Brunch. It’s not just for Sunday anymore.
One of the hottest restaurant trends to overtake the industry in the past few years has been the proliferation of weekend brunch options. Nearly every type of restaurant, from chains to high end establishments, has jumped on the weekend brunch idea. What then of the weekday? After all, many people either work “non-traditional” jobs or happen to have midday time free during the week.
Kanela Breakfast Club in Old Town has taken on the “weekday brunch” challenge and is doing a superior job in the process. According to their website:
Kanela [kuh-nel-uh] is a marvelous world bringing a local, organic, and flavorful approach to a Greek-inflected American breakfast + lunch menu reflecting our heritage as well as the origin of the name, which means cinnamon in Greek, and which you will find in abundance on the menu. A refreshing take on mama’s recipes and delivered to you just the same way, with love and a smile.
The original location of Kanela Breakfast Club is still at 3231 N. Clark, but they recently opened a second spot at 1552 N. Wells in Old Town, offering their superb service and excellent breakfast/lunch/brunch options to another part of the city. Recently, a friend and I were invited to try both their food menu and the new craft cocktails offered at the Old Town location.
On the sweet side of the menu, the restaurant offered us a sampler of several French Toasts including Kanela French Toast (with apricot sauce, sweet lemon crème fraîche), Stuffed French Toast (with maple whipped ricotta, walnut streusel, apple cinnamon chutney) and Red Velvet French Toast (with cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberries, crème anglaise). All of them were delicious but our vote was definitely with the Red Velvet French Toast. Try it. You’ll thank me.
After filling up on the French Toast, we took a break to enjoy their excellent coffee, then dove into the savory menu. My friend went for the breakfast options and ordered the Lorraine Scramble (peppered bacon, Gruyère cheese, caramelized onions, toast). For something that appears so simple, this was a truly stupendous breakfast offering. Of course, peppered bacon and Gruyère make nearly anything better.
I chose to sample from the lunch menu, and opted for the Tallgrass Beef Burger (aged cheddar, guacamole, romaine, tomato, red onion). Burgers are such a standard item on most menus that I often stay away from them. Viewing another diner order one, however, made my mouth water so I decided to give it a try. This would definitely rate as one of my top five burgers in Chicago. The addition of the avocado was just the perfect unique touch and the aged cheddar gave it a great zing.
There were so many amazing options, it was hard to choose. Check out their menu and you’ll see what I mean.
No brunch is complete without sampling at least one “brunchy” cocktail. Kanela offers a small but superior selection of hand-crafted cocktails. One of the iconic brunch drinks is the Bloody Mary and Kanela offers two options. If you’re brave (i.e. you like a scorching hot experience) then they have one for you. If you’re like me, however, opt for the “normal” Bloody Mary and you will certainly be glad you did. They also have a delicious Bellini, perfect as a post-prandial cocktail.
Kanela is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for your breakfast/lunch/brunch pleasure. Three more pluses for Kanela’s Old Town location: Free WiFi, parking validation for the lot immediately adjacent to the restaurant, and some of the best service I have had at any restaurant in the city. Truly, the servers were awesome.
Kanela Breakfast Club is located at 1552 N. Wells Street in Chicago. They can be reached by phone at 312.255.1206 or by email at [email protected]. For more information, visit their website. You can also find more information on Facebook or by following them on Twitter.