Bongo Room Chicago Illinois

The Bongo Room WEBSITE

This Review is for the Wicker Park Location

Good Morning Gators. Bongo Room opens in the middle of the Damn Day! 9am!

I should have looked earlier. I went to go in at 5 to 9 and a line was forming. You KNOW how I hate to be late getting in.

Bongo Room Chicago Exterior 8:55 and the line is forming
Bongo Room Chicago
Exterior
8:55 and the line is forming
Bongo Room Chicago Schoolhouse Chic
Bongo Room Chicago
Schoolhouse Chic

Only window spot available. THE BENCH. You Gators know that I hate the bench.

Bongo Room Chicago THE BENCH
Bongo Room Chicago
THE BENCH

Actually I was OK with it this time. The bench wasn’t connected to another table so I was fine.

Water and Intelligentsia Coffee   8   Sweetners in a ceramic pint strawberry box   CUTENESS

Bongo Room Chicago Ceramic Strawberry Box
Bongo Room Chicago
Ceramic Strawberry Box
Bongo Room Chicago Mug
Bongo Room Chicago
Mug

 

Non Carpeted Floor Old Schoolhouse Chic interior 80’s Music   8   

I had already checked out the menu online. The reason for going on the weekend is because Bongo Room like other places such as Cafe Luna have an abbreviated menu during the week.

OK let’s rock and lobster roll

Deconstructed Lobster Roll Benedict

Usually when a restaurant uses the word “deconstructed” it usually means that whatever you end up with on your plate is not going to resemble the thing that they are deconstructing in ANY way plus it annoys me plus it’s so 10 years ago. Run on sentence.

HOLY $#!% this was DELICIOUS!

Classic Lobster Roll Hot Dog Style Lobster Bun, Mayonnaisey Old Baysie Lobster Filling, Perfectly Cooked in plastic wrap Poached Eggs, and insane Hollandaise Sauce. An almost unheard of Breakfast Gator   9!   This was one of the best dishes that I’ve had in awhile. Oh and the house potatoes are good too   8   

Bongo Room Chicago Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago
Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago
Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago
Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago Lobster Roll Benedict
Bongo Room Chicago
Lobster Roll Benedict

 

The mistake I made was ordering that first. I knew that nothing was going to measure up. At the recommendation of our server Maria the next item up was a Breakfast Burrito with Sausage. It was served with Ancho Chili Sour cream and house made salsa. Oh and House Potatoes. The Sausage was tasty, The wrap was decent, Scrambled eggs (Don’t get me started) and Jack Cheese. A High   7   

Bongo Room Chicago Breakfast Burrito with Sausage
Bongo Room Chicago
Breakfast Burrito with Sausage
Bongo Room Chicago Breakfast Burrito with Sausage
Bongo Room Chicago
Breakfast Burrito with Sausage
Bongo Room Chicago Breakfast Burrito with Sausage
Bongo Room Chicago
Breakfast Burrito with Sausage

Sweets for the Sweet

Maria said that you could order the sweet stuff Ala Carte so the Cart I Ordered.

Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast

Delicious. Vanilla Bean Cream is Devine   8   But they still get

The Dreaded Alton Brown How to make French Toast LINK

They get it because the interior of the bread was dry. I swear, The only place that knows how to make french toast is JAM in Logan Square.

Bongo Room Chicago Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast
Bongo Room Chicago
Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast
Bongo Room Chicago Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast
Bongo Room Chicago
Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast

 

White Chocolate and Carmel Pretzel Pancake

(In your best Pee Wee Voice) PRETZELY

The pancakes are very dense and really do taste like pretzels. The toppings are ok. An overall   7

Bongo Room Chicago White Chocolate and Carmel Pretzel Pancake
Bongo Room Chicago
White Chocolate and Carmel Pretzel Pancake
Bongo Room Chicago White Chocolate and Carmel Pretzel Pancake
Bongo Room Chicago
White Chocolate and Carmel Pretzel Pancake

  

 

Apple Hotcake

Another Dense pancake with some mandolin thin sliced apples built in topped with a scoop of maple flavored mascarpone cheese. The Cheese is delicious. Overall an   8

Bongo Room Apple Hotcake
Bongo Room
Apple Hotcake
Bongo Room Apple Hotcake
Bongo Room
Apple Hotcake

 

The service was a mixed bag. The place was jammed so I get part of it. Maria was good but There were 3 other servers involved and none of them seemed to quite know what was happening. Initially Coffee was hard to come by but got better as time went on.

So to wrap up Bongo room I will say that go for the food especially the savory stuff.  This place was worth the drive just for the Lobster Roll Bene.Want something sweet? Go see the Rodriguez Brothers at WHISK and get some Reeses Pancakes. You’ll thank Me and Them

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

 

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Omelette House Villa Park Illinois

No Website WHAT?

