I just had the best weekend. Seriously, one of the best thus far since arriving in Chicago and it was all because of one of my dearest friends, Steve, came to visit.
One of the more comical parts of our friendship is that it should have begun long before it did. Let me explain: Steve and I grew up in the same town, went to the same elementary school, frequented the same summer pool, had dozens of mutual friends, and yet, didn’t meet until we were 23 at the gym. We still don’t know how that’s possible, but it is in fact true.
Being a brainiac, Steve is getting ready to apply to medical school and Chicago has some amazing medical schools. After I moved from Washington to Chicago, I kept telling him how amazing the city is and that he needed to visit before it got cold. Low and behold, he texted me one day and said “See you in September” with a screenshot of the ticket confirmation.
And so the planning began. A weekend full of sightseeing, rooftop tickets to watch the Cubs BEAT the Cardinals and of course, brunch. However, this brunching Bitch laxed on the brunch plans, so we ended up dragging our butts to the nearest place we could find, which happened to be Orange on Clark Street.
I had walked by Orange many times but had never entered. It has a neighborhood diner feel, but with a juice bar at the front of the restaurant where they make fresh-squeezed juices on the spot. However, I do want to point out that if you’re looking for some flax seed or algae, this is not the place to come. Think strawberries, apples, carrots, kale, and of course, oranges.
Steve and I sat down and were greeted by our server, who was prompt and cheerful. Immediately, we asked about the juices and more importantly, coffee. We both ended ordering their house coffee and I ordered a juice. The coffee came and was hot and fresh and has a slight aroma of orange. Orange roasts their coffee beans with orange zest—I’m sure you’re sensing a theme here. Another reason why Steve and I make a great pair is because of our allergies. We’re both are allergic to a variety of foods making our outings to restaurants sometimes frustrating but we’ve learned to roll with the punches (and epi-pens). Due to Steve’s allergy to carrots, he was not able to get a juice, so I decided to try a juice. I opted for a juice with strawberries, yogurt, cucumber and orange. It was delicious—a nice breakfast smoothie. All in all, Orange was accommodating and knowledgeable about allergies, which made Steve and I feel safer while dining there.
For his entree, Steve ordered the omelet fifteen five. It was quite hearty omelette considering it was completely vegetarian. It had herb cheese, kale, spinach and asparagus with rye toast on the side. It was also a significant portion, considering Steve always finishes a meal and yet, he wasn’t able to finish this one. He claimed it was because of everything we ate throughout the weekend.
On the sweeter (less healthy side), I tried the pancake flight, which had an Oktoberfest theme. Due to my soy allergy, I had to go with the gluten free pancake mix that didn’t have soy in the batter. I don’t believe the taste was altered and I was so happy they were able to accommodate for that allergy. There were four separate types of pancakes in this one dish and each of the pancakes were silver dollar size, which made for a cute presentation.
The four kinds were: German chocolate cake, apple strudel, stollen and Berliner. All of them were delightful but my favorite was the apple strudel—it had caramelized apples in between every pancake layer and a large helping to top it off. De-lish!
The Bitches say: B-. While the food was hot and quick (and allergen free), this was your typical diner brunch.
Orange Restaurant Lincoln Park
2413 N Clark St,
Orange serves brunch every day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.