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Uncommon Ground Brunch

Lakeview
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Oh, Chicago. I’m a bit enamoured with you.

Maybe it’s because every time I visit, I have such fun. Maybe it’s because some of my nearest, dearest sorority sisters are your residents. Or maybe it’s because you’re just awesome, Chicago.

I recently traveled to the Windy City to spend a bit of time with old friends but also meet plenty of new ones: I had a few dozen coffee shop interviews with potential Chicago Bitches.

(Yes, you read that right. We’re launching our third Bitching contingent in lovely Chicago, and we’re hiring five amazing young women. Click here to learn how to apply or get involved.)

My days stacked with back-to-back meetings, my nights packed with wine-fueled dinners followed by dancing on the town; I barely had a moment to relax the entire weekend. Except for brunch, of course.

Uncommon Ground Brunch

My sorority sister Cindy, who had graciously allowed me to stay in her home and rush in and out of it all weekend like a madwoman on a mission, told me to chill out for just a second, Becca, and to get some brunch.

So we met four of her girlfriends at her favorite brunch spot, Uncommon Ground, right in Lakeview. Touted as one of the greenest restaurants in America, and certainly very granola from the look of it, the spot was packed to the brim with people; we had to wait over 30 minutes for a table and we even had a reservation.

Uncommon Ground Brunch

It’s an interesting restaurant, made, it’s seems, entirely of wood, but filled with sunlight. There’s a cozy nook with a fireplace and couches. There’s a gorgeous patio with flower-topped tables. There’s even a big back room with a makeshift stage for, you know, folk music and poetry readings. Because that sort of thing happens at super green-granola restaurants, right?

I was pumped. The menu looked amazing, and the girls around the brunch table were all raving about the food. We ordered drinks and coffee, and then we chatted about our weekends while we waited.

And waited. And waited. The restaurant was busy, but the waiting was excessive on all fronts. We waited nearly 20 minutes for drinks. Then another 20 to even put in our entree order. And 20 minutes after that, I realized I was going to be late for my afternoon of meetings.

Uncommon Ground Brunch

So we complained. And then the food arrived, perhaps two minutes before I had to quickly pay and scoot out the door. No, I didn’t get to enjoy the entrees as much as I would have liked, but I certainly had plenty of time to enjoy the restaurant’s ambiance.

Here’s what I gathered from the fast food. And I’ll note that the menu has since changed, as it does quite frequently.

I ordered the duck confit crepes, which sounds like a genius dish to have on a brunch menu. Indeed, they were very tasty—perfectly cooked in the fluffy crepes and topped with greens and feta cheese. But they were just so, so little. I left hungry.

Uncommon Ground Brunch

The omelet was quite different—enormous, with thick fluffy eggs and piled with great vegetables inside. On the side, potatoes. The French toast was a berry kind, with four thick slices of toast topped with a lovely syrup.

The breakfast sandwich was the winner at the table—tons of eggs, bacon, and cheese inside an English muffin. That’s the hangover dish of this joint. But by the time it was even broken into, I was out the door.

Uncommon Ground Brunch

I heard later that the girls got some of the meal comped by management, and the manager came to the table to personally apologize. They were definitely very busy, but a restaurant of that size and legacy should have a busy brunch down pat.

Uncommon Ground Brunch

I’d be willing to give Uncommon Ground another shot. Perhaps when I’m not rushed for time (even though I did give them an hour and a half at this brunch). And also because since my visit, the brunch menu has switched up to lovely fall items like pumpkin pancakes and apple French toast.

The Bitches say: C. The few bites I had were delicious, but the service terribly tardy.

Uncommon Ground
3800 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60613

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Family Friendly, Group Brunch

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