My mom wanted to meet up for a casual brunch without a big fuss or reservations. So, the two of us, with my husband in tow, headed to Dove’s Luncheonette for a low-key brunch.
It was business as usual at this Latin- and Southern-inspired diner. On a rainy day, the restaurant was pretty empty at 9:30 a.m., which is great (and unusual) since they don’t take reservations. I was expecting to wait at Stan’s Donut’s across the street, but diners were coming in and out at a good pace.
We were promptly seated and then immediately requested coffee. After a late night due to back-to-back surprise birthday parties, the sound of a custom blend of Dark Matter coffee landing into my mug was music to my ears.
Our server explained the specials in detail, which is always a plus since the toppings can make or break the dish. My mom chose the sausage special, which comes with scrambled eggs, green chilies, and flour tortillas. The dish was simple, straight forward, and tasty.
My husband chose the smoked brisket taco norteño with avocado cream and pickled onions. The best part about eating out with family is that I get to try everything without any awkwardness and have second “samplings” if desired. In this case, they were definitely desired. Even with the help of my mother and me nibbling on the dish, we were still able to take home half.
I got the tamal del elote con camerones, which is a corn tamal stuffed with collard greens on top of scrambled eggs, finished with marinated garlic shrimp. When the plate came to the table, my first impression was that was too much food for one person but I ended up eating all of it minus the scrambled eggs. While the tamal and shrimp are so tasty, the scrambled eggs seemed like an afterthought. The dish appeared oily, but the tamal soaked the flavored oil up to create a sweet savory experience.
In terms of service, this place has it going on. We never needed to ask for coffee refills as multiple people had asked to fill our mugs, but not too many times that it’s annoying. When our waiter brought our food, he explained the different type of homemade hot sauces offered. The hostess, our server, and busser worked as a team to give you the feeling that everyone is taking care of you—not a bad way to be treated at all.
The Bitches say: A. We love the bold flavors, updated diner décor, and impeccable service. The Dove’s Luncheonette may be the best casual brunch spot in Wicker Park.
1545 N. Damen Ave.
Dove’s Luncheonette serves brunch daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.