You know that feeling of elation you get when you find your “go to” restaurant?
I have to confess. The first time I went to Birchwood Kitchen (2211 W. North Ave.) for brunch, I totally forgot about taking any pictures or concentrating on the nuances of my breakfast. After spotting the butternut squash hash with bacon, maple, spinach & sunny side up eggs on the specials board, I glazed over. I didn’t have to know about anything else. I was sold. I ordered, my breakfast came , I inhaled it!
The kitchen’s autumnal creation was almost perfect.
The salty smokiness of the bacon complimented the natural caramel sweetness of the butternut squash and the spinach added a bright green note, in color and flavor. A big mug of strong black Metropolis coffee toned down the candied effect the maple had on the dish.
Now it was time to dig in to my husband’s breakfast, which I also chose. He’s good like that. I always race through a menu, so excited to see what new creations there are to discover. I’ll have at least two items I am dying to try, and he hasn’t even gotten past the appetizers. He usually gives up, asks me what two items I want to order & saves the menu to look at later. The perfect dining partner, I think!
So, “his” breakfast was braised leeks with roasted mushrooms, polenta croutons & sunny side up eggs. We always play a game of “what would you change” whenever we eat out. Annoying, I know. We decided we wouldn’t change but one aspect of this dish and that was the presentation of the leeks. The leeks were served whole; beautiful, but very hard to share & very hard to eat. The flavor profile was very French or maybe it was Italian. Whatever it was, it was well balanced, with the roasted mushrooms adding depth to the subtlety of the braised leeks, and the polenta croutons adding texture & sharpness. Happy, I was so happy!
Birchwood Kitchen is an order at the counter kind of place, which I prefer. Don’t you? I think this makes you more in control of your dining experience. You don’t have to wait for a check. When you are ready to go, you go. There is no tip jar, which I think is odd as someone brings your food out and refills your coffee. So you have to get your own water, big deal! The service is super friendly. Prices were reasonable, especially considering the owners work with local, sustainable vendors. Portions were ample, but not IHOP huge. Who even wants that that these days? I did get a big chewy oatmeal cookie to go and managed to save it for later. How? I don’t know. I can’t wait to try their burgers for dinner during the week or sign up for one of their farm dinners. The next one is on November 2 with Seedling Farms. It is BYOB and $50 per person.
So, you know my “go to” spot for brunch, and possibly dinner, what’s yours?