Posts Tagged ‘bacon and eggs’

The Belmont Cafe in Belmont

One of the first places I ever ate in Chicago was at Clarkes on Belmont near to the Belmont El Stop (read more here).  I had come up here looking for an apartment and their was an agency just along the road that I had spotted when checking out the area. That place was great it was open pretty much 24 hrs and I had stopped in many a time when in need of some kind of late night sustenance after a few beers, and also late weekend mornings when my head hurt little and I just needed some eggs to help my body sort itself out. It was with that sort of food comfort in mind that I had headed up to Belmont only to find that the place I once relied on had been replaced with The Belmont. Well it seemed to be just the same sort of place so I stopped in to look for some sort of breakfast.

Breakfast Sandwiches at The Belmont Cafe

For a moment or two I contemplated ordering The Classic which was a bagel with eggs, cheese, and a choice of either ham, hickory smoked bacon, or sausage from the Breakfast Sandwich section of the menu as it did sound pretty good. I didn’t really want any bread though and I had in my mind something with breakfast potatoes. I knew that I would probably find what I needed in the basic Eggs section of the menu so looked through the menu to find what I desired.

Eggs Menu in Belmont Cafe

Now this was more like it! I ordered the Eggs any style (I had scrambled) with a side of bacon and a large glass of fresh orange juice. I almost had the NY Steak and Eggs but to be honest that was $13 and the Basic Eggs was just $5. Also I really wanted some bacon!

Eggs any Style at the Belmont Cafe

Side of Bacon at the Belmont Cafe

Now this was just what I wanted and just what I remembered. The Scrambled eggs are more like a broken up omelette, but they are light and fluffy and not at all greasy, love them like this. The house potatoes seem to vary so much from place to place, sometimes with peppers, sometimes packed with onion, happily I was to find that the ones served at the Belmont were nice and simple with just a little bit of grilled onion in amongst the crispy cubes.

The side of Hickory Smoked bacon was awesome. It was nice and crisp, and still meaty, it was packed with smoky and salty flavour. Love it so much. It was a perfect accompaniment to my plate of eggs. I have to order this every time I have breakfast eggs!

Bill at Belmont

 

I really enjoyed this breakfast plate at the Belmont. To be honest it was better that all that I had at Clarkes and the place seemed to be more relaxed and more casual. I’ll come back here again.

Belmont Cafe Sign

 

The Belmont Café at 930 W Belmont Ave is within sight of the Belmont CTA stop where the red and brown lines split. It is literally a couple of minutes walk from the station.

It is located between Wilton Ave & Clark St

The Belmont Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Eggsperience

Eggsperience was one of the first places that I ever had breakfast at in Chicago. I was staying in a hotel just near to the Grand El stop on the Red line while I looked for my first apartment in the City. Over the years I came back here pretty often, sometimes sitting up at the counter, sometimes in a booth. Each time I was sustained with a decent breakfast that kept me going for the day and also that kept me coming back.

This branch that I like to go to is at 35 West Ontario Street in River North

This is how they describe themselves on their website

Eggsperience Pancakes & Café in Chicago is a bright restaurant in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood. We’re sure you’ll find dishes in the Eggperience selection to please any appetite — like our hearty Corned Beef Hash & Eggs breakfast, our Butcher’s Choice Eggsquisite Benedict , our lunchtime Cajun Avocado Burger, or a bowl of Piping Hot Soup.”

When you walk in they are supposed to always say “Welcome to Eggsperience” which actually is not as annoying as you might think as you kind of feel that they probably mean it.

Bacon and Scrambled Eggs at Eggsperience

On this visit, just for old time’s sake, I ordered up a simple plate of thick cut bacon and eggs any style (I went for scrambled). It also came with a side of hash browns which just looked like shredded potatoes to me) or as they described them “Fresh cut Idaho potatoes done just right.”

I like the bacon here, it is thick and crispy, smoked full of flavour and is almost close to being candied. Could be some of the best breakfast bacon I have tasted for a while at one of these breakfast diners.

I also have to note that this is one of the few places that can actually provide a decent cup of tea! You get an actual pot of tea as opposed to a cup of hot water and a tea bag. I really did appreciate that as I managed to drain about three big mugs of tasty English Breakfast tea from that pot as I ate my breakfast.

