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Breakfast gets a makeover

Friday, February 02, 2007

The most important meal of the day is getting a makeover of sorts. ABC7 Chicago's Hungry Hound says there are a handful of new places offering diners not just eggs, but some unique dishes to start the day. From Japanese pancakes to super-sweet fruit crepes, he's found a pair of new alternatives to the same old bacon-and-eggs routine.

At first glance, it all looks so familiar. The coffee-slurping, cream cheese-spreading and egg devouring, just another breakfast joint, right? But at Dodo in Ukrainian Village, there are a few options that stray from the norm. Take the Japanese pancake, for example. It begins with shredded carrots and cabbage that are bound together with some eggs and flour. After a few minutes in a skillet, it's flipped over, then plated with some un-breakfast-like garnishes.

"Kind of in the frittata style, but with an okamiyake sauce on top, which is a tomato-based sweet sauce and with a little bit of Japanese mayo on top, so it's a nice alternative for breakfast instead of the regular old eggs," said Dodo's William Kasser.

There's always a hash-of-the-day, loaded with hearty protein, chunky golden potatoes and a couple of eggs any way you like.

"Chorizo hash, turkey-sausage hash, Italian sausage hash...all different kinds," Kasser said. "We try to do something a little bit different and things that have a little bit - a lot of flavor."

In the South Loop, the latest breakfast option is the appropriately-named Yolk, on South Michigan. But there's way more than just eggs here.

"We specialize in benedicts, our French toast and crepes also, we pretty much have all the basic stuff that most restaurants do for breakfasts, just a little more fancy," said Yolk's Taki Kastanis.

Banana lovers should try the banana nut bread French toast. Three large rectangles are dipped in an eggy batter and grilled until golden brown. Sliced, fresh bananas are placed all over the top, along with a healthy dusting of powdered sugar. A side of peanut butter arrives for extra dipping.

If you have a sweet tooth, you'll appreciate the peach crepes: three homemade crepes are stuffed and topped with peaches, all of which gets a sprinkling of Gran Marnier and a coating of sugary crumbles. Everything gets slightly caramelized under the broiler for just a few minutes.

"A lot of people like to eat dessert 24/7, so it works out good. Takes care of the sweet tooth everybody has," Kastanis said.

So the traditional Greek coffee shop has been turned on its head here at Yolk with over 80 items on its menu, from both savory to sweet.

Some other good alternative breakfast options include Orange, which has locations in Lakeview and Printer's Row, as well as the Bongo Room, with locations in Wicker Park and the South Loop.

Dodo
935 N. Damen Ave.
773-772-3636

Yolk
1120 S. Michigan Ave.
312-789-9655

Also mentioned:

Orange
3231 N. Clark St.
773-549-4400
Also at:
75 W. Harrison St.
312-447-1000

The Bongo Room
1470 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-489-0690
Also at:
1152 S. Wabash Ave.
312-291-0100

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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