Reviews of Breakfast and Brunch Restaurants

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst Illinois

Stray Hen Cafe WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

Some of you may recognize the exterior of this place. In a former life it was OMG! Brunch and Boutique which I had reviewed twice before. I don’t know what the back story is but it certainly isn’t unusual for a place to go belly up and the spot get re vamped.I actually had no idea that it went through a transformation until the GPS put me in front of it. OMG I said to myself.

We were about 15 minutes early so we sat in the BREKFST mobile and watched a couple of the employees show up for work and another one sit outside and relax.

It was time to go and per SOP Diane went inside and I took photos.

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Exterior

 

Previous Incarnation

OMG Elmhurst Illinois
Exterior

 

 

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Exterior

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Exterior

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Interior

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Interior

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Interior

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Waiting area

The interior is clean modern and carpet free with a subtle chicken flavor. New age music is playing quietly in the background. It’s reasonably spacious and the tables are not crammed together. On the down side they do have benches with 4 top tables that put you pretty close to your neighbors. You know I really dislike that arrangement.

Our very friendly server Crystal brought Coffee from Dark Matter Coffee Chicago. It was strong and had plenty of body.Good stuff   8

The menu is a bit extensive for my taste but not ridiculous. They have a section devoted to creating your own Skillet Omelette or Scramble with a plethora of ingredient choices. I think this just confounds people and slows down the ordering process. For us the choices were clear. We ordered up.

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Table stuff

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Tiny Fake Grass Thing

 

Avocado Toast

Rustic Panini toast, smashed avocado, grilled corn, black beans, jalapeño, sriracha aioli & poached eggs, choice of potato or fruit

 

Avocado Toast is a bit out of fashion nowadays but it remains on a few menus especially in the burbs. I admit that even though I make it at home I still order it if it looks interesting. This version was really more of a Benedict than it was Avocado toast so I think it was worth a try. This was a pretty good rendition. It could have used more Avocado but it was a good Combo. The aioli was spicy and delicious just past medium heat.    8   It wasn’t overpowering and it wasn’t overly Srirachad. I like Sriracha but I’m kind of over it. The poached eggs were definitely under. You know I have no problem with runny yolks but I don’t care for snotty egg whites. Fail.   4   The toast was toasted. You may think that’s a strange statement but more often than not I find that toast is one of those simple things that a lot of places screw up.   8   The corn bean pepper tomato stuff on the toast was seasoned well and at the same spice level as the aioli.  8   Overall a good combo. It’s a keeper that should be moved to the Benedict section of the menu so they can stop calling it Avocado Toast.   8   We chose fruit rather than spuds. A good choice it was. It made for a good break from the spicy toast combo. It was a good variety and most everything was reasonably ripe.   8

Diane:

Right off the bat I must say, the crew at Stray Hen must love working there. From the hostess to the waitstaff to the manager George, smiles and conversation with patrons comes easy to them. The coffee was strong and hot and real cream came to the table in tiny pitchers. so far so good. ( I loathe half and half in plastic cuppies). 8

As Gator mentioned, the menu was full of many choices, and it was rather easy to scope out the dishes with a twist. I have seen many variations on Avocado toast, most too loaded with mishmash of ingredients that just don’t gel. This had a nicely seasoned avocado mash and fresh sweet corn as well as a spicy sauce drizzle. I liked the sourdough toast as a base. The combination worked very well. Fruit cups are rarely remarkable but the fruit was ripe and not at all mushy 7

 

 

 

 

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Avocado Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Avocado Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Avocado Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Avocado Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Fruit Cup that AMY wouldn’t like

 

Perfectly Un Kosher Skillet

Bone-in ham, bacon, sausage, green peppers, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese

 

Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes ($2 Upgrade)

 

The Skillet was presented in a stainless steel bowl with handles which I have seen in a bunch of places. I hate em. First the food cools off too fast in this device, and second it reminds me of a Dog Dish. I get it. It’s some sort of decorative  element but to me it will always be a Dog Dish.

