Is there a better way to celebrate Memorial Day than with decadent pancakes alongside Ron Swanson? I’d argue no.
After waking up refreshed and ready to make the most of a holiday Monday, we gave WHISK in Ukrainian Village another try—after skipping the hour wait two times before. Memorial Day, however, the brunch gods were shining on me and we waited less than 15 minutes.
While the paintings of Parks and Rec’s beloved Ron Swanson are amusing, they probably aren’t responsible for the long weekend waits. The no-reservation restaurant has a relatively small space and oh, did I mention that WHISK is BYOB with a Mariano’s conveniently located across the street? Yup!
It’s the perfect neighborhood spot to grab brunch and stay for a while. The owners, two brothers, ‘whisk’ away brunch at 5 p.m. and the restaurant transforms into WHISK BURGER, which serves custom burgers and a few brunch favorites.
The decadent ‘sweets’ section is the best part of WHISK’s menu. It’s filled with pancakes stuffed with treats like salted caramels, pears, mocha chocolate, banana berry and pumpkin cinnamon—even Reese’s and Snickers! Who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?
I’ve heard the restaurant often has additional sweet specials, but our waitress didn’t mention any, so we all agreed to share an order of the pumpkin cinnamon pancakes. Two gooey pumpkin pancakes were topped with decadent white chocolate sauce instead of syrup, chopped crunchy pecans and sprinkled with cinnamon and a drizzling of caramel.
It was a great combination and tasted more like a cinnamon roll than a piece of pumpkin pie, which I was more than happy with. The dish was very rich, so I would suggest sharing it with a friend instead of ordering it as you meal. I would have liked to see more waffles on the menu, too.
The savory section of WHISK’s menu has quite a few Mexican dishes, and two friends ordered the breakfast burrito. It was a basil-tomato tortilla loaded with scrambled eggs, spicy chorizo, creamy guac and fresh queso fresco, with sour cream and chipotle salsa on the side. Both loved the housemade chipotle salsa. The dish came with crispy, seasoned potatoes and a juicy slice of ripe watermelon.
I ordered the crab benedict and my friend Chelsie ordered the croissant sandwich. I couldn’t stop eyeing the seriously big-as-your-face croissant sandwich on her side of the table. Thankfully, she let me sneak a bite! The buttery croissant was browned to perfection and sandwiched American cheese, bacon and two over easy eggs. The croissant was so flaky, it was hard to keep the sandwich together.
The crab benedict was highlighted as a house favorite on the menu, but the lack of crab meat disappointed me. The spicy crab meat was served on what looked more like a brioche bun than an English muffin. It was so thick, I gave up trying to cut into it with a fork and pushed the bread aside to focus on the eggs.
The poached-to-perfection eggs sat on a thin bed of crab meat, and were covered with a distinctly seasoned red pepper hollandaise sauce. Although it wasn’t the best crab benedict I’ve tried, I left satisfied. Both of our plates were also served with the crispy house potatoes and a colorful slice of watermelon.
The Bitches Say: A-. The rich array of sweet pancake options and BYOB menu makes WHISK a neighborhood favorite, as long as you prepare yourself for long wait times!
2018 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Brunch served daily 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dinner served daily after 5 p.m.