If you don’t time Bite Cafe right on the weekends, you’ll be standing outside along an uninteresting and dull stretch of Western Avenue. A brunch wait in small spots is typical in Chicago neighborhoods, so I’m not dinging them for that nor the lack of space. I only mention the wait because all that shivering made me want endless coffee and the hardiest, carbo-loaded item on the menu. That item was breakfast poutine.
The breakfast poutine is a genius combination of fries topped with chilies, melting cheese curds, salty gravy and soft-poached eggs. I should be eating this from November to late March — everyone at the table unanimously agreed it’s great Winter survival food. BTW, you can order the poutine on top of a “mashbrown” instead of fries, but I was talked out of this by the waitress. It was the right move.
The other big hit was the thick slab of not-too-sweet pumpkin bread with cinnamon butter. Simply yum. Coffee wasn’t bad, either.
The rest of the meal was a less successful. The omelet special with duck would have been much better without the hidden bone waiting to kill one of my brunch companions. She survived to try the above-mentioned mashbrowns — a molded hashbrown that was too salty and wasn’t nearly as cool as its name.
The french toast and “the classic” with eggs, bacon and mashbrowns were fine, but didn’t leave much of an impression. The breakfast poutine really was the big win. Hopefully the December weather will stay mild enough for me to make it back for more of it or perhaps something from the lunch side of the menu.
$15 per person.
1039 N Western Ave