m.henry Chicago Illinois

m.henry WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

Sharp eyed regulars may have noticed that I have reviewed m.henry before. On Monday night December 21st I watched the Food Network show Top 5 Restaurants. It was the Brunch episode. mhenry was their #1 pick. My concern is that it may be very difficult to get in there for awhile. That coupled with the fact that this was one of the places that I lost in my blog purge. So here I am again. I’m not complaining as you will soon see..

We arrived 5 or 6 minutes before opening and was able to park right across the street from the place.

m.henry Chicago Exterior with BREKFST Mobile reflection in the window
m.henry Chicago
Exterior with BREKFST Mobile reflection in the window

 

In we go. This is a really cute place.

m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior
m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior
m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior
m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior
m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior
m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior
m.henry Chicago Interior
m.henry Chicago
Interior

There is electro jazz funk music playing in the background  9  and industrial vinyl tile flooring. (No Carpet)  10   Our Very Excellent Server Luis brought coffee immediately. The coffee was super strong and reasonably complex from Metropolis coffee.    8   Much to my surprise they serve poser Splenda. You want to cut corners? I’m sure that you can find a cheaper better substitute for Cholula hot sauce. That stuff is so boring.

The menu is like I like it. Short. My regular readers know why that this is better.

The Decision process went well and ordering ensued.

ONE (1)

jorge’s black bean cakes & huevos borrachos (drunken eggs)

two homemade black bean cakes served w/masa tortillas topped w/chorizo or soy chorizo, eggs any style or scrambled tofu, topped with adobo sauce. served w/sliced avocado, queso fresco, & sour crème

m.henry Chicago jorge's black bean cakes & huevos borrachos
m.henry Chicago
jorge’s black bean cakes & huevos borrachos
m.henry Chicago Black Bean Cake
m.henry Chicago
Black Bean Cake

The Poached Egg was nearly perfect. The sauce was delicious. The house made tortilla was a bit thick but tasty. The Black Bean cake was slightly sweet, soft, and flavorful. Other than the eggs needing a little salt, this  was a delicious dish and was artfully plated.   8    I asked Luis for a small togo container for my leftover Bean Cakes. Yes I actually took the leftovers. This is extremely rare for me. The container that he provided was exactly the right size.   10    It’s a pet peeve of mine that restaurants will give you a giant foam block for a couple of bites of food.

TWO (2)

dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette

our fluffy omelet sautéed with dandelion greens, caramelized shallots & leeks, and fontinella cheese, served with house potatoes or mixed greens salad.

m.henry Chicago dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette
m.henry Chicago
dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette
m.henry Chicago dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette
m.henry Chicago
dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette
m.henry Chicago House Potatoes
m.henry Chicago
House Potatoes
m.henry Chicago dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette
m.henry Chicago
dandelion, shallot, and leek omelette

As usual the omelette was overcooked. I don’t know why even the best places overcook omelettes.  The Potatoes were great. Charred, Oniony, Seasoned well. The Filling in the omelette was scrumptious. It had Fontinella Cheese which is a personal favorite. It is very under utilized. This dish was another  8  

 

BOTH dishes had Orange Slices. Say It! You know you want to! 1965 called. They wan’t their garnish back.

m.henry Chicago 1965 Orange Slice Garnish
m.henry Chicago
1965 Orange Slice Garnish

 

 

THREE (3)

cinnamon roll french toast

french toast made w/one of our house baked brioche cinnamon rolls, layered w/warm seasonal fruit, vanilla neufchatel crème & topped w/a granola crust

m.henry Chicago Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago
Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago
Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago
Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago Cinnamon Roll French Toast
m.henry Chicago
Cinnamon Roll French Toast

It’s NOT French Toast. You know how I feel about French Toast. WHO CARES! This House made Brioche Concoction is what the Food Network named #1 in the country. I don’t know if it’s a Breakfast Gator #1 but it’s a Very Rare Breakfast Gator   9    YUM

FOUR (4)

blackberry bliss cakes

our fluffy hotcakes layered w/warm blackberries & vanilla mascarpone cream, & topped w/a brown sugar & oat crust

m.henry Chicago blackberry bliss cakes
m.henry Chicago
blackberry bliss cakes
m.henry Chicago blackberry bliss cakes
m.henry Chicago
blackberry bliss cakes
m.henry Chicago blackberry bliss cakes
m.henry Chicago
blackberry bliss cakes

Fluffy Puffy Airy Berry Goodness. That’s It.   9

 

OK That wraps up another one. Add m.henry to your short list. It’s a Breakfast Gator Top Pick. Go There.