I bashed the poached eggs on the last dish but they made up for it here. The over easy eggs were near perfect   9   The “filling” was very good.   8   I actually could do without the cheese but it’s fine either way. The potatoes tasted freshly prepared on the flattop rather than dropped in the fryer like most places. This is a good meaty potatoey skillet. It is reorder able   8   

Diane:

I enjoy the silver skillet because it’s cute, and the deep sides make it easier to get the goods on your fork. So even though we disagree on the plating used….. I must say this dish we agreed upon. the potatoes were seasoned well and the ham was smoky and delicious 8

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Un Kosher Skillet

Look at me and my DOG Dish WOOF!

 

 

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Un Kosher Skillet

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Un Kosher Skillet

 

The Pancakes were Fluffy Airy but not dry. Good house made cakes. The topping was peanut buttery but not too sweet. Served with butter and Fake Maple Syrup. (see rant page) A winner   8   I DO have to mention that the original WHISK location in Chicago has the best version of these.

Diane:

The cakes were very yummy but peanut butter sauce was a bit too liberally applied. There was no need for syrup one you spread a bit of real butter on the cakes. They serve softened butter in tiny cups. Nice touch  9

 

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

 

 

Apple Churros French Toast

Cinnamon and sugar dusted, vanilla bean cream, warm brown sugar and butter caramelized apples

 

Well most of you know that restaurant french toast and I often don’t get along very well. It’s usually too dry and rushed. Unfortunately this was no exception so they get the DREADED ALTON BROWN FRENCH TOAST LINK  (See my rant page for more) The toast tasted good. It was well grilled crisp caramelized and sweet without offending. The topping was good but I dislike the fact that the Apples were unpeeled. Bread was decent but really dry. The overall flavor raised the number up but I wasn’t real happy with my choice.   6  

Diane:

To be honest, I did not even taste the French toast in the restaurant. We brought it home and I nuked it the next day. The ingredients used were fresh and high quality, yet the rich egg bread was extremely dry. I would try the waffles instead which looked great and smelled heavenly as the were delivered to a nearby table 5

Again worth another mention….service is way above average, you feel very Welcomed here at Stray Hen  9

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Apple Churro French Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Apple Churro French Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Apple Churro French Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Apple Churro French Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Apple Churro French Toast

Stray Hen Cafe Elmhurst
Apple Churro French Toast
DRY Bread

 

 

That’s it Kids

This is a good suburban spot that is definitely worth a visit. Our server was great and the food was above average. Give it a try.

 

As for us we are off to our next adventure

 

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Alexanders Cafe St Charles Illinois

Alexanders WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

It’s been a couple of years or so since I reviewed Alexanders of Elgin Illinois. (The original location) I thought that it was about time that the fairly new St. Charles location had a visit from us.

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Exterior

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Exterior

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Exterior

It’s a drizzly Sunday morning and we arrived a bit after opening due to an error on my part. I thought they opened at 7:30 but they open at 7. UGH you know how I hate to be late. I told Diane to go ahead and go inside. I did my picture deal then went in.

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Interior

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Interior

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Interior

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Movie Themed Holding Tank

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Movie Themed Holding Tank

We had some discussion about her table choice and my lack of love for it. I caved and sat down. I was getting settled in and our very friendly server Lindsey asked if I wanted something besides the water that I don’t drink. Coffee Please. Intelligencia. It was fairly strong and was up to the breakfast task.   7

Diane:

Since it was a cloudy morning, it was difficult to find a table with optimal light so I settled in a four top. Within moments Lindsey popped over and offered coffee. I opted for berry iced tea since it’s hard to top the early morning brew Gene coaxed me out of my cozy horizontal zone with at 5:45am. The place is very spacious and painted in harvesty colors. Great music mix was playing ranging from America’s Horse With No Name to Bastille’s Pompeii. However, very soon the din of the gathering patrons drowns out the tunes. There was a Special Features menu which is nice for a brunch place. Also you can order lunch anytime. 8

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Blackberry Iced Tea

  

The place is like your Aunts 70’s basement. Bricky and Woody and Brown. The music is a mixed bag of 70’s 80’s and 90’s wus rock. It’s clean big and carpet free. While I was unpacking my Gator stuff and checking in to Facebook, Diane had already made some choices. She’s pretty good at guessing what I’m probably going to order. The menu selection is a bit big for my taste but not ridiculous. They DO have Booze. Bloody Things and Bubbly Things but nothing that is a standout. Lindsey came back and Diane ordered up. As the place filled up it got pretty loud and with that the music became a distant memory.

