Weekday brunches are the best, but if you work a typical 9-5 job, weekday brunches are simply an impossibility.
Even better for those of you who are weekday brunchers, The Bongo Room has three locations: one in the Loop, one in Wicker Park, and one in Andersonville.
It just so happened that on a Thursday, my good friend Britt didn’t have to be at school (she’s a teacher) until 1 p.m. so she had time to brunch. Score!
The Bongo Room is a place I had wanted to try since I got this job, but I had always heard that the waits on weekends were ridiculous. So, when we suddenly had this weekday brunch opportunity, we decided to try the food everyone has loved for years without the wait, during the week!
Britt and I leisurely arrived at the Wicker Park location of The Bongo Room around 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday and were seated immediately.
I was so surprised and quite happy with how bright and cheery the interior was with its bright yellow chairs, blue walls, and decorative paintings. Delightful music was playing in the background, not too loud, not too quiet. I was incredibly content with our choice to brunch.
First up were coffees. Britt went with the ice coffee with caramel and I went with the typical hot coffee with cream and sugar. I have to say, that coffee is one of those things that shouldn’t be subpar, but these coffees were awful—they were bitter, seemed as if they had been in the pot, on the burner since this morning. No amount of sugar made mine tolerable, which was not a strong start to brunch at Bongo Room.
Next up were the entrees and we decided to order three — why not splurge?
Britt decided to order the chorizo omelette with cheese, avocado and potatoes. It was a beautiful omelette and was jam packed with avocado and potatoes. She commented that it was very filling and could have easily been shared with another person due to the size of the omelette. The side of potatoes was always impressive in quantity, but not in quality. I agreed in that sentiment, the potatoes were mildly mushy and not well seasoned.
I decided to go with the croissant sandwich, which was an egg with bacon, sliced tomato, and cheese, all on a light, buttery croissant. To die for! I loved my entree from top to bottom. It was well made, didn’t fall apart, and I was stuffed just enough to leave room for the shared entree, which would turn out to be the grand finale.
With the croissant sandwich, I do recommend adding sliced tomato, if you’re a tomato fan. It isn’t a standard topping on the sandwich, but it made it better, in my opinion.
To share, Britt and I had been eyeing the caramelized apple hotcakes. They sounded amazing just reading the description. Upon digging into the entree, it felt like my birthday because they’re so decadent—but it has apples in it, so that’s OK right? Even if it weren’t healthy, I would still recommend the dish. The slices of apples were incredible and the mascarpone mousse on top was creamy, flavorful, and a nice touch to the dish—well done, Bongo Room!
The Bongo Room is a great place for weekday and weekend brunch, but just beware of weekend waits as The Bongo Room is incredibly popular with locals and those visiting from out of town. The Bongo Room Wicker Park is charming, inside and out, but let’s just hope the coffee is better when you go to dine there.
The Bitches say: B+. The food was great, but the coffee was a dreadful start to the meal. The three entrees we tried we definitely recommend and would absolutely order again, especially the croissant sandwich and the caramelized apple hotcakes — yum!
The Bongo Room Wicker Park
1470 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
The Bongo Room serves brunch every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.