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    Post #1 - May 6th, 2013, 12:21 pm
    Post #1 - May 6th, 2013, 12:21 pm Post #1 - May 6th, 2013, 12:21 pm
    My SO is a breakfast person and we often make this our main meal of the day, particularly during the week when I don't have to be at a client. Problem is that the breakfast offerings in our neighborhood are pretty mediocre and we are constantly searching for that one place that we can frequent that isn't too over the top with sweet bombs, manages to pour decent coffee and offers some healthful options. Well, I think we have a winner!

    I'd driven by this place a hundred times and had vaguely recalled a good review by Mike G. in Grub Street after they opened (just had their one-year anniversary) but hadn't stopped because--well, to be honest, I loathe the Bakin' and Eggs, Toasts, M. Henry and Bongo Rooms of the Chicago restaurant scene--and this looked like those. Sorry to have judged so superficially. Despite the slightly silly name, Batter & Berries is a really nice little spot with very good food, a lovely room and owners and staff who couldn't have been more welcoming.

    There is no website, they're open for breakfast and lunch only and the focus is on fresh, all natural and made in house--to the point that the only sweeteners offered are the sugar and stevia "in the raw" products.

    Coffee is La Columbe--and good. Off to a great start.

    House made flat patty chicken sausage--fantastic--moist but not greasy, full of chunks of onion and apple (I think) but not at all sweet or heavy-handed with the spice either. Could've eaten this as a burger.

    My "deconstructed" (ingredients on the outside) spinach, mushroom and swiss omelette topped with a delicious spinach and mushroom puree (no cream, butter, cheese or other obvious fat component that I could detect--just pure veg flavors)--was perfect. Flavorful eggs, light on the oil, slightly heavier on the cheese than I needed but because it was under the egg instead of in it, I could eat as much (or little) as I wanted. Hashbrowns come with all the savory breakfast items--shredded and mixed with cheddar and browned. Could've cooked a bit more (I like my hashbrowns more done that not) and an option to switch them out for fruit would've been even better. But very tasty. They do not do substitutions and I didn't see any fresh fruit sides offered so that's something I wouldn't mind seeing added. Probably easier for them to do in the summer, given their fresh/local approach--but would be nice to see an option in lieu of potatoes which I generally don't love for breakfast.

    SO ordered strawberry french toast (the batter has strawberries in it) that came drizzled with house made strawberry syrup, berries and maple butter (made in house of course :)) and the microscopic bite I managed to snag off his plate before he devoured everything was damn good, even for someone who doesn't like sweet stuff for breakfast. It was sweet, but I didn't think it was as cloying or heavy as the dishes I've been forced to try at the typical arrested-development-breakfast-is-really-dessert type places ( :roll: don't all of you peanut butter and chocolate fantasy stuffed pancake people get your panties in a bunch--this is purely my own personal opinion!!).

    Place was 3/4 full at 10:30--11:30 on a Monday morning. It's small so I'd probably not be likely to go at prime time on a weekend but since that's extremely rare for me anyway, I'm happy to have found this spot. The lunch menu looks good as well.

    Hope a few others check it out.

    Batter & Berries
    2748 N. Lincoln Ave.
    773-248-7710.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #2 - May 6th, 2013, 12:47 pm
    Post #2 - May 6th, 2013, 12:47 pm Post #2 - May 6th, 2013, 12:47 pm
    I'll add one thing, and I hope my facts on this are correct, but another thing I like about this place is that I perceive it to be African-American owned and run. Why should race matter? Because, as we know, Chicago is such a very segregated city, and I can't think of another black-owned restaurant in at least a five-mile radius of this place. I take heart that Batter & Berries has been able to succeed in this not-very-black-at-all region of the city.
  • Post #3 - May 6th, 2013, 1:42 pm
    Post #3 - May 6th, 2013, 1:42 pm Post #3 - May 6th, 2013, 1:42 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I'll add one thing, and I hope my facts on this are correct, but another thing I like about this place is that I perceive it to be African-American owned and run. Why should race matter? Because, as we know, Chicago is such a very segregated city, and I can't think of another black-owned restaurant in at least a five-mile radius of this place. I take heart that Batter & Berries has been able to succeed in this not-very-black-at-all region of the city.