 

CHIPOTLE BENEDICT

Avocado, roasted poblanos, tomatoes, green onion and chipotle hollandaise. Choice of carnitas pork or chorizo (Carnitas for us)

 

The thing that makes or breaks a Bene is the Hollandaise. I honestly can’t give you an opinion on the one that was served here. It was almost non existent. They must have thought that they were going to run short for the rush and applied it with a paint brush. The Carnitas on the other hand were fairly abundant. Tender Porky and well seasoned    8   The Eggs were cooked pretty much to my liking   8   The Roasted Red potato Chunks were pretty fresh, earthy, hot, and had a good level of seasoning and salt.   8    The Muffin was kind of toasted   6   There was some roasted R&G Bell peppers applied to the dish that spruced it up, and a sliver of Avocado was tucked in under the egg. There was a sub par under ripe tomato slice atop the muffin that they really could have left off. All in all a tasty start. I would re order this. A solid   8   If you get this tell them to make sure they give you more than a tease of Hollandaise.

Diane:

This dish was super tasty thanks to the tender carnitas, but more meat and chipotle hollandaise would have made it even better. Thin slices of perfectly ripe avocado rested on top of the carnitas. Sweet green bell peppers added a nice tang, and the herb roasted red potatoes were delicious. Poached eggs aside(blech) this dish is a winner 9

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Chipotle Benedict

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Chipotle Benedict

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Chipotle Benedict

 

 

BISCUIT LOVE

Fried Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh, Country Gravy, Biscuits, Cheese, Over Medium Eggs, Hash Browns

If it twernt for the fact that this was a thigh rather than a breast I may not have ordered it. To me Chicken Breasts are chalky and tasteless. Im happy that the majority like them though. It keeps the prices on the thighs down.

The chicken was crisp, tender, and happily not overcooked.    8   The Gravy was spicy salty and smooth   8    Hash Browns? EH.  6   Get the Red Potatoes. The Biscuit tasted ok but was a kind of  tough. It worked out OK for this application   7   the combination was very tasty.       I would order it again except it was a short time special and will be gone soon. Oh well. OH I almost forgot. This was served with 2 Over medium eggs on the side. They were expertly prepared    9   but frankly were not a necessary addition.

Diane:

Well, I like white meat and Gene likes dark meat….good match, right?  I spotted this on the specials and knew Gene would go Gaga. This was an out of the park hit for us both, everything about it. Tender chicken hand breaded and crispy, and a flaky baking powder biscuit under smooth white gravy. it’s a shame they don’t add this dish to the regular menu 10

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Biscuit Love

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Biscuit Love

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Biscuit Love

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Biscuit Love

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Biscuit Love

 

CRÈME BRÛLÉE FRENCH TOAST

Caramelized with brown sugar, topped with vanilla crème anglaise, whipped cream and blackberries.

Well most of you know that I’m probably going to have issue with the way that the French Toast was prepped. Well I DO. They get the dreaded link.    Alton Brown Makes French Toast  In spite of the lack of French Toastiness, it was actually pretty tasty. The crisp carmalized sugar was fun. The Blackberries were ripe sweet and juicy. The anglaise was like vanilla pudding. The syrup was of course fake. This was an extra sweet treat.   8   

Diane:

I was surprised by the large portion of this dish…..3 large slices of toast. I attacked the outer edge of the plate and worked my way to the smooth middle with zeal. The carmelized brown sugar and plump, ripe berries made this a very yummy treat. .

The Host of Alexader’s……Scott, checked in on us often and we enjoyed the friendly conversation. He clearly was engaged with all patrons on this early Sunday morning 10 By the way, keep in mind that by 9:00am there are waiting lines out the door,

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Creme Brûlée French Toast

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Creme Brûlée French Toast

Alexanders Cafe
St Charles Illinois
Creme Brûlée French Toast

 

 

Well Gators that’s it. A good visit to beautiful St Charles and a tasty breakfast. I would suggest you add Alexanders to your regular rotation.

As for us we are on our way to our next adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

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Oswego Family Restaurant Oswego Illinois

Good Morning Gators!