Good Morning Gators!

I apologize in advance that my picture quality is not up to snuff. This place is incredibly dark. It was miserable for picture taking.

It’s about 5:45am. Pitch dark out still. The GPS Lady says “Arrived at 525 east saint charles road”. There is a strip mall and a building of some sort but NONE of the signs are lit. I can’t tell if I’m actually at the restaurant. I pull into the strip mall and drive close to the buildings. When I get to the end of the strip I spot the Omelette House. It’s a stand alone building with a NON lit sign. It looks like a spooky swiss chalet. I park the BREKFST Mobile and wait. At 5:56 the OPEN sign goes on but the place is just as dark. It’s too dark to take a pic of the building. I’ll have to wait till it lightens up outside.

The interior is like a Basement of a 1970’s House all Bricky and  Woody.

Omelette House Interior
Omelette House
Interior
Omelette House Interior
Omelette House
Interior
Omelette House Interior
Omelette House
Interior

Uncarpeted   10   There is music playing from somewhere but the volume is too low to tell what it is   3    There are a couple of decorative touches worth noting.

An Empty Picture Frame

Omelette House Empty Picture Frame
Omelette House
Empty Picture Frame

And a Clock made from Flatware

Omelette House Kitchen Tool Clock
Omelette House
Kitchen Tool Clock

Jelly on a Plate

Omelette House Jelly on a Plate
Omelette House
Jelly on a Plate

 

Somehow there was already someone seated inside. They must have been a Ninja. I swear that I didn’t see anyone else in the lot.

Coffeed up. Cheap Coffee. You can smell it. It was a tad better than it smelled   6   This is a no frills no Hipster establishment much like FRANKS DINER Kenosha The menu is basic Diner fare. Omelettes (of course). Skillets Pancakes Waffles French Toast and basic eggy type stuff. Decision Made. Ordering ensues.

Western Omelette (I forgot to order American Cheese which is CRIMINAL) A side of Gravy and Raisin Toast served with what I believe is house made tomatillo salsa

Right off the bat they get the Jaques Pepin Makes Omelettes Link. The omelette was tasty had lots of ingredients and was well seasoned. Prepared in the classic 12″ flat circle of eggs and ingredients cooked hard and rolled up Diner style. It was overcooked hard. The potatoes were house made. Boiled sliced and fried. They were crisp and tasty. I ordered Raisin toast for a .50 upcharge The toast was fairly toasted Could have used more Raisins BUT was tasty and more importantly it was PRE BUTTERED! Love It! Everyone should do this. It’s very old school.   Toast   8    Potatoes   8   Omelette   7   The gravy was pretty decent   7    Salsa   8   

Omelette House Western Omelette NO Cheese :0(
Omelette House
Western Omelette NO Cheese :0(
Omelette House PRE Buttered Toast YAY!
Omelette House
PRE Buttered Toast
YAY!

Next Up  Jimmy’s Chicken Breast

Feta Onions Peppers Tomatoes. More Potatoes. Pancakes this round The chicken was pounded out and cooked to death. In spite of that it was pretty tasty. The veggies were sautéed nicely and seasoned well The over medium eggs were cooked properly  The Feta added just the right amount of a salty bite. an Overall   7   

Omelette House Jimmy's Chicken Breast
Omelette House
Jimmy’s Chicken Breast
Omelette House Jimmy's Chicken Breast
Omelette House
Jimmy’s Chicken Breast
Omelette House Jimmy's Chicken Breast
Omelette House
Jimmy’s Chicken Breast
Omelette House Jimmy's Chicken Breast Eggs on Potatoes TRY IT!
Omelette House
Jimmy’s Chicken Breast
Eggs on Potatoes
TRY IT!

The Pancakes are OK. Of course they are served with low grade 20W50 Fakle Syrup    Pancakes   7   Syrup   4   

Omelette House 6" Pancakes
Omelette House
6″ Pancakes

 

Mom’s Special Waffle

Bananas Pecans Strawberries

The waffle was pretty standard The Bananas were bananas The Pecans were crunchy.  Strawberries were the Canned in Red  flavored goo style strawberries  Yes Red is a flavor   4   An overall    7    

Omelette House Mom's Special Waffle
Omelette House
Mom’s Special Waffle
Omelette House Mom's Special Waffle
Omelette House
Mom’s Special Waffle

 

Well that’s it Gators. An interesting visit. This is not a destination place but worth a stop if you are in the neighborhood visiting The Jewelry Exchange. You’ve seen the commercials. It’s right next door.

