Apr 252014
Apple Pancake | Delightful Pastries

Apple Pancake

A few days ago, Delightful Pastries (1710 N Wells St.) lured me in with the promise of a new brunch menu and a strong cup of coffee. Given this spot is my current go-to for quality paczki, I expected a quality meal, a bottomless cup, and no rogue breakfast mash-ups à la wonuts.

Delightful Pastries queued up the pancakes as I sat down. As much as I love them, most recipes use baking powder/baking soda and are too caustic for my mouth. I can’t handle more than two bites. However, Chef Robert assured me that his pancakes are made with club soda, his grandmother’s secret recipe, and no other leavening agents.

The result? Cakes that were as light and fluffy as any I’ve had. With freshly shredded Mutsu apples in the mix, I was a goner and ate the whole stack.

Carrot Cake Pancake | Delightful Pastries

Carrot Cake Pancake

Apparently the club soda method came into use during WWII when many ingredients were in short supply. It’s a life-changing discovery for me, and I can’t wait to try it at home. But if I choose not to use my new-found knowledge, I can always return for more Carrot Cake Pancakes. The combo of pineapple and shredded carrots is incredibly moist, and the sweet cream cheese sends it over the top. This dish is dessert for breakfast.

If you’re in the mood for savory, pile on the pork with scrambled eggs and ham with bacon, bacon, and an extra thick slice of bacon. I call it too much bacon, but these folks refer to it as Bacon, Bacon Yum. The Polish Toast, with cheese, tomato, and bacon, may be enough to give you a fix of swine, but why not go whole hog and order it as a side for your Bacon, Bacon Yum?

I won’t judge.

I was not financially compensated for this post. Brunch was provided to me for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.


Apr 182014
Bloody Mary Bar | Davanti Enoteca

Bloody Mary Bar

If you love Bloody Mary’s like I love Bloody Mary’s, then consider a visit to Davanti Enoteca (30 East Hubbard). Their massive Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar makes an appearance on Saturday and Sunday between 10am-3pm. It’s worth getting up early to go.

For only $10, you can build the drink of your dreams. Plan on spending more, however, because you’ll need at least two trips through the bar to overcome decision paralysis. Why? The bar comes with conceivable ingredient you could possibly put into a Bloody Mary.

Choose between jars of meat straws, carrot sticks, or bacon-wrapped asparagus, and then skewer as many peppers, tomatoes, stuffed and unstuffed olives, or cheese as you wish. The back of the bar is lined with too many hot sauces to name. You even have your choice of salt.

My Bloody Mary Masterpiece was loaded with spicy mix, shrimp, bleu-cheese stuffed olives, as many stalks of celery as I could stuff into the glass, and two dashes of bacon salt and hot sauce. I half-expected the glass to topple over!

Pecan Praline French Toast | Davanti Enoteca

Pecan Praline French Toast

You need a few items to nibble while enjoying the Bloody Mary, right? Davanti has a lengthy selection of brunch dishes to try.

Highlights of the menu included a savory Pork Belly and Potato Hash with soft poached eggs that added a runny umami quality. Paired with a full-on slab of Thick-cut Bacon, dotted with tomatoes, it’s guaranteed to complete your morning.

On the sweet side, the French Toast with cinnamon butter and a bourbon-infused maple syrup will satisfy, but don’t stop there — the Davanti staff can reach into Glazed & Infused‘s kitchen for your favorites. The Maple Bacon Long John should be something everyone tries once, though I’m a particular fan of the lowly Vanilla Bean Glazed Doughnuts and Apple Fritters.

Love coffee? Davanti serves their own blend from Sparrow Coffee. No matter how you take your coffee, this is an incredibly good cup from an amazing local roaster. I’ll see you there!

Enjoy more brunch…

I was not financially compensated for this post. Brunch was provided to me for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.


Apr 062014
Omelet Station | Devon Seafood Restaurant

They’ll throw crab meat into your made-to-order omelet.

Devon Seafood Grill (39 East Chicago Avenue) invited me to check out their new brunch offering, now available on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Brunch is an all-you-can-eat buffet for a fixed price of $45/adult, $16/child under 12. Drinks, including brunch cocktails, coffee, or choices from the extensive wine list, are extra.

If you plan to go for Easter Brunch, there’s a special menu for that particular Sunday.

Crabs | Devon Seafood Restaurant

Crab legs are included in the buffet.

Items that might not normally expect to see at brunch include a chilled seafood display featuring smoked trout, oysters on the half shell, sushi, and shrimp cocktail. Each seafood item seemed to have its own sauce or accompaniment choice, so you could mix and match taste sensations to your heart’s content. I zeroed in on the char crusted Ahi tuna with a little pickled ginger and didn’t look back. There’s also a chef-service station for deletable Steamed Alaskan Red King Crab Legs, if you have a mind to crack some shells.

Though Devon is known for their seafood, I thought the standard breakfast items were particularly well done. I filled up a couple of times on the homemade granola with yogurt and fresh mix of juicy blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. The pastries were flakey, sweet — much better than I expected, as were the biscuit and gravy.

Chocolate Tarts | Devon Seafood Restaurant

Chocolate Tarts are one of the many desserts.

If you crave more savory lunch items, then load up on the lobster macaroni and cheese or crab cake stuffed mushrooms. Or go for the more traditional salads, cheeses, or chicken. Though you may have eaten too much, browse the dessert table for a panna cotta or key lime tart. They’re worth the splurge in calories.

Devon is a great place to stop in for brunch if you’re headed to the Mag Mile for a day of shopping, or if you just happen to be in the neighborhood. The only downside? Their tasty and dangerously addicting cheese biscuits weren’t on the brunch menu, which means you’ll need to go back for dinner, too.

Enjoy more of brunch…

I was not financially compensated for this post. Brunch was provided to me for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.