 

I’m off to my next adventure!Breakfastgator Logo Line R

 

Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin Illinois V2.0

Good Morning Gators!

This is my second review of SB. It’s a go to spot for me. It’s on my way to work, open early, consistent, and has enough variety to keep me coming back. I’m reviewing it again because I managed to purge a bunch of photos from my site by accident and left a whole bunch of pages without photos. You are going to see some repeats of some of restaurants that I feel are repeat worthy.

Off we go!

It’s 6:30 and it’s still dark out. There were already hungry morning people waiting to get in.

Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin Exterior

Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Exterior

We walked in. There wasn’t anyone there to greet us.

Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin Waiting Area
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Waiting Area
Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin No one to greet us...
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
No one to greet us…

There wasn’t anyone there to greet us so we took a seat by a dark window. Our Server discovered us and came by to bring menus and take a coffee order. She returned with a carafe for the table   10   Coffee   8   and they have Splenda.

They tout Kona coffee. I can pretty much predict that this is a Kona blend not straight Kona coffee. Straight Kona Coffee is about 30 bucks a pound. they are not serving this. Not to go off on a Geno Beano Coffee Rant but Kona coffee isn’t really all that anyway. It has  great aroma but it has very little body and doesn’t have much character. I much prefer a Guatemalan or even a Costa Rican. My favorite breakfast coffee is good Kenya AA. It goes great with sweet stuff. OK I guess I DID Rant.

The place is free of carpet  10  It if fully decorated for Christmas and has Christmas music playing slightly above background levels.

Iv’e been here many times so I pretty much know the menu. It didn’t take long to figure out the game plan.

1ST UP

Louisiana Grits Bowl

Creamy Grits, Scrambled Eggs, Andouille Sausage, Blackened Tiger Shrimp, Cheddar Cheese, Scallions, Cajun Hollandaise.

Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin Louisiana Grits Bowl
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Louisiana Grits Bowl
Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin Louisiana Grits Bowl
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Louisiana Grits Bowl

Grits are creamy and cooked through. Pop Quiz! What’s the difference between Grits and Polenta? About 10 bucks. Thanks. Be sure to tip your server. (That was a Foodie Joke) The eggs and the shrimp were a tad over. Cheesy, Tasty, Comforting. Overall this is a good dish. A definite reorder.   8    OH! I almost forgot the orange slice! Should we say it together? Sure we should. “1965 called they want their garnish back.”

NEXT

N’awlins benny

Andouille sausage, green peppers, onions and two poached eggs on our southwest potato pancakes. drizzled with cajun hollandaise and served with fresh fruit. (no breakfast potatoes)

Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin N'awlins Benedict
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
N’awlins Benedict
Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin N'awlins Benedict
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
N’awlins Benedict
Sweet Berry Cafe Elgin N'awlins Benedict
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
N’awlins Benedict

Potato Pancakes- Spicy Tasty a bit soggy. Needs a drop in the fryolator. Hollandaise is eggy and a tad sweet. The eggs were cooked near perfect. Sausage is good. Onions and green bells. You know how I feel about green peppers. I suppose that they are ok in this application. Overall This is a pretty decent dish.   7  would be an  8  if the cakes were crispy.

And Finally

Red velvet french toast

slices of red velvet cake rolled with cream cheese and dipped in our house batter. topped with fresh strawberries and drizzled with créme anglaise

Note: No link to Alton Brown’s French Toast Video. This particular version of “French Toast” is really more like desert. It’s definitely not french toast. The Red velvet Cake / Bread that they used for this with the built in cream cheese is delicious.  This was a good meal ender.   8   

Sweet Berry Cafe Red Velvet French Toast
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Red Velvet French Toast
Sweet Berry Cafe Red Velvet French Toast
Sweet Berry Cafe South Elgin
Red Velvet French Toast

 

OK Gators. That wraps it up for Sweet Berry. If you’re out South Elgin way, stop in.

