Sunny Side Up Brunch in Chicago

I was in Chicago for work last week, and I was slightly shocked at how beautiful the weather was. Last time I was in the Windy City, I was literally being blown away by that infamous wind. I remember nothing but huge gusts of freezing sleet—a horrible experience that drove me straight into underground deep-dish pizza shops and blues bars (perhaps that’s how they all got there).

This past weekend, though, Chicago was sunny and gorgeous, a balmy 75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. It was perfect for a little outdoor brunching. I called up our friend in Bitching, Mark, the founder of GetMaineLobster.com and one of our partners. We agreed to meet for brunch—his choice, as he’s the Chicago local.

Sunny Side Up Brunch

Nearly the morning of (Mark, the lack of planning made my anxiety skyrocket) he selected Sunny Side Up, a breakfast and lunch spot on East Superior. I rolled up in a taxi with my suitcase and sunglasses, and I was greeted by dozens of brunchers enjoying the weather at patio tables under huge oak trees.

The man at the front door hustled us in like we were at a restaurant on Ocean Drive, in Miami, jockeying for customers. Downstairs, there’s an adorable little coffee shop. Inside, the restaurant, which was a mansion at one point, was floors and floors of coffee-and-bacon smells. I just couldn’t get enough.

Sunny Side Up Brunch

We were seated at a table a floor or two up (I conveniently left my suitcase on the first floor, tucked away in a corner, with my fingers crossed that no one would swipe it). We sat down and ordered coffee and began contemplating where the cocktails list was. We both wanted a Bloody Mary.

No can do, said the server. It’s BYOB here, but there’s a little spot around the corner where you can pick up a bottle, he suggested. Erm. We tried to lift our jaws from the table. Grumbled a bit.

Sunny Side Up Brunch

So, Mark got a virgin Mary, which was rather sad. And, sipping his tomato juice, he went on to tell me all about how he started GetMaineLobster.com, which is an incredible business. It’s the only direct-to-door live lobster company out there, and he works with the top lobstermen in Maine, where he’s from.

As I was wrapped up in his entrepreneurial story, dreaming of lobster meat, I had to settle for some non-lobster brunch selections. I ordered an “Amazing” skillet, which is a Chicago brunch specialty, Mark told me. When in Rome! Besides, how can you resist something that is spelled out as “Amazing” right there on a menu?

Sunny Side Up Brunch

My “Tuscan” skillet arrived promptly, and I had to admire it. It was like a work of art: Goat cheese, basil pesto, thick chunks of prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes, and the kitchen sink, all in a bed of thick, fluffy eggs. The flavors went perfectly together, and I shoveled it into my mouth like I hadn’t eaten for days.

Of course, I also ordered a side of bacon, which was dutifully greasy.

Mark’s omelet was just as gargantuan. More thick and fluffy eggs, filled with oven-roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and prosciutto. We clearly both went for Italian at this brunch joint. There was a sprinkling of potatoes on the side.

Sunny Side Up Brunch

Everything was a little scattered, including the hectic service, which was diner-style: warm, friendly, but juggling a million tables. But the silverware, white linen tablecloths, and big stemware make it seem more upscale than the breakfast diner actually is.

The Bitches say: B. Extremely filling and affordable, quality brunch. A little scattered and hectic service. Coffee could be better.

Sunny Side Up
42 E Superior St.
Chicago, IL
(312) 930-4242

Sunny Side Up & Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon

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