We are kicking it old school today with a visit to a 50’s Diner. We have been coming here for awhile now on a pretty consistent basis. There are a couple of places that I haunt that I’ve not reviewed. I feel like my regular spots are mine and I won’t share. I broke with that tradition with OFR as they refer to themselves. They certainly don’t need any recommendations from me as if you get there an hour after they open you’ll be standing outside waiting for a table.

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

We arrived about 15 minutes early to be sure of securing a particular table that I wanted. About 5 to 7 we got out of the BREKFST mobile, took a couple pics, and went in. Diane was greeted by Zetti our server. They had a chit chat while I took the interior shots. I returned to the table and tasted the coffee. Since I’ve been here before I already knew that although not spectacular the Intelligencia coffee they brew is certainly superior to most diners.   7   Zetti told us about the specials and we made a few instant decisions. I also told  Zetti that I want one of their spectacular (oops spoiler) Cinnamon rolls when they are ready.

This place is pretty legit. It’s a mish mash of stuff from old radios to bikes hanging from the ceiling. From classic artwork reproductions to Andy and Starsky and Hutch. I love that fact that it’s not full of forced 50’s junk. this place has it’s very own real personality. The music is provided by the radio playing one of my favorite stations. A local Aurora/Naperville station “The River” Classic Rock   9   

Diane:  When we moved to the area last Summer, G tried a few local places for breakfast, and I was not very surprised to hear his response when I eagerly asked if he enjoyed his meal. Not ever one to mince words, he would usually respond with a heavy sigh and a frown. So I was more than a bit surprised when he told me about a little place in downtown Oswego with a glimmer of hope in his dreamy brown eyes (he may be blushing about now). So on some Sundays we get up early and show up shortly after the staff to have a delicious breakfast. A giant part of their success is the way the staff makes you feel. From the get-go, you get the sense that your patronage matters. The warm yet unobtrusive waitresses keep your coffee topped off, notice if you are squinting from morning sun coming through the blinds (and adjust them accordingly), and greet everyone as they enter. I always feel valued and this place is so damn charming you feel hugged by the time you leave.  Not a fan of  diner decor, I must admit that here it is just right.  10

IMPORTANT REALITY…… bring cash as your plastic is NO good here.

 

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois
Classic Diner Advertising Revenue Generator

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois
Sugar Butler

Oswego Family Restaurant
Oswego Illinois
CASH ONLY BITCHES

The first thing we ordered was a special.

Surf and Turf Hash

Filet Shrimp Bell Peppers Tomatoes Red Onion Mushrooms Applewood Smoked Bacon Sharp Cheddar and Home Fries and eggs.

Much to our surprise the owners son delivered to us something that was going to be brand new to the menu.

Leaning tower of Biscuits

Quite a concoction. it had a whole lot of stuff going on. Classic White Sausage Gravy, Fried Chicken, Bacon, Sausage Patty, 2 Hard fried eggs and of course a couple of biscuit halves. Impaled through its heart by a metal skewer. A sloppy but amazing presentation. The Gravy is smooth and creamy but a bit under seasoned with decent amount of sausage. The Fried Chicken is Crisp and Chickenie. The Bacon is well rendered and smokey. The Sausage and Biscuit were pretty standard stuff. Although I really don’t like hard cooked fried eggs this worked perfectly in this conglomeration. Overall this was a pretty well crafted and thought out dish. As you know I had a million breakfast combos but certainly none with a plating like this. Good job Chef.    8    This will be a great menu addition and something that I would order again. Right in the middle of dissecting this the Hash arrived. I kind of suspected that this may happen. I was annoyed but tried to speed things along in my process. The tower doesn’t photograph well. You’ll have to go there and see it in person.

