I love Memorial Day weekend for many reasons, but most of all because you have three opportunities to indulge in brunch. After a long day of soaking up the sun and boozing at a rooftop party (summer is here, eek!), we were in desperate need of some greasy fuel before tackling our Sunday plans.
I had heard from multiple people that West Town Bakery was amazing, and I was delighted to learn they have a diner that serves brunch and lunch. Our hungover crew of five was ecstatic when we were able to get seats immediately.
The West Town Diner menu takes not-so-risky twists on diner classics. The new summer menu includes mouthwatering items like short rib benedict, loaded baked potato waffles and vegan s’mores pancakes.
The diner’s atmosphere is really unique; think classic ‘50s decor meets Chicago graffiti art. The bakery counter was stocked with everything your sweet tooth could possibly dream up. From professional wedding cakes to homemade bread and macaroons, this is the place to go for baked goods in Ukrainian Village. It also sells homemade packaged granola, coffee creamer, caramel, toffee, hot sauce and more.
We decided to settle our growling stomachs by sampling a few bakery items. This place is casual and convenient enough to let us bring our sweets back to our table.
We first chose the s’mores doughssant, aka, the ‘cronut’. The outside of the doughssant was a deep fried croissant, and its crisp texture reminded us of a churro. When you took a bite, the marshmallow chocolate creme on the inside gushed out. It had the consistency of light whipped cream and was oh, so delicious.
The bakery’s cake bites are famous, so on the advice of the sweet bakery employee, we shared the french toast and birthday cake flavors. The cake bites were essentially melt-in-your-mouth dough balls covered in frosting and sprinkles (and definitely worth the calories). We tried a piece of chocolate-covered bacon at the counter too, because why not?!
I ordered the short rib benedict from the summer menu. Poached eggs sat on top of rich, fall-off-your-fork braised short ribs and red pickled onions. The eggs were drizzled with a classic hollandaise sauce and placed on a toasted english muffin. The benedict came with hash browns on the side, which I found to be boring and a bit cold. Despite the cold hash browns, it was one of the best brunch dishes I’ve had in a while. I may come back here solely to satisfy my craving for this one again soon.
My fellow bruncher Eric praised the unique chicken-and-waffles combo. The fried chicken breast was paired with jalapeno cornbread waffles and topped with co-op buffalo hot sauce and creamy, sweet honey butter. The hint of spicy buffalo sauce on the chicken gave it a bigger flavor kick than the usual chicken and waffles. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, don’t let the jalapeno in the waffles scare you. Eric promised it was mild enough for anyone’s palette.
Brendan couldn’t resist ordering the special of the day: A huge pork loin stuffed with spicy chorizo sausage and topped with over easy eggs and Thanksgiving-worthy gravy. It was comfort food at its finest. He especially enjoyed the spicy chorizo stuffing. Apparently, this chef loves to give each of his dishes a little kick.
We also ordered the corned beef hash and Mexican skillet. The corned beef hash featured the house-cured corned beef mixed with crispy red potatoes, caramelized onions, pickled pepper aioli and an egg. There wasn’t much that differentiated the flavors of this dish from a standard corned beef hash, but it did the job.
The Mexican skillet was the least impressive dish we ate. It was missing jalapenos and was lacking in the chorizo department. Honestly, West Town Diner just isn’t the place to go for authentic Mexican brunch dishes. The crispy browned potatoes were, however, a major standout in both dishes.
The Bitches Say: B-. An easy in-and-out, no-fuss establishment with divine baked goods and thoughtful twists on classic diner dishes.
West Town Bakery & Diner
1916 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Diner Hours: Open daily 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bakery Hours: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Sunday.