Immediately after leaving Batter and Berries my first time (I’ve been twice now), I immediately started thinking about the next time I could come back. First, I was swept away by the food, specifically the French Toast Flight and the Cluck-N-Gaufre (Goof); and then by the level of service and friendliness of Rylon, the Chef and Owner and his Wife.
The restaurant itself is open and bright, with a communal table in the middle and smaller tables surrounding it, giving it a relaxed feel. We had the same waitress both times and she greeted us with an iPad, an innovative way of taking orders. The second time I came in Chef Rylon came over to say hello, as he recognized us from before and introduced us to the great tasting (and smelling) teas they had; as well as giving us a free sample of their chocolate biscotti. The great thing about the teas is that you could order them hot or iced! I recommend the one called “Love.”
Let’s move on to my favorite item at Batter and Berries, the Cluck-N-Gaufre (Goof): a chicken-stuffed sweet potato waffle topped with a delicious fried chicken breast and drizzled in a nutmeg hot sauce and house made maple butter. The first time I had it, was the first time I've ever had chicken and waffles, but after trying Chef Rylon's version I don’t think anywhere else could satisfy me. It was absolutely the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and savory. The hot sauce wasn’t too hot and when layered on the sweet potato waffle with a smear of the maple butter, I wouldn’t mind having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One thing I also discovered about Batter and Berries was that the breakfast menu options are served during all open hours. Sometimes when you go to a “brunch” restaurant, breakfast menu options are only served past normal breakfast hours on the weekends, but we were able to order a French Toast Flight at 1:00pm on a Wednesday without any objections. The French Toast Flight was unlike any version of French toast I’ve ever had before. I grew up with Challah bread drenched in an egg/milk/nutmeg mixture and then griddled; tasty but simple. This French toast has multiple layers of texture and flavor which really made it unique. It was crispy on the outside and creamy and custardy on the inside. Between the two trips to Batter and Berries I had the chance to try the blueberry, lemon, caramel, strawberry, and blackberry cheesecake flavors. Honestly, it would be hard for me to make a decision what was my favorite flavor. The flight came with four small triangles and was totally manageable for one person, or even better to split with a friend. It was rich, but not overwhelming.
On the second visit, I tried one of the lunch items I’d seen another table order during our first visit, called the Rylon Salad: a fried spinach tortilla shell filled with romaine lettuce, sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil & tossed in a white wine scampi sauce. The sauce was good enough to eat with a spoon and the shrimp in the salad were cooked perfectly and large too! You never know what kind of shrimp you’re getting into when ordering them at a restaurant, particularly a brunch place and these didn’t disappoint.
After our meals the Chef came over to chat and tell us a little bit more about the food there and what kind of experience he is aiming for. Most of his omelets and skillets are “deconstructed.” People tend to see that phrase a lot at restaurants and don’t really know what it means. Chef Rylon explained that he uses a lot of local ingredients and makes a lot of things homemade; serving something “deconstructed” is an easy way to showcase the high quality ingredients that go into a dish, especially something like an omelet where ingredients can often get lost.
Here are some examples of “deconstructed omelets” Batter and Berries offers:
- Deconstructed Chicken Fajita Omelet topped with red onions, red peppers & green peppers
- Deconstructed Broccoli & Cheese Omelet topped with fresh broccoli & cheddar cheese
- Deconstructed Steak Omelet topped with grilled onions, mushrooms, Swiss cheese & red wine sauce
- Deconstructed Spinach Omelet topped with mushrooms, Swiss cheese & a spinach-mushroom sauce
Batter and Berries is located at 2748 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Diversey and Lincoln).
Photo source (http://www.gogobot.com/batter-berries-chicago-restaurant)