Diane:

Few things impress me more when dining than a table visit by the proprietor In my opinion, pride in what kind of product you produce and present, whether a automobile, a piece of art, or a culinary offering….is a key component to its quality. Nick the owner should be very proud that his kids make such an impactful part of OFR’s success.This dish was presented with a sly grin and a promise that it will soon join the rest of the menu. Delicious savory sausage gravy bathes a  kebab type plating of tender and juicy chicken breast, baking powder biscuit, smoky bacon, melts American cheese and hard cooked egg. You can rest assured I will be back and order this 9

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits

Oswego Family Restaurant
Leaning Tower Of Biscuits
Egg Flaps

 

The Hash arrived

More delicious bacon. Deep fried potato nuggets that they call home fries. the veggie mix made the plate. It was tender crisp and charred. The over medium eggs were cooked to my liking. The Filet was a bit overcooked for my taste but tenderloin can take a little overcooking. the medium small shrimp were grilled as well and again for me a bit over. This was another tasty dish and again something that I would get again. A STEAL for under 10 bux. Another    8    I forgot the toast. Challah toasted well and pre buttered!    8  

Diane:

Each time I have been here with G, there is some type of Hash on the Specials board. Last visit there was Corned beef hash (Great!) Today Zetti told us that in addition to the Surf and Turf hash, Chef would be happy to craft a Salmon hash or other variations too. The portions are gigantic as well 9

Oswego Family Restaurant
Surf and Turf Hash

Oswego Family Restaurant
Surf and Turf Hash

Oswego Family Restaurant
Surf and Turf Hash

Oswego Family Restaurant
Surf and Turf Hash

Oswego Family Restaurant
Surf and Turf Hash

Oswego Family Restaurant
Surf and Turf Hash
Home Fries

Oswego Family Restaurant
Pre Buttered Challah Toast

 

 

Finally the Roll

Heaven. Soft supple sweet. Light but firm dough. The frosting tasted like it had cream cheese in it. lots of cinnamon. This roll is worth the trip all on it’s own. Go get one.    It’s probably the best you’ve ever had    9    

Diane:

There is no appropriate adjective to adequately describe this cinnamon roll. G summed it up…you need to try these. During this visit, 3-4 passersby  came in for rolls to stroll. Another huge hit 10

Oswego Family Restaurant
Cinnamon Roll

Oswego Family Restaurant
Cinnamon Roll

Oswego Family Restaurant
Cinnamon Roll

Oswego Family Restaurant
Cinnamon Roll

Oswego Family Restaurant
Cinnamon Roll

Oswego Family Restaurant
Cinnamon Roll

 

That wraps it up Gators. A  great visit to a place in a time warp. A basic breakfast spot with a few twists. Take the drive over there you’ll thank us.

As for us were off to our next adventure.

 

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Bonefish Grill Schaumburg Illinois

Bonefish WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

It’s in the Middle of the Afternoon around 10AM. Diane and I are waiting for them to open up. This is a Gator first. I have never been to a place so late before. If it wasn’t for the fact that they take reservations I wouldn’t be here. I was actually kind of surprised at the lack of a ton of people waiting to get in at such a late start time.

Bonefish Grill
Exterior

I can’t remember ever reviewing a corporate chain before. I am not usually interested. I was poking around looking for a new place to review and saw that they do brunch. I had a feeling that not a lot of people were aware of that fact. Bonefish is part of Blooming’ Brands that owns Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Outback Steakhouse. 

We went inside and as usual got situated and I wandered off to take pictures. The place is just like me Big and beautiful. Modern fishy interior complete with fish art and big metal fish. Carpet free.     7     The subdued lighting is nice but for photography it sucks. Sorry in advance. The music was a mixed contemporary bag of borderline elevator.    6    

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Interior

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
OHHHHH
BARA CUDA
Oh wait you’re probably too young

 

Our very friendly server Theresa brought coffee and menus. I can smell the darkness of the Coffee. I am opposed to dark roast coffee especially for Breakfast. It bulldozes over almost all Breakfast foods. At least it wasn’t weak and wimpy.    6    There wasn’t a lot of breakfasty choices. It was a mixed bag of stuff from the Lunch/Dinner menu with a few Breakfast items. This made choosing pretty easy. There are Salt and Pepper mills on the table!    

