Batter & Berries in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood has been on my “to-do” list for a while now. Last Sunday, I ventured out into the dreary Sunday rain for my virgin visit to this much buzzed about spot on Lincoln Avenue.
Batter & Berries is located 3 blocks west and 1/2 block south of the Diversey ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Brown Line. Alternatively, you can take the
#76 Diversey bus to Lincoln Ave and walk 1/2 block south.
I was meeting my friend, Barb, who enjoys a good brunch as much as I do. Batter & Berries, like so many restaurants serving brunch, does not take reservations in advance. They are open from 8am – 3pm, seven days a week. The lines can be long with wait times averaging 1 hour and 15 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. That said, if you are in a hurry or with some cranky, party-poopers, I suggest you save this place for another time. That way, you can settle in and fully enjoy all they have to offer 🙂
Here’s how our brunch went down:
Barb ordered this lovely banana-caramel waffle. The texture of the waffle was great. It was nice and chewy on the inside with just enough crunch on the outside. So many restaurants overcook their waffles. Batter & Berries got the execution right.
The banana-caramel sauce and bananas which topped off the waffle were both great. As someone who will always favor a savory dish over a sweet one, this dish really won me over. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dessert? What’s in a name? I’m a fan of this waffle.
Wondering what I had? Well, ass soon as I noticed that there was a lamb chop trio dish listed on the specials board, my mind was made up. It’s almost spring and the season brings to mind lamb. I love me some baby lamb chops! Take at look at this beautiful plate of food!
The baby lamb chops were perfectly cooked to an over medium temperature. The cipollini onions added a nice sweet pop of flavor in contrast to the savory sauce. The lamp chops were served over a mound of hash browns and topped off with a fried egg. Woohooo!!! I hope this will remain a staple on the menu here.
The French toast at Batter & Berries is clearly their signature item. There are many riffs on this preparation available but I did notice several plates of this French toast flight set on several tables. You can totally justify the total carbs on this plate because of the amount of antioxidants in all of those bright, beautiful berries 😉
Before I forget, I need to mention that Batter & Berries is a BYOB restaurant. So, bring your favorite alcoholic libations with you 😉 I am always really appreciative of BYOB options. Who doesn’t love to save money on their bar bill? Are you with me, people?
I was so blown away by the creative and flavorful dishes Barb and I had on Sunday that I returned two days later for another go at Batter & Berries’ menu. This time, I was dining solo. I showed up at about 10:20am. Despite arriving at an off-peak hour on a weekday, the dining space was packed! Luckily, my solo status that day worked in my favor. I was seated immediately at the large communal, high-top table in the center of the room. How do you feel about communal tables? I like them because it forces a sense of community, eye contact and conversation that is often lacking in today’s digital world. Plus, I am better able to gaze at the plates of my table neighbors, so I can plan me next visit.
Since my initial visit on Sunday, I had been dreaming about two special omelets I had eyeballed at nearby tables. The first was a shrimp alfredo omelet. The second was a scallop omelet. I will be back for the latter, as I remember the scallops were a nice size and seared perfectly. This visit my palate was pulling me toward the former. It did not disappoint.
Here’s the lowdown. This egg white omelet was the absolute fluffiest I have had in Chicago. Seriously. This is a true fact, folks. Was it soft and creamy? You bet! Was there an ample amount of butter in the mix? Hell, yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! I eat very healthy 5 out of 7 days during the week. So, I earned my right to the butter. Just sayin’!
The shrimp were large and super sweet which was a nice surprise. I have had my share of shrimp dishes at brunch spots which were really lackluster. Batter & Berries took a lot of care in their execution. The alfredo sauce was nice and savory. Also, I greatly appreciated that this dish was not drowned in sauce. It was just enough to be a decadent treat without making me feel blown up. The sweet potato hash browns were crazy good. They were super sweet and cheesy. They had just the right amount of crunch without being overdone or burnt. I highly recommend this dish. It will fuel you through the day.
Not into French toast, waffles or egg dishes? No worries. Batter & Berries has several sandwiches and salads on its menu. I love a good sandwich. If the ones at Batter & Berries are as good as their eggs, French toast and waffles, this will be a regular stop for me.
Batter & Berries is located at 2748 N. Lincoln Ave. Grab your Ventra card and hop the rails over there for some of the most delicious and creative breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes in Chicago!
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown Line or #76 Diversey bus to Batter & Berries. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!
Looking for some other great brunch spots in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood? Check out Ceres’ Table and Wood. What are some of your favorite places to have brunch? I would love to hear all about them! Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.