    This is correct. B&B is owned and operated by Derrick Rylon - a talented chef and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
  • Post #4 - May 6th, 2013, 2:38 pm
    Post #4 - May 6th, 2013, 2:38 pm Post #4 - May 6th, 2013, 2:38 pm
    Great review! Yes, it's great to see someone who started in Hyde Park succeed uptown. This place is definitely on my list when I'm back in town.

    I've got a friend who has a love affair with french toast, and wanted to know how Batter & Berries' renditions compared to M.Henry's and Jam's? I know nxstasy like the latter two better overall, but anyone else have opinions?
  • Post #5 - May 6th, 2013, 2:45 pm
    Post #5 - May 6th, 2013, 2:45 pm Post #5 - May 6th, 2013, 2:45 pm
    WSL wrote:Great review! Yes, it's great to see someone who started in Hyde Park succeed uptown. This place is definitely on my list when I'm back in town.

    I've got a friend who has a love affair with french toast, and wanted to know how Batter & Berries' renditions compared to M.Henry's and Jam's? I know nxstasy like the latter two better overall, but anyone else have opinions?


    thanks! Unfortunately, you can problem tell that I am NOT the right person to compare versions since I am not an M. Henry fan at all (I haven't been to Jam). This was a substantial portion but I thought the batter was on the light side--very flavorful without being heavy and definitely not as sweet. Of course, the special today was some kind of chocolate concoction so they probably have something to please all palettes. My SO is usually pretty much of a purist when it comes to French Toast so for him to like a "fancy" version was something.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #6 - May 6th, 2013, 2:48 pm
    Post #6 - May 6th, 2013, 2:48 pm Post #6 - May 6th, 2013, 2:48 pm
    And one of their featured dishes is a 5 toast sampler--the 4 regular flavors (blueberry, lemon, strawberry and caramel) along with whatever today's special is. And they are very proud of the fact (the owner came over and chatted with us for a bit) that in the year they've been open, they've had a different FT special every single day. I'm sure there were some doozies in there but the effort is admirable!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #7 - May 6th, 2013, 4:26 pm
    Post #7 - May 6th, 2013, 4:26 pm Post #7 - May 6th, 2013, 4:26 pm
    For the record, I like Batter & Berries a lot - and not just for the French toast! One of the things I really like about it is this: There are some breakfast places that have excellent savory dishes (including those normally associated with breakfast as well as those more thought of as lunch items), and others that have excellent sweet dishes, but Batter & Berries does very well at both savory and sweet dishes. So if you have some friends and family members who prefer savory and others who prefer sweet, all can be satisfied there.

    Here's what I wrote when I had lunch at Batter & Berries some months back:

    nsxtasy wrote:Yesterday I had brunch at Batter & Berries. I liked it a lot! And it makes a great place regardless of whether you're interested in savory dishes or sweeter dishes.

    I first heard about Batter & Berries in Chicago magazine's Dish column. And, of course, being a big fan of French toast - I'm about halfway through Christopher Borelli's list of "16 choices for fabulous French toast" that appeared in the Tribune in January 2010 - I've been looking forward to trying it ever since. What I found was great French toast, and so much more!

    Since it was lunchtime, I started with savory lunch items - specifically, their $9 "lunch trio" special, which consists of a half sandwich, bowl of soup, and small salad. I had half of an "Arthur" sandwich, which was very good indeed - grilled chicken breast, barbecue sauce, and caramelized onions, on a pretzel roll. The soup varies each day; yesterday's was butternut squash, and it was truly outstanding. The salad was nice too - mixed greens with a house vinaigrette. I also had a large cup of their pumpkin spice hot chocolate, which I liked - not much pumpkin flavor (that's okay) and the miniature marshmallows were lightly broiled, a nice touch. (There were other items I didn't get to try, unfortunately, including a Maryland crab omelet special that sounded good.)

    After that, I was actually pretty full, but I really wanted to try the French toast, so I forced myself. I got the "flight of French toast", consisting of four types - strawberry, blueberry, lemon, and caramel. They were all excellent, nicely moist, and quite different from each other. (Note that they also offer the "super flight of French toast", which consists of five types, including the daily special, but the special yesterday of peppermint Schnapps wasn't of interest to me.)

