I spend hours before my trips trolling around the internet finding the very best out-of-the-way places to eat. Chicago has some of the worlds finest dining...but you don't have to spend a lot of money to eat well. I can't think of an ethnic group who's foods aren't represented somewhere in Chicago and its suburbs. It's fun to walk around the city and pop into whatever restaurant strikes your fancy. We've found many a place like this....one Asian restaurant became a place of respite from a sudden summer thunderstorm's downpour. The kids became sushi aficionados by the end of the evening...an expensive habit so say mom and dad...Spider rolls and Superman rolls not withstanding!
But I digress. Our first foray was heading to Wicker Park/Bucktown , a charming little area filled with lots and lots of shops. Strolling up N. Milwaukee on our way to the Bongo Room for brunch we stopped at
1442 N. Milwaukee Ave
|What to choose?|
What a treasure. If you've never been to a Latin bakery you are in for a treat. The shop is lined with rows of glass cases holding such bakery goods as you've never seen. Sadly, there are no labels which is actually rather fun...the staff doesn't speak English; at least the ones who were there when we stopped by. You pick up a cafeteria tray and a pair of tongs and away you go, picking and choosing whatever pastries look good. Mexican pastries are not as sweet as what you are probably used to..which might be a good thing. Don't miss the tres leche cake.
Tucking our bags away we continued our stroll towards the Bongo Room and walked past
Harold's Chicken a Chicago franchise specializing in Fried Chicken. I can't say that I've ever wanted to walk away from a perfectly fried chicken wing, but brunch was calling.
We passed Pinch Spice Market and they were closed. Pinch strives for organic herbs and spices and I vowed to check it out after brunch. Sadly, I was too full to look at anything related to food so I'm saving it for another trip.
We finally arrived at our destination. The Bongo Room may not look like much from the outside, but open that door and you are in pancake, omelet, sandwich and salad Heaven!
THE BONGO ROOM
A regular order of pancakes is a 3 stack! Make sure you specify you only want one. The four of us shared three pancakes, an order of cheesey house potatoes, a BLT and a smoked chicken and pear salad.
Yes, we rolled ourselves out the door!
|The Gibassier Apple French Toast with Warm Vanilla Bean Sauce|
Caramel Apples and Gingersnap Walnut Crumble.
|Cranberry & Yellow Corn Hotcake|
Kokorokoko is another resale store that is closer to Harold's Chicken. Check out their blog:
You could honestly spend all day walking this section of Bucktown/Wicker Park. But we were just getting started on our food journey and had more to discover.