Diane: Since I realllllly liked the fact that we could sleep in and still have plenty of time to make the opening of 10am,  I was bright and bushy tailed !! I had an old playlist queued up on my IPod and we waited for Bonefish to open their doors while lip syncing in the Gator mobile. Adrenaline pumping, we were seated toward the back where the windows were. The lighting was subdued so we made the best of it. Theresa took great care to ensure we had coffee mugs full at all times. The steel blue walls and silver accents with dark wood decor was soothing yet modern. First impression  9

   

Diane has decided that we should Booze it up this morning. They have a few bottomless offerings to help make your morning brighter. Diane opted for Blackberry Sangria and I went the Italian route with Peach Bellini. They were both good.    8    We had a visit from Steve the culinary manager. A really nice guy. We chatted about the Brunch  Bidness.

Diane: The endless $10 breakfast drinks were perfect, this being Brunch, naturally! Fruity sangria was delish. The attention to keep our glasses filled earns Theresa a 9

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Booze for Breakfast ALA Diane

 

The Hollandaise was spicy and sweet like Orange Marmalade and Cayenne Pepper. Quite tasty.    8    The Small/ Medium Fried shrimp were spiced nicely but a bit soggy from the sauce.    7    The Poached Eggs were near perfect    9    The English Muffin was standard unbuttered and barely toasted.   6    The Asparagus was good. A smidge overcooked but still tender crisp.    7    Overall this was a pretty decent starter.   7/8  

Diane: As Benedicts go, this was top rate. the BB shrimp were tasty but unfortunately the sweet tangy sauce took away their crispy crunch. The marmalade spicy sauce was very good and the steamed asparagus Spears contrasted well with the sweet bath of orange. 7

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict Sort of toasted English Muffin

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict

 

Served with Potatoes Au Gratin and Toastage

 

The potatoes were served up in ball form. I wasn’t sure that I was a fan. As it turned out it wouldn’t have mattered if they served them in a Tennis Shoe. They were fabulous. Creamy Cheesy Buttery Salty Yummy      8    The Omelette was an anomaly. It was done in the Country French Style. Really rare in Breakfast places as they require some finesse.  I haven’t seen a Country French Omelette in the last hundred omelettes Ive had. Not familiar with Omelette styles? Hmmm? Click the link! Jacques Pepin Makes Omelettes  As usual it was overcooked. Too bad. I was really excited about it and hoped it would live up to the style. It was tasty though. Crabby and Cheesy. It was topped with fresh Basil which I love. Most places skip the fresh herbage. This had the potential of being a knockout.   7/8    The toast was fairly well toasted and it was actually pre buttered!    8

Diane: French Omelettes are my favorite. Puffy poofy eggs are just not my preference. The simplicity of this dish was simply divine! Silky melted butter with lemon juice and lump crabmeat atop the eggs tasted symphonic and the sharp creamy potatoes gratin were the perfect side dish. I would order this again and again  9

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Oscar Omelette

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Oscar Omelette

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Oscar Omelette

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Oscar Omelette
Au Gratin Potato Ball

 

 

 

This dish gave me fits. It was served to us on a plate that seemed like it had been refrigerated. This would have been fine for some desert items but not for french toast. It did a great job of keeping the fresh delicious whipped cream from wilting but the Bacon was as cold as the plate. It was pretty bad.    2    The French Toast although coolish was actually delicious. It was very orangie. The bread could have been soaked longer as usual but it wasn’t dry either. Served as usual with Fakle Syrup. (Fake Maple). In spite of its shortcomings The toast was decent and the fresh whipped cream was fab.    7    

Diane:  I absolutely agree with Gene about the cold plate making the bacon inedible. So while the kitchen gets props for caring to refrigerate their serving vessel, this was not the right application. 3

But let’s get to the toast , shall we !? the long oval slices are nice. The centers were lightly custardy and the French toast was griddled to the perfect brown gold. The berries were plump and sweet and the freshly whipped cream was great to dip the toast into.  7

The bottom line is that I would visit Bonefish again. The service was warm and caring, menu diverse without being bogged down will unnecessary choices. And there was Theresa:)

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Creme Brule French Toast

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Creme Brule French Toast

Bonefish Grill Schaumburg IL
Creme Brule French Toast

Well Gators that’s another review for you. I think that Bonefish is a good addition to the other breakfast hotspots in the Burg Like Wildberry Cafe and Egg Harbor. It’s a bit upscale. A nice place for a date or to take whiney relatives. Get over there. Ask for Theresa.

