Chicago, Eat, Entertaining, River North, South Loop, Travel

A Taste of Chicago Spring

monkey bread brunch kanela old town chicago
Pull-apart Monkey Bread at Kanela for Brunch in Old Town.

Well, hello. Welcome to a delicious post. Here is a collection of my most recent bites that are calling my name for return visits and more menu-delving. Doesn’t this picture of the pull-apart monkey bread Abby and I shared for starters at our Old Town brunch at Kanela make you want to grab a piece and dive right in? It was delectably sweet, moist, and reminded me of an apricot coffee cake Mom makes sometimes. (Hi, Mom!) Just like the name (cinnamon in Spanish), I felt like I could taste the kanela in this happy, comforting way to kick off the morning. With a menu that praises fresh ingredients, many of which are local (victory dance!), Kanela was an adorable little breakfast cafe sitting on the main stretch of Wells in Old Town. My Egg White omelette (I feel like only legit breakfast spots spell it with the double ‘t’) with mushrooms, avocado, tomato, onions, green pepper, salsa, and toast was a protein and vitamin-packed choice to counteract the decadence we started with, of course. Personally, I might need to go back to try the Banana Split crepe (with nutella, need I say more?), Strawberry waffle with creme fraiche, Kanela Chip Pancakes with honey butter, or maybe even the Chicken Pesto sandwich or Black Bean Burger.

Locations: Lakeview and Old Town
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (lunch too!)

green tea waffles breakfast chicago south loop
Green Tea waffle with lemon ginger Chantilly creme, topped with ground pistachio, powdered sugar, and candied ginger.

Confession: I didn’t actually order this. Lucky me, my handsome breakfast date (who I must say has very good taste) shared a bite at Waffles in South Loop and along with my freshly steeped green tea, it was a winner. The green tea flavor infused in the batter added a welcome herbal note to the more-savory-than-sweet morning staple and, when combined with the dense creme, chopped pistachios for crunch and powdered sugar, required nothing more than another bite. (syrup not needed here!) Again, I went with the more practical omelette in preparation for the next bite I’m about to share, but I can’t wait to go back for the Mexican Chocolate waffle, or maybe even the waffle flight (to taste the range of waffles at Waffles – now that’s just fun to say).

Location: Lakeview and South Loop
Hours: Vary by location, check them out for lunch or an early dinner too! Oh, and they deliver…dangerous or convenient?

spoonbread bub city chicago
Cheesy, hearty, gooey Spoonbread at Bub City BBQ in Chicago.

So this isn’t breakfasty or Springy, but it is one bite (okay maybe a few spoonfulls – it was shared among 3 of us) that makes me coming back for more and it’s worth mentioning…I’ve already talked about it since indulging on Saturday night. This is the decadent ooey, gooey cornbread side dish known as Spoonbread at Bub City, a BBQ restaurant in River North that I’m partial to for the country music it plays whenever doors are open. Put it this way, I wore my Texas cowgirl boots there this weekend with country-lovin’ friends Rachel and Jamie (we’re regulars now) and wasn’t completely out of place, other than maybe on the walk over there. The Kansas City and Spicy BBQ sauces and meaty dishes are delicious, but this side dish was our main attraction and the first thing we dug our spoons into at dinner. Soft corn kernels add a little pop of texture among the cornbread batter and the crispy baked cheese on top adds a note of bitterness to cut the richness. It’s just memorable. Go for the BBQ and the music, (the 140 whiskeys) and don’t forget the Spoonbread! I must also rave about the marinated cucumbers, another side dish on the menu that adds a sweet, smooth, and light crunchiness to any beefy entree.

Now that dining al fresco on patios is in full swing in my first Chicago Spring, where have you been finding tasty bites? Stay tuned for more…the flowers are in bloom and it’s just the beginning…

Location: River North
Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. (3 a.m. on Saturdays)

And, a photo of Chicago in the Spring just for fun!

Chicago spring flowers
Fragrant Chicago in the Spring!

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