It’s light enough now for a picture of the outside…

Omelette House Exterior
Omelette House
Exterior

 

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

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Orange Chicago

Orange WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

This review is for the Orange on Roscoe Street Location

Orange Exterior
Orange Exterior

Traffic was a Bear. I didn’t park till after they opened. In spite of that we were the first ones there.

Orange Interior
Orange
Interior
Orange Interior
Orange
Interior
Orange Interior
Orange
Interior
Orange Interior
Orange
Interior

A Cute Carpet Free Location. The Decor was Orange Art Deco / Art Hipster. The Music was an eclectic mix of stuff.

Usual window spot with an unusual Coffee Choice. I generally feel like flavored coffee is the Devil but Orange has a house Coffee that is Orange flavored. Espresso with the rim of the cup rubbed with a lemon rind and then dropped in after is excellent, so maybe Orange flavored Coffee will be too. Much to my surprise it was actually pretty good! The coffee itself was strong and flavorful. The orange flavor wasn’t overpowering and not too artificial.   8

Orange Orange Coffee
Orange
Orange Coffee

Off to a good start

Since it’s Saint Patrick season one of the special offerings presented by our wonderful expert server and Manager Joseph Palmer was a Corned Beef Benedict  Being a fan of corned beef this was an easy sell. Bring it.

English Muffin Corned Beef Sauerkraut PICKLES Poached Eggs Mustard Hollandaise

Overall a delicious dish and a twist on the usual Hash Bene. The pickle was great addition. Instead of serving the usual Hash Browns or House Potatoes which are generally potato cubes. Orange serves Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Rustic skin on style.  8   My only niggle was that the Corned Beef was average.   This conglomerate is an  8  

Orange Chicago Corned Beef Benedict
Orange Chicago
Corned Beef Benedict
Orange Chicago Corned Beef Benedict Exposed
Orange Chicago
Corned Beef Benedict
Exposed

 

Omelet No. 15.5
pesto / asparagus / baby spinach / kale / herb boursin cheese / topped with a roasted garlic sour cream. Served with organic mixed greens / balsamic dressing

This was Tasty and again something that I haven’t had before. The unfortunate part is that the eggs were hammered. Overcooked to the point that they were almost chewy. As Tasty as it was they are going to get  The Dreaded Jacques Pepin Makes Omelettes LINK  The filling was good the Roasted garlic Sour Cream was delicious. You may or may not know that I think garlic is an enhancer and should not be the major flavor. I’ve seen it ruin an otherwise good plate. The Spring Mix was fresh and the dressing was Tart Sweet and good.  This was a High   7    

Orange Chicago Omelette 15.5
Orange Chicago
Omelette 15.5
Orange Chicago Omelette 15.5
Orange Chicago
Omelette 15.5 Guts

  

 

I was tempted by the Pancake flight but the combination didn’t grab me. So I ordered…

Lemon Meringue Pancakes
buttermilk pancakes / lemon curd / torched homemade marshmallow.

The Light Fluffy Puffy Pancakes were good on their own but the addition of the Lemon Curd added a twist of Tart and Sweet. I enjoyed it with addition of the house pancake syrup which tasted like a mix of real maple syrup and Fakle Syrup (Fake Maple syrup)  High Fructose Corn Syrup with artificial maple flavor. I am taking credit for this term.  These Cakes were an   8   Judging by the quality of the pancakes sans topping I am willing to bet that all of the variants of them are good.

Orange Chicago Lemon meringue pancakes
Orange Chicago
Lemon meringue pancakes
Orange Chicago Lemon meringue pancakes
Orange Chicago
Lemon meringue pancakes
Orange Chicago Lemon meringue pancakes
Orange Chicago
Fluffy Lemon meringue pancakes

 

I saved the mostest differentest thing for last even though it was actually first. Orange makes a concoction that they call

Frushi – Fruit Sushi
We handcraft our Frushi using fresh fruit and sushi rice. Flavors like a maki piece such as orange and ginger rice with pear stuffed inside and the nigiri piece as a coconut and lime rice with strawberry placed on top.

Creativity   10   Plating   7   Beautiful but they lost plating points due to the Plastic Plate that had stains on it. I mostly removed them in Photoshop for picture purposes.  Taste   A Fresh and Delightful    8

Orange Chicago Frushi Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago
Frushi
Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago Frushi Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago
Frushi
Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago Frushi Grape Art
Orange Chicago
Frushi
Grape Art
Orange Chicago Frushi Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago
Frushi
Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago Frushi Fruit Sushi
Orange Chicago
Frushi
Fruit Sushi

 

OK Gators That’s it. A delicious visit with Orange. A great place with some great grub. Special thanks to Joseph for the SUPURB Service.  Make sure that you add Orange to your list of need to goes.

