I’ve been around the brunch block quite a few times, and year in and year out, through hot new openings and other celebrated mainstays, I keep on coming back, time and time again, to one Chicago brunch spot: Nookies on Wells. There is nothing fancy about Nookies. It is not swanky, the food is not overly progressive, and you don’t have to dress to go (yours truly is often in running clothes). It is simply solid, delicious food served consistently. Every. Single. Time.
The lines at Nookies move quickly, thanks to a large restaurant and tempting nearby stores (Handle with Care, Fleet Feet) to help bide the time. The minute you sit, you are offered and poured coffee (prompting angels singing in the background…ahhhh). This attention to coffee detail remains throughout the entire meal – the minute the coffee in your mug gets low, a refill is promptly offered.
I nearly always order the same thing at Nookies – when I find something I like, I have a hard time straying. As any foodie knows, orderer’s remorse is the worst! My mainstay is the Amy’s Omelet, an allegedly 3 egg (there is no way it has only 3 eggs) chicken sausage and broccoli omelet, with minor modifications. I usually order egg whites instead of whole eggs, and I swap out the gouda for feta. The Amy’s is the fluffiest omelet I have ever had, perfectly cooked with just the right amount of cheesiness laced around the impeccably tender broccoli florets and smoky chicken sausage. For my two side dishes, I always chose their whole-wheat toast and fruit cup. Even if I had just run 10 miles, the omelet always beats me. I can never eat the whole thing. In fact, I have only ever seen one person conquer the omelet. And that was my (tiny) mother. Go figure.
Service is good at Nookies but not rushed. The men who take your names at the front of the restaurant are saints. And typically I don’t stuff myself so much that I cannot at least be somewhat productive for the rest of the day. Hey, at least the dish is healthy.
Try Nookies at 1746 N. Wells.