As for us we’re off to our next adventure.

 

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Buttermilk Naperville

Buttermilk WEBSITE

Good Morning Gators!

Its 6:55. I’m outside of Buttermilk Naperville taking pictures. Cold and ready to go inside. The is the new second location. The first location is in Geneva Illinois. I have been looking forward to reviewing the new place. Naperville is really lacking for good places to eat good breakfast. It’s such a breakfast desert that even the crappy places do good business. We saw them unlock the door so we went in. As you can see there were others waiting as well.

Buttermilk Naperville
Exterior Including the bright red BREKFST Mobile

Buttermilk Naperville
Exterior

Buttermilk Naperville
Exterior

We parked at a table near the window but Diane knew that I was unhappy. While I went off to take the interior shots she procured a different table. I was much happier.

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

Buttermilk Naperville
Interior

The strong scent of Bacon filled the air. The Music was a mash up of several decades. The Decor is white and medium brown with a splash of cow. Carpet Free.    8    

Somehow by magic coffee appeared. I usually have some name of some coffee supplier inserted here. I don’t today so make one up. The coffee is good however. A blend of some sort. No distinct flavor profile.    8    No artificial coffee sweetners are present. This is generally a statement by the restaurant that says “we love you so much that we don’t want to poison you. I find it ironic that they serve  Heinz catsup loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup. They have white sugar, Turbinado sugar, and Stevia. Stevia makes your coffee taste like weeds.  The Cream was in a cute mini Milk Can.

Diane:

I enjoy the crisp white n’ black Decor of the original spot, so to see dove gray walls and beechwood greybrown wood accents really made it look fresh. The chairs are this faux driftwood looking style.  The warm smiles of the hostess and servers are a good sign. I must divulge that during a non-Gator breakfast trip to the Geneva spot several months ago with Man o’ mine, sour scowls were the collective face of Buttermilk staff on that Sunday morn. I love dining where you feel the staff has fun at what they do. Music was Vance Joy and similar popfolk type tunes. Like.

Gene was long over being wee bit cranky since the lighting was not right but we settled in at a four top which was much better. A carafe of hot coffee appeared. My first time trying Stevia was a bust. Double yuck, I need to pack my Splenda next time.  Emma was so friendly and made the meal even more memorable, very patient and accommodating when I switched tables so Gene could have optimum natural light. Nice vibes here. 9

Buttermilk Naperville
Tiny Milk Can

Our delightful server Emma pointed out the specials. It didn’t take long to decide. The menu was bigger than I would have liked but I’ll live. It’s the same menu as the Geneva location. They had a reasonable sized Vegan/gluten free menu and they also had some alcohol options. The first thing we ordered was one of the specials.

 

House made cheddar corn fritters topped with smoked BBQ Brisket, Chow Chow Relish Poached Eggs, a Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce and Pork Rinds

 

Our Entree arrived in seconds.

The highlight of this dish and the reason I ordered it was to try the house made Corn Fritters. I pushed the toppings aside to reveal a Golden deep fried disc. Close to Hockey Puck size but half the thickness. I forked through it and gave it a taste. Crunchy Corney Greasy and a tad sweet. Quite good.    8    Brisket next. It was super tender seasoned beautifully and smoke kissed.     9     The eggs were a bit under.    6     The Chow Chow Relish was excellent    9    This is a great conglomeration. They need to add it to the menu.    9    A great imaginative dish. It hits all the buttons. Sweet Salt and Fat. Good job Chef. Go get this before it’s gone.

Diane:

It could not have been simpler to pick our first dish. There were four specials, and this one sounded so right. It was delivered quickly and piping hot, so Gene got right to exercising his  photography chops. Much to his chagrin, I loathe poached eggs but I love the stuff that dresses up a Bennie. The pork rind garnish added a spot of whimsy to this superb dish.  8.  The corn cake was crisp  and sweet,  with the chow chow chutney adding a nice tiny flame to the forkful of taste.  8.  The brisket was thinly carved instead of served in little chunks, which was a nice touch. 8

I agree with Gene that Chef should add this to the Bennie offerings on a more regular basis. I call the sum of all this a solid  9

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict

Buttermilk Naperville
Chow Chow Benedict
Pork Rind Topping

 

Diane wanted what is traditionally our last course to be the next course.