As for ME I’m off to my next adventure

 

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram

JAM Chicago V2.0

JAM WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

This is my second visit to JAM a Breakfast Gator Top Pick.

JAM opens at 7 on Sunday which I LOVE. The bulk of their neighbors don’t open till 9 Thats the middle of the DAY!

Even at 7 parking was a small challenge. I ended up parking in front of LULA (another favorite) about a block away. No biggie except it was raining a bit.

JAM Chicago Exterior
JAM Chicago
Exterior

OK here goes

Vicky brought Metropolis Coffee   9   and water. Presented the specials and welcomed the Breakfast Gator back.

Jam interior is like eating in the mess hall on the starship enterprise. Sleek carpet free interior, Non Fat Friendly clear acrylic chairs, and an eclectic mix of music.

Jam Chicago Interior
Jam Chicago
Interior
Jam Chicago Interior
Jam Chicago
Interior
Jam Chicago Interior
Jam Chicago
Interior

My regulars know that I try to order something that is not a run of the mill dish. A Caraway Waffle (new and different) is right in my wheelhouse but this waffle was served with 2 different versions of LIVER.  Pork Liver Mousse and Pork Liver and Pistachio Tureen. I am NOT a fan of liver but this is NOT your Liver and Onions Diner. How many times did I use the word Liver in the last paragraph? I ordered it. Vicky seemed proud of my bold decision. I began preparing myself mentally for what I was about to receive.

Here it is

JAM Chicago Caraway Waffle and Liver 2 ways
JAM Chicago
Caraway Waffle and Liver 2 ways

I decided that in order to be fair to this dish I was going to have to separate my childhood disgust for liver from the possibility that I may in for something new, exciting, and delicious. I took the required photos then paused to collect my thoughts.

I picked up my fork and took a little bit of the Pork Liver Mousse. I tasted it. My emotions said EWE EWE EWE. My palate said Hey this is Livery but surprisingly good. I took a Bite of the Caraway Waffle. Yum. It tasted like a Rye Waffle with a touch of real maple. I lifted the nicely cooked Sunny Egg and tasted the Pork Liver Pistachio Tureen. Surprisingly good and livery. I took a composed bite…

JAM Chicago Composed bite of Liver Waffle
JAM Chicago
Composed bite of Liver Waffle

This was how the Chef intended. Good. I am going to rate this dish as an   8   It’s a combination of taste texture plating and innovation. Crazy. Great Job Chef.

JAM Chicago
JAM Chicago
Jam Chicago
Jam Chicago Liver Tureen
Jam Chicago For some reason I got a switchblade to eat with
Jam Chicago
For some reason I got a switchblade to eat with

 

 

Next an Omelette

Yep that’s what it’s called

 

Omelette

Spanish Chorizo, Melted Onions,

Piquillo Peppers, Corn Bread,

Queso Tres Leches

Chef recommends White Anchovy

If the CHEF recommends White Anchovy, White Anchovy it is.

This was prepared in the classical french style. A rarity for restaurants. Typically they are prepared with all the ingredients incorporated in the eggs and then the eggs are overcooked into a football shaped lump. A classic french omelette is, well, rather than try to explain it watch Jacques Pepin make one

 Jacques Pepin making Omelettes

Delicious Soft and Creamy. The anchovies? Too fishy for me. I’m sure they were delicious for someone. The cornbread was tasty Southerny and corny.    7    I prefer Northern style with just a touch of sweetness.  Overall a good execution   8

JAM Chicago Omelette
JAM Chicago
Omelette
JAM Chicago Anchovies and Omelette
JAM Chicago
Anchovies and Omelette
JAM Chicago Omelette
JAM Chicago
Omelette
JAM Chicago Omelette
JAM Chicago
Omelette
JAM Chicago Omelette
JAM Chicago
Omelette
JAM Chicago Omelette interior
JAM Chicago
Omelette interior
JAM Chicago Omelette Bite
JAM Chicago
Omelette Bite

 

And Then

Carnivale Cakes

Coffee Pancakes, Banana Cream,

Mango Pâte de Fruit, Plantain Crisp

Light Fluffy Puffy Coffee-ee Banana-ee

Pancakes alone   8   Would have been a 9 but they were the slightest bit dry  Banana Creme YUM   9   Mango Pate an interesting   7   Plantain Chips   7    An overall Delightful   8   

JAM Chicago Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago
Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago
Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago
Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago
Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago Carnivale Cakes
JAM Chicago
Carnivale Cakes

 

Jam needs to be on your short list. It’s on Breakfast Gator’s.

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

Me Hard at Work
Me
Hard at Work

 

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