Yolk creates the unexpected for breakfast at their Bucktown test kitchen

Yolk creates the unexpected for breakfast at their Bucktown test kitchen

Yolk,  Taki Kastanis's  popular breakfast and lunch destination, that opened its first location in the South Loop in 2006 has been on a roll (pun intended) ever since.

After expanding throughout Chicago, Yolk opened locations in Indianapolis, Boca Raton, Dallas and Fort Worth gaining a cult-like following and appearing on many "best of" breakfast lists.

Why Yolk?

Yolk thinks outside the box taking breakfast classics up another notch and creating innovative tastes that fans can't get enough of. But it's more than just the food. The sunshine yellow decor creates a happy place that calls out to diners. Plus they are tech friendly with free Wi Fi and comfortable spots to set up your laptop.

Yolk Test Kitchen. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Yolk Test Kitchen. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The Yolk menu, which has always been innovative and quirky, has became even more so since the opening of the Yolk Test itchen (1767 N. Milwaukee) less than a year ago (April 2018) .

Yolk's Test Kitchen provides the opportunity to experiment with a variety of dishes from a little crazy to trendy and healthy as well as to try out new coffee blends and styles.

Coffee bar.

Coffee bar.

Beautiful Beans

Highlighting their elevated, multi-roaster coffee bar, coffee enthusiasts can choose from a variety of beans from Metropolis Coffee Roasters and Verve CoffeeRoasters for their morning or afternoon cup of joe. “Our coffee program features selected coffees from some of our favorite roasters and brewed with methods that are both classic and cutting-edge.”, says Yolk’s new Beverage Director Scott Bufis.

On the menu

Yolk’s Test Kitchen also employs a seasonally rotated dining menu using high quality ingredients.  The test kitchen consists of Shareables such as the SKFB- Kentucky Fried Bacon panko, bourbon glaze, blueberry bbq (10) that is so good that you may not want to share.

Or you can choose from five creative breakfast sandwiches including The Pork Belly that comes with a fried egg, pulled crispy pork belly, pear, arugula, red onion, gouda, kaiser, mixed greens--all for $12.

Currently the Test Kitchen Menu offers the following:

  • Loaded Chili cheddar, onion, sour cream 8
  • Overnight Oats greek yogurt, honey, cranberries, apples, walnuts, cinnamon 7
  • Avocado Toast smoked salmon, red onions, tomato, fried capers, dill cream cheese, rustic grain 9
  • Brussel Sprout Skillet any style eggs, sweet potatoes, onion, applewood ham, toasted rustic grain 13
  • Breakfast Burritoe eggs, beans, tomato, green onion, cilantro, queso fresco, salsa, crema, mixed greens 11.5
  • Y.T.K. Benny poached, bacon-sausage patty, hollandaise, chives, english muffin, mixed greens 13
  • Chicken & Biscuits sunny side egg, bacon-sausage gravy 12.5
  • Loaded Baked Potato Cakes bacon, cheddar, chives, sour cream 12.5
  • Banana Foster Cakes brown sugar, banana liqueur, pecans, whipped cream 13
  • Korean Hot Chicken and Waffle sunny side, pickled slaw 13.5
  • Breakfast Mac & Cheese sunny side, bacon, applewood ham, white cheddar, parmesan, panko, chives 13.5
  • Hash & Eggsany style egg, chorizo, green pepper, onion, roasted potatoes, toasted rustic grain 13
  • B.L.T. smoked pork belly, fried egg, tomato, iceberg, mayo, toasted rustic grain, fruit 13.5
  • Burgershiitake mushroom, caramelized onion, swiss, brioche 14
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich applewood ham, swiss, bechamel, ciabatta, mixed greens 14

    Just a few of the tastes from the breakfast buffet. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

    Just a few of the tastes from the breakfast buffet. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

On the day I stopped by, Yolk Test Kitchen was offering a free buffet of choices to their social media followers. I was able to sample a number of the offerings. Two of my favorites were the Loaded Baked Potato Cakes and the breakfast Mac and Cheese (that is so popular it is now available at many Yolk locations).

In addition to the coffee, there is an extensive beverage menu with choices including kombucha, tea and spiced apple cider. Sweet lovers will want to check out the "Sweet Singles" menu items including Plain Pancake, Crepes, or French Toast for $ 4;  Banana Foster Cake $5;  Red Velvet French Toast $5 and Nutella Crepes $5.

Small Bites of Chicago

Chicago’s  culinary treasure, Russian Tea Time (77 E. Adams St.)  turns 25 this month. They are celebrating the occasion with an exclusive $25 three-course prix fixe dinner menu, available the entire month of March through Sunday, March 31 from 4 to 8 pm. daily.

For the month of March River Roast is inviting diners to try their "Roast of the Month," Porterhouse. The roast comes with the option of making it "Oscar Style"- topped with Bearnaise, king crab, and broccolini or their Classic Roast.

You may not find a pot of gold at the St. Jane Hotel this St. Patrick’s Day, but you can enjoy a cold pint, Irish soda bread and more on March 16-17 at the hotel’s restaurants including the following:

Free Rein (224 N Michigan Ave.)

  • $10 Irish Coffee
  • $10 Jameson & Ginger
  • $14 St. Janeson Old Fashion
  • $15 Corned Beef Hash
  • Sugar Cookies until March 18th (individual $2, 5 for $7)
  • $4 Jameson Irish Soda Bread (entire month)

Filed under: Chicago restaurants

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    Carole is an arts, entertainment and food journalist. She writes "Show Me Chicago" and "Chicago Eats" for ChicagoNow and covers Chicago places and events for Choose Chicago (City of Chicago) as well as freelancing for a variety of publications.


    I started writing when I was in grade school. And when I wasn’t writing or thinking about writing, I was reading what someone else had written. So it wasn’t a stretch for me to think about writing as a career. Neither was it a stretch to think about writing about food, a subject I’d always found interesting, more in terms of history, cooking, restaurants and culture than eating and critiquing. Decades after selling my first story, my interest in writing about food continues, and “A Bite of Chicago” gives me another opportunity to pursue my passion with people who share it.

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