    The service was friendly the way small casual places usually are. Rylon, the chef-owner, came out to check with everyone to make sure everything was good. And while I've seen this happen at other places, I really loved what he was wearing when he did this - a t-shirt that says "The Chef" on the front of it!

    Batter & Berries is a cute, cozy place with outstanding food, perfect for breakfast, lunch, or brunch. It's a welcome addition to our burgeoning brunch scene!

    Batter & Berries
    2748 N Lincoln Avenue (a few blocks west of the Diversey stop on the CTA Brown Line)
    Chicago IL
    (773) 248-7710
    http://chicago.menupages.com/restaurant ... rries/menu

    Chicago has many, many breakfast/brunch-focused restaurants, and I've tried at least a couple dozen of them. A few have a more creative and unusual menu than B&B, but the quality at B&B is right up there with the best of them.

    As for the French toast...

    WSL wrote:I've got a friend who has a love affair with french toast, and wanted to know how Batter & Berries' renditions compared to M.Henry's and Jam's? I know nxstasy like the latter two better overall, but anyone else have opinions?

    Comparing French toast versions, I liked it at Batter & Berries as well as at Jam, and I would hesitate to deem one better than the other. (I like the moistness/texture of the French toast at B&B; I like the topping - typically some sort of macerated fruit - at Jam.) I don't recall ever having the French toast at M. Henry.

    If I had to choose the best French toast I've had in the Chicago area, it would be at Jerry's in Winnetka, the same place that won the Tribune's comparison of 16 local versions back in January 2010 (I've tried about half of those listed there). It was a great article for your friend, as they not only described those 16 versions, but they categorized them according to different styles and attributes. If you have access to an archive database of the Tribune, it was by Christopher Borelli and appeared on January 14, 2010 under the headline, "16 choices for fabulous French toast".
  • Post #8 - August 13th, 2013, 8:34 pm
    Post #8 - August 13th, 2013, 8:34 pm Post #8 - August 13th, 2013, 8:34 pm
    Thanks boudreaulicious for recommending this place to me. Easily one of the top few breakfasts I've had in Chicago, if not the best. Hard to pick a favorite between the biscuits and gravy and the fried chicken with sweet potato waffle (also stuffed with chicken).

    The biscuits are terrific - warm, tender and just dry enough to be a great match for the gravy. The gravy is made from the housemade chicken sausage and is packed with flavor. My lone wish would have been a slightly more black pepper-forward flavor in the gravy, but this was still about as good a version of biscuits and gravy I've had in Chicago (though I recognize this tells you little). The sweet potato waffle with chicken was great, but it was the crisp, moist, perfectly friend chicken that really put a smile on my face. This is what chicken and waffles should be. The accompanying maple butter and hot sauce are perfect additions which don't detract one bit from the dish.

    I also tasted the french toast flight and what I appreciated most was that the fruit toppings featured real fruit and were not too sweet.

    Overall, a terrific spot and very good service. My lone complaint is that this was the single loudest restaurant I have ever eaten in, or at least on the Saturday morning I visited. But the food was so good I'm sure I'll return.
  • Post #9 - August 13th, 2013, 8:58 pm
    Post #9 - August 13th, 2013, 8:58 pm Post #9 - August 13th, 2013, 8:58 pm
    I wouldn't know about the volume level since we've only gone at odd times (10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, for example). But so glad you liked it--I think it stands out above the trendy sugar bomb spots.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #10 - February 20th, 2020, 7:49 pm
    Post #10 - February 20th, 2020, 7:49 pm Post #10 - February 20th, 2020, 7:49 pm
    Opening two more locations.
    https://chicago.eater.com/platform/amp/ ... -west-side
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #11 - April 28th, 2023, 1:00 pm
    Post #11 - April 28th, 2023, 1:00 pm Post #11 - April 28th, 2023, 1:00 pm
    Now open = 3462 Vollmer Road, Olympia Fields
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #12 - May 28th, 2024, 6:16 am
    Post #12 - May 28th, 2024, 6:16 am Post #12 - May 28th, 2024, 6:16 am
    Opening a new location = 2300 S. State St.
    https://whatnowchicago.com/batter-berri ... partments/
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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