One of the best tips I can offer anyone who is in an unfamiliar city is to ask a local where to find the best eats. We were in downtown Chicago the weekend of the Chicago Marathon on our recent trip, so we knew wherever we went was going to be full. But we wanted to try something different, yet offered a high-quality breakfast to get us through a day at The Field Museum.
As I mentioned in the review of Gino’s East, we stayed in Chicago’s Theatre District at Hotel Allegro. The hotel has its own restaurant but we wanted something on the way to the museum campus. A hotel concierge or front desk staff are a great resource when you’re away from home. Never hesitate to ask them for a recommendation.
Our concierge recommended Yolk, located on Michigan Ave. in Chicago’s South Loop, and just a quick stroll from The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium.
The restaurant’s menu is expansive, eclectic and amazing. Portions are huge, service is awesome and they have Nutella!
Voted the No. 1 breakfast in Chicago on Citysearch, Yolk has the online community buzzing about it’s food. The menu includes breakfast standards like Eggs Benedict (also voted best in town) but then takes it up a whole ‘nother notch. For instance, the Surf ‘n Turf Benedict is a toasted English muffin with one half covered in beef tenderloin and the other covered in lightly breaded shrimp. Then, it’s all smothered in poached eggs, homemade Hollandaise sauce, and served with potatoes and fruit.
Or, you could get your carbs on with some of their creative pancake creations. The Banana-Blue Crunch Cakes are made with a multigrain batter then topped with granola and blueberries and then topped with bananas and honey. Wowza! Check out the full Yolk menu – download it now as a PDF.
The interior of the restaurant has a hip, big city feel to it. Think your local family restaurant went to Ikea and splurged like crazy. Sit at the granite counter for a total foodie experience and great people watching or hang in one of their booths or tables. Since we ate at the counter, we only waited about 10 minutes to be seated. But the online community says the wait can be upwards of three hours on some weekend mornings, but some of Yolk’s creations are definitely worth the wait.
After about 20 minutes of intense deliberations, Brett and I finally decided on our breakfast orders. He went with the Irish Benny, while I chose the Zamboni Crepes.
I was really surprised when Brett ordered the Irish Benny since he’s not a corned beef hash fanatic like I am. Yolk’s Eggs Benedict with an Irish flair is an English muffin topped with corned beef hash, sautéed tomatoes, two poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. It’s served with sides of potatoes and fruit.
The poached eggs were perfectly runny yet gelatinous. The corned beef hash had just the right amount of crust. And the potatoes? Whoa! Talk about a carb lover’s dream. They were creamy inside yet the outside was crispy, and not too oily.
My Zamboni Crepes were also awesome. A sweet crepe batter is then rolled around scrambled eggs, ham and spinach and topped with Hollandaise sauce. You have your option of potatoes or fruit, plus toast, pancakes or an English muffin.
The blend of the sweet crepe and the savory eggs, spinach and ham was the perfect combination to start off my morning.
Brett and I have a habit of playing a little game when we eat – “Who’s Dish is Better?” Honestly, I can’t pick a winner from our breakfast at Yolk. I could only eat 3/4 of my meal because I couldn’t stand to let any of his corned beef hash benny go to waste.
I’m already mentally planning what I’ll order for next time. Maybe the Orange Bread French Toast or The Breakfast Pizza or the Bananas Foster Crepes. Too many choices to pick from, but oh so delightful!
Yolk has three Chicago-area locations. They are open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They also offer sandwiches, wraps and burgers for lunchtime. Check them out online at www.yolk-online.com.
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Destination Chicago: Gino’s East – All’s Fare reviews the deep-dish pizza institution.
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