicken Nest with totally unnecessary strawberry garnish ariel view

When Mary brought this over and set it down she seemed as surprised at the Strawberries garnish as I did.

This is one ugly dish. Try as I might I couldn’t make this look good.

You can see the ingredients peeking out.

Katie's Kitchen Santa Fe Chicken Nest
Katie’s Kitchen
Santa Fe Chicken Nest
Katie's Kitchen Santa Fe Chicken Nest interior
Katie’s Kitchen
Santa Fe Chicken Nest interior

The Hash Browns are of the typical commercial frozen variety. This is not necessarily a bad thing. They are a little soft.  7.  The scrambled egg was surprisingly decent. It was soft and fluffy.   7.   It was like a log of scrambled eggs with the rest of the ingredients dispersed inside. The chicken sausage was pretty standard. It tasted like Emeril’s or Amy’s.  7.  It also contained some Jalapenos, Red Bell Peppers, Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Scallions. So overall this is an interesting  7.

Katie's Kitchen Santa Fe Chicken Nest Softish Scrambled Egg
Katie’s Kitchen
Santa Fe Chicken Nest
Softish Scrambled Egg

Bread Pudding Pancakes

Katie's Kitchen Bread Pudding Pancakes
Katie’s Kitchen
Bread Pudding Pancakes
Katie's Kitchen Bread Pudding Pancakes Close Up
Katie’s Kitchen
Bread Pudding Pancakes
Close Up

A tad burnt, soft, moist, and dense. It was nice to have pancakes that didn’t come out of a 50 pound bag. The fruit was fresh and the compote was tasty.  8. This was worth the drive!

Next Green Benedict
Toasted english muffin, pulled pork, two poached eggs, green salsa, jack cheese, garnished with avocado and black bean corn Salsa

Katie's Kitchen Green Benedict

Katie’s Kitchen
Green Benedict

Katie's Kitchen Green Benedict Closeup
Katie’s Kitchen
Green Benedict Closeup

The Potatoes are decent. They taste like they are seasoned with lawry’s seasoned salt. 7. The English Muffin was actually toasted  8.  The Pork was tender tasty and porky. Could use a touch more salt.  8. Could use some more Salsa. The Eggs were a little overcooked. 7. In lieu of Hollandaise it was covered in Jack Cheese.

Katie's Kitchen Overcooked Poached Egg
Katie’s Kitchen
Overcooked Poached Egg

This is an Entree that is not typically found in a suburban setting. It was pretty good.  7. It would have been an 8 if it had more salsa and I never did see the Black Bean Corn Salsa.

Last Up  French Toast

Cinnamon Swirl
(As Featured in Chicago Magazine October 2009 & December 2010) Fresh homemade cinnamon rolls lightly grilled and served with maple syrup and cream cheese glaze.

Katie's Kitchen Cinnamon Swirl French Toast
Katie’s Kitchen
Cinnamon Swirl French Toast
Katie's Kitchen Cinnamon Swirl French Toast With Frosting
Katie’s Kitchen
Cinnamon Swirl French Toast With Cream Cheese Frosting

Warm Sweet Gooey Cinnomoney but not French Toast.  7.  They have earned “THE LINK” Alton Brown Makes French Toast LINK I have had a dozen versions of this but with 1 exception none of them really passed for French Toast. You know that I have unwavering opinions on French Toast.

That about does it for Katie’s. A decent local spot with a decent menu.

OK That’s it for me. I’m off to my next adventure.BreakfastGator_Color_Logo_1R