In the past I have also sampled a few other dishes here on an ‘Eggsperience’ that I would happily recommend. My favourite of the bunch is the Tommy Boy’s Skillet which will keep you going all day and maybe even the next day too! This is one of their ‘Super Skillets’ which is a great big cast iron skillet filled with “Diced potatoes layered with fresh ingredients and a melting of jack and Cheddar cheeses. Topped with two Grade AA fresh eggs your way, served with your choice of toast or pancakes”. For the Tommy Boy the menu says “We layer this hearty skillet with bacon, sausage and ham for the meat lovers”. I can concur that it is hearty and confirm that I am a Meat Lover.

I don’t think that you can go too far wrong at Eggsperience. Worth coming too just for the bacon and that pot of Tea!

Eggsperience on Urbanspoon

Yolk in Streeterville

I have walked past this particular branch of Yolk located at 355 E. Ohio Street on the corner of Grand & McClurg in Streeterville on many occasion on my way back and forth towards Navy Pier but until this day I had never walked in. I had been to one of their other sites over in River North before and I always enjoy their simple take on that wonderful meal that starts our day; breakfast.

On this trip back to my expat hometown I was staying just around the corner at the Allerton so it was much easier to stroll over for my morning eggs. Even though the outside temperatures had dipped well below freezing, inside I was to receive a warm welcoming plate of food.

Two Eggs and Meat

Eggs and Baccn

I do love a nice American style plate of breakfast and today I took it simply with scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes and some excellent crispy American bacon strips. The meal also came with a choice of breads and I went for the toasted English muffin, and to drink a pot of tea for whih I have to give a special mention. All too often over here in the States it is so hard to get a good cup of tea, but here at this particular  Yolk I received a really good pot full of scalding and warming tea, so good that I had three cups full.

Officially my choice from the menu was called “Two eggs and Meat” which was a choice of “Two eggs any style with your choice of hickory smoked bacon, sausage links, low-fat turkey, sausage, canadian bacon or hickory- smoked ham steak.”.

I had the hickory smoked bacon which was really good and almost candy like with a decent smoky taste. I kind of came here just for that bacon but everything else on the plate also made me happy as well. The scrambled eggs were soft, creamy, and filled half of that big white plate. The chunky fried red potatoes were also plentiful, and I even ate most of them as well mainly as I was glad that they still resembled actual potatoes too.

The toasted muffin was an added bonus and went well with one of those pots of free marmalade. All in all a very successful start to my morning and for $8.99 not too bad value either.

Other menu options I ate in my mind

Yolk allstar breakfast menu

I would have had this Yolk All-Star Breakfast and the only thing that stopped me from ordering this instead was that it didn’t come with an English Muffin. I wasn’t in the mood for pancakes, French toast, crepes, or a half waffle. If I had been then I might suggest that this was better value ‘volume wise’ than my actual choice of “Two Eggs and Meat”

Build -A -Scrambler Option

Yoll Scrambler Menu

I have ordered this ‘Build-A-Scrambler’ plate before at other Yolks in the city and it is huge. So huge that I didn’t order it today as I wanted to be able to eat again at some point. My choice of the three ingredients is usually the Chorizo, Jack Cheese, and Mushrooms. I kind of like that combination.  Spicy, Salty, Crunchy, Meaty, Cheesy and a Bit plate of Eggs. Awesome!

I should have had this….

Chicken and Waffles at Yolk

I think on reflection I should have taken a leap of faith and ordered the Chicken ‘n’ Waffles as it now sounds so good reading that section of the menu. What’s not to like? Bacon “affle? Chicken? Sausage Gravy? Maple Syrup? all sounds good to me! adding a fried egg for just another 75cents? How could one not? Perhaps this was a dish for a late breakfast or a brunch? and perhaps next time it will be the plate in front of me when I dine at Yolk!

Yolk on Urbanspoon

Late night or early morning the brightly lit yet restrained sign of the 3 Star Coffee Shop shines like a beacon signalling the location of some good classic diner food and more importantly the American version of the ‘All Day Breakfast’. I am not sure what time I rolled into this spot, it was sometime between 12pm and 4 am after the bars had closed down. I was figuring that if I got an early march on breakfast I might be capable of getting up the next day in some sort of functioning capacity.