Three Milks French Toast

Our version of a Tres Leche cake (french toast style) encrusted in coconut fakes and topped with cinnamon whipped cream and hazelnut syrup and a drizzle of coconut cream sauce

 

This order took a few seconds longer than the first one I’m guessing because the place started filling up. I tasted the cream topping first. Delish. Coconutty but not overly sweet. The hazelnut syrup was a sidecar. It was fake maple syrup with a slight hint of hazelnut. Eh it was ok. You know how I feel about fake maple syrup… Then there is the French Toast. Yes I know I don’t usually order it because I’m pre disposed to not like the preparation of it. This was how I felt about this. It was very tasty but inconsistently prepared. Part of it was just dry bread and part of it was soaked correctly, Soft moist and eggy. They were SO close to a big hit. In spite of the sloppy prep I enjoyed it.    8   Give this a few tweaks and it will be a 9.  Soak the bread longer and offer real Maple syrup as an up charge.

Diane:

The possibilities this dish held wooed me to want it as a second offering….toasted coconut and cinnamon whipped cream!!! The downside I see was that the crusts and surrounding bread was not nearly as custard like as the center. The coconut cream sauce was delicious so the hazelnut concoction was unnecessary.  I honestly felt as though four bites from each slice were so good, but the rest was totally not good at all. I really would like to see this prepared so the entire slice is silky.   7

Buttermilk Naperville
Three Milks French Toast

Buttermilk Naperville
Three Milks French Toast

Buttermilk Naperville
Three Milks French Toast

Buttermilk Naperville
Three Milks French Toast

Buttermilk Naperville
Three Milks French Toast
Dry Bread

Buttermilk Naperville
Three Milks French Toast
Fake but Hot Syrup

 

It’s 8:19 and the place is packing up. We placed our last order.

Stuffed Breakfast Biscuit

Homemade biscuit stufed with cherry wood smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, cheddar jack cheese. Topped with more sausage gravy, cheddar, and crumbled bacon. Served with farmhouse potatoes

This technical breakfast marvel was the size of a Baseball. The gravy was smooth soft and savory. It had just a slight hint of flour taste but delicious.    8    The biscuit was more like a thin layer of bread. Iv’e never seen anything like it. It was sort of like a breakfast Calzone. Right under the surface was a layer of Heavily smoked chopped Bacon. It was perfect for this. The eggs were overcooked of course. The Farmhouse potatoes were your standard diced fried potatoes. They were embellished with cheese bacon peppers and onions. Yummy.  This engineering marvel was quite a delicious treat.      8     I would get this again.

Diane:

Its getting very noisy by 8:30am, so much so that you cannot hear your dining buddy clearly. There are many young families on this Sunday morning so I suggest  coming during the week or on Weekends at 7am sharp. IT GETS LOUD.  5

Ok now for the biscuit situation. Buttermilk has an entire segment of the menu devoted to biscuits. That’s right. We tried the mini basket with honey butter on another visit so I was jazzed to try a savory biscuit offering! It arrives with a flourish and when you lift the plate it feels as though it’s 7 pounds of food. One bite is full of egg, bacon, cheese and delicious sausage gravy surrounded by a whisper thin layer of biscuit dough 8

The farmhouse potatoes are available for all entries at a two buck upcharge, but they come with this dish.  Cubed red potatoes crisped and seasoned perfectly, with melted jack,  sautéed scallions and a dash of sausage gravy 9

My suggestion is that Buttermilk retool this dish so it’s half this size. Three hungry adults could share this and a short stack of lovely upgraded cakes and go home satiated nicely. A very tasty and hearty dish it is!

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit
Overcooked Eggs

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit
Biscuit Shell

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit
Biscuit shell

Buttermilk Naperville
Stuffed Biscuit
Layer O Smokey Bacon

 

Well Gators That wraps it up. I’m pretty pumped that Naperville has a new Upscale Breakfast spot. It was a good visit and we will definitely be back. I’m going to add this to my “Best of List”

 

Get there early or wait. Your choice.

I HATE to wait. Good thing I didn’t have to

 

 

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As for us were off to our next adventure