How to Brunch in Downtown Chicago

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“Bros who brunch” has yet to take off among my friends, likely because we call ourselves by name instead of bro. At its best, brunch is breakfast with booze. At its worst, brunch is long wait times, rushed service, overpriced eggs and shouting over the din at your friends. When Grand Lux Cafe invited me back to try out their brunch offerings, I dusted off my seersucker and ventured to downtown Chicago with Leann to sample how they do brunch on the Mag Mile. (I ate my way through their dinner menu a few weeks back. You can read up on that here.)

Looking around the massive restaurant in the daylight, most brunchers appeared to be tourists. Grand Lux Cafe has a prime location for shoppers stocking up at stores on Michigan Ave. The restaurant is huge, which nearly guarantees you won’t have to wait for a table to get brunch. That tackles one of the main brunch irritants. Since it is a larger restaurant, they have more servers who can give better service. The menu is far from the diner offerings in My Cousin Vinny.

My Cousin Vinny menu

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Quick Omellete Lunch

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Leavin all my lunch foods at the office is convenient Monday through Friday. Not so much on weekends.

Eggs have become my catch all ingredient when I don’t have other food to eat. Today’s lunch creation was a hybrid frittata/omelette. 

Microwave a potato for 3-4 minutes. Heat butter in a small skillet. Crack and beat two eggs in a bowl or cup with salt and pepper. Smash the almost cooked potato and add it to the now sizzling butter in the skillet. Add salt and pepper. I dusted mine with some spice rub mix I use for marinating meat. 

Add your beaten eggs. Jiggle the pan. Add cheese after a minute of cooking. With a spatula, fold the Omelle-ata onto itself. Once the eggs are set (3-5 minutes total), plate and eat.

 

Best Breakfast Pizza | Recipe

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We’ve all done it. No shame. We’ve eaten leftover pizza for breakfast. While this dish takes a bit more work than foraging in your fridge, you’ll be rewarded with a sensational and fresh breakfast.

Turn on your oven to 350 degrees.

To start, I made my own hash browns after frying up some bacon. You could also use frozen hash browns to cut down the prep time. To make your own, shred 3 potatoes. I recently purchased a KitchenAid Mandoline. That helps speed up the job. I found it tough to use the mandoline with the potatoes. It worked great on softer veggies, but struggled against firm potatoes.

Once the hash browns were cooked–about 15 minutes–I removed them from the pan and added onions and green pepper. Saute those for a few minutes and remove to a bowl. Then I whipped 4 eggs with a touch of water.

Return the taters to the skillet and add the eggs.

Return the veggies and bacon. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle in your favorite cheese. I had sliced american that I put on top.

Put the skillet in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Slice it up and enjoy.

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Breakfast Showdown: Me vs. Ronald Q. McDonald

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I was recently informed that McDonald’s southwest breakfast wrap was no longer available for a buck. Years ago, my boss used to grab them and during her carb-free days would ask me if I wanted the tortilla. I will go on record as to never turning down a tortilla. Ever.

Much like a drug pusher I was warned about during D.A.R.E., she hooked me on the breakfast burrito. It served as a gateway food. In a mere hours I would have the itch for bigger, meatier burritos that were affectionately referred to as “productivity killers” in the office. And yes, I do realize I was begging for her unwanted scraps a la Oliver Twist. Continue reading Breakfast Showdown: Me vs. Ronald Q. McDonald