Put cake on the counter and there is a fair chance that one of us is going to be eating them. The whole counter was covered with an array of cakes, all freshly baked that day, and at the time I walked in they were just coming out of the kitchen. I had to try one, but I did just have a little one. It was good, glazed pastry and a raisin filled cake, perhaps a touch of cinnamon also, but to be honest I am struggling to recall.

There was so much to choose from on the menu but I went for the simple “Two Eggs, Any Style with bacon, ham or sausage (I went for both bacon and sausage) this came with potatoes and toast, for the princely sum of just $6.50  You know that it is a big breakfast when it comes on three plates. Apart from these two another plate arrived with toast on it. Now I have to say that while the eggs and bacon were just perfect, the real star were these sausages. Really good herby flavour, solid and meaty, for America, surprisingly well done.

Did I need this toast? No, but lets be fair, did I need that piece of cake that I had at the beginning?

No I didn’t, but in some ways I did, and you will too.

Located at 541 Columbus Ave, New York At 86th St, just off the local 1

Check out the menu at Menu Pages: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/3-star-coffee-shop/menu

Three Star Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon

I love a good farmer’s market, whether in the UK or the USA you can always be assured of getting your hands on some good local produce. In Chicago you are usually getting fruit and vegetables from Illinois and the surrounding States of Michigan and Wisconsin. In Nottingham it was meat and dairy from Nottinghamshire, and the surrounding counties of Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire. The same principle just on a smaller scale.

When I am away from England I forget how much good meat you can get at the English Markets. Not only that but at the market I visited in West Bridgford there were three stalls selling Scotch Eggs, one of which was just dedicated to Scotch Eggs. This is tantamount to a personal Nirvana and almost worth the airfare and 7500 mile round trip on its own. I could probably just write this blog about the Scotch Eggs themselves but I will try to maintain a modicum of restraint.

 

The prime Scotch Egg vendor was the “Handmade Scotch Egg Company” who had a pretty wide and wild selection and samples of all, which was very very dangerous. In addition to the standard option they had ‘Garlic’, ‘Black Pudding’,  ‘Honey and Mustard’, ‘Piri Piri’, and ‘Sweet Chilli’. I did try them all but in the end I just bought the Garlic and the Original. Good Value at  3 for 5 GBP. I have since sampled the ‘Óriginal’ (shown above) and it was very good, thick solid sausage meat and a very yellow yolked egg, which makes me believe it came from a happy hen. Website: http://www.handmadescotcheggs.co.uk

  

For lunch it was a case of adding up a couple of little snacks. On the day I had seen a quails egg scotch egg from ‘Saxby Rare Breeds’ http://www.saxbyrarebreeds.co.uk  which intrigued me as it was a big compared to size of a quails egg. It was still a bit runny inside and in the end the egg was too small and the sausage meat overwhelmed and to be honest it was a bit soggy and tasteless. Still it was worth trying for the experience.

 

It was not all bad though as I had managed to get my hands on some mini quiches from the No 8 deli in West Bridgford. A mushroom and wenselydale cheese quiche really hit the spot http://www.no8deli.co.uk/.

   

Apart from instant food gratification a plentiful bounty of additional supplies had to be garnered from the market. It is so hard to walk past all the stalls without buying breakfast and many many dinner options.

  

Sunday breakfast was mostly supplied by Grasmere Farm stall http://www.grasmere-farm.co.uk/. Chipolata sausages, Back Bacon, and Black pudding, the eggs came from the Spring Lane Farmshop on Mapperley Top in Nottingham http://www.springlanefarmshop.co.uk/

In the end that was damn tasty too, OK so maybe I should have allowed my Mother the chance to make the plate look prettier before I took the photo, but it was all about the taste in the end. The Eggs had the yellowest yolk you can get, probably grass fed, the black pudding was creamy and flavourful, with a good bit of fat in it so that it was not dry, the sausages not too herby but bigger than a chipolata, and the bacon was solid, firm and lightly smoked. Delicious.

As for everything else that was bought from the market will be consumed on another day. It may make the blog, but really I guess you all want more El Stop news and less of this UK stuff. Five weeks to go…