As for me I’m off to my next adventure!

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BITE CAFE Chicago Illinois

BITE CAFE WEBSITE

We stood outside of BITE at opening time of 9am but they were not open. It was windy and cold.

BITE CAFE Exterior
BITE CAFE
Exterior

 

10 after 9. Someone from inside rolled up the blinds and unlocked the door. In we go.

BITE CAFE Interior
BITE CAFE
Interior
BITE CAFE Interior
BITE CAFE
Interior

 

Usual spot by the window at a teeny tiny table.

BITE CAFE TINY Table
BITE CAFE
TINY Table

 

Coffee ordered of course. The coffee that BITE serves is by Dark Matter Coffee. It was a Big Tough Coffee just like I like it.   8  No Splenda. Sugar in the raw and Stevia.  Stevia tastes like lawn clippings.   3

The brunch menu is pretty short which as my regular readers know is my preference. I had looked at the menu online the night before so  I had a rough idea what I wanted. Let’s get going. No Carpet   10   and Peter Gabriel playing in the background   9

Round 1

Pimento Cheese Eggs Benedict – Toasted English Muffin, Marinated Tomato,
Arugula, 2 Poached Eggs, Hollandaise, Mashbrown

BITE CAFE Pimento Cheese Benedict
BITE CAFE
Pimento Cheese Benedict
BITE CAFE Pimento Cheese Benedict
BITE CAFE
Pimento Cheese Benedict
BITE CAFE Mashbrown
BITE CAFE
Mashbrown

Hollandaise was good. Spicy and Eggy   9   The eggs were close to perfect   9   The Hashbrown Discus was good. Crisp exterior soft dense interior. Oniony and salted properly. A good alternative to your run of the mill hash browns.   8   Overall a delicious dish    8

Round 2

Breakfast Poutine – French Fries, Bacon or Mushroom Gravy, (BOTH in this case) Cheese Curds,
Poached Eggs, Pickled Chiles

BITE CAFE Breakfast Poutine
BITE CAFE
Breakfast Poutine
BITE CAFE Breakfast Poutine
BITE CAFE
Breakfast Poutine
BITE CAFE Breakfast Poutine
BITE CAFE
Breakfast Poutine

 

For those not familiar with Poutine (and you really should be) it’s a Quebec (or French-Canadian) staple, a dish of french fries topped with white cheddar cheese curds and beef gravy.  WHAT?

Bacon Gravy. Good bacon flavor   7   Mushroom Gravy Delicious   8   French Fries Nothing Special   7    Delicious  Pickled Chilis   9   This is a great hangover breakfast. An overall   8

Round 3

House Cured Crispy Pork Belly, Egg and Cheese w/Sriracha Aioli, Cheddar, on an English Muffin

BITE CAFE Crispy Pork Belly
BITE CAFE
Crispy Pork Belly

I usually don’t order sandwiches for breakfast but it’s Pork Belly.  Porky Salty  Yummy   8   My regulars know that I only like my own scrambled eggs because restaurants won’t make them right. I should have ordered this with over medium eggs. Oh Well. This doesn’t usually come with Salad. Usually it’s a potato disc but I already had experienced that. The salad was a better choice. It really cut through the fat of the Pork Belly.  This is an overall   8

And Finally the failed

Challah Bread French Toast, Hazelnut Butter, Banana Anglaise, Maple Syrup  NO PICTURES

I am chasing a Unicorn. I order french toast thinking that I am going to get a Fluffy Custardy Crispy Buttery order of French Toast like the French Toast from   JAM CAFE   Nope. Dry chewy dull. 9 bucks for 2 slices of bread. I was so upset I forgot to take pictures. That’s ok. Click on the Jam Cafe link and enjoy the photo of the scrumptious French Toast that I had there.

Well Gators that wraps up another one. Except for the FT it was a good Breakfast. Check out BITE.

 

OK Kids I’m off to my next adventure!

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