I used to go to Svea in Andersonville all the time, when I lived up North. When a friend suggested we meet there for breakfast recently, I quickly agreed. I hadn’t been in years. My husband was so jealous that I was going; he demanded we go together the next weekend. Sure, no problem. You don’t have to twist my arm.
I have to admit, I have only ever ordered two things here, the Swedish pancakes and the Viking breakfast. That’s all you really need to know! The rest of the menu has some classic breakfast/lunch dishes, BLT sandwich, meatloaf, omelets, and Swedish fare like lukefish, herring and fruit soup. I’m going to stick with my beloved Swedish pancakes.
I love Swedish pancakes. We used to go to Door County Wisconsin every 4th of July when I was growing up. What I remember most about Door County is the fireworks, the fish boils (Not that I ever tried it. I was not as adventurous back then), Wilson’s Ice Cream Parlor, the goats on the roof at Al Johnson’s Swedish restaurant and Swedish pancakes. (Of course I had to digress down memory lane a little! You know me.) This must have been when I became addicted to the ultra thin pancakes, topped with tart lingonberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. They are sort of like crepes, but a little spongier, in a good way.
So, Swedish pancakes at Svea. Good. Very good. And cheap. Very cheap. $5 for an order… still. I think that was the price when I ordered them fifteen years ago. This place is sort of in a time warp, in a good way. Oh, and the potatoes here are excellent, and a little greasy, in a good way. I think it is the paprika on them that gives them their odd orange color and makes them taste so good. So, this is your game plan when you go into Svea.
Go with a friend, sit down, order the Swedish pancakes and a Viking breakfast and share. The Viking Breakfast comes with two eggs, potatoes, toast, Falukorv sausage, which is kind of like a spicier smaller bologna in link form that sounds much better than my description, although that is totally what it reminds me of, just being honest, and Swedish pancakes. I say order the extra order of Swedish pancakes because that is what you are really here for and the thought of sharing mine has never crossed my mind! I also always order two extra sides of lingonberries because they are so tart and tasty and I love “sauce”. This whole breakfast will only set you back $15 for all this food. Talk about beating the recession. Your two fancy coffee drinks will cost you about half that. Speaking of coffee; a word of warning….caffeinate before you go. Svea’s coffee is pretty awful and their tea is Lipton. I don’t advocate bringing coffee into a restaurant, as I was a restaurant owner, but I would gladly pay for a cup of coffee at Svea and not drink it, in order to bring my own. I’m just saying
Other need to know info about Svea. The service is fast and friendly. It is the same waitress as fifteen years ago, and she looks exactly the same. Svea is open from 7:00- 2:30, until 3:30 on the weekends. Also, they only take cash, but with breakfast being so cheap, that has never posed a problem. Go check them out. It is a nice respite from the see and be seen brunch scene on the weekend. I’m not sure if there is a wait on the weekend, but it shouldn’t get too bad. I can guarantee there will be no waiting outside in the cold for an hour for $13 pancakes like in Wicker Park! After writing this I am craving those darn Swedish pancakes again. I might just have to head over to Svea and make it three visits in three weeks. It may hurt my waistline, but at least it won’t hurt my wallet!
Svea 5236 N. Clark St. 773-275-7738