2211 W North Ave
Rating: 4 Flutes
Brunch is the best. If that makes me a "basic bitch," I'll take it. I will walk my ass to brunch in my leggings and oversized sweater, drink a much-needed mimosa, and wait at least 30-minutes to be seated, because I enjoy it that much. My favorite spot to be "basic" at in the neighborhood, and arguably the whole city, is Birchwood Kitchen. The staff in here makes you feel like old friends they've known for years (shoutout to my girl, Laine). Everyone is so friendly and the space is inviting. They have a changing seasonal menu and always highlight daily specials, so check their menu online to see what is featured that day. This place is BYOB and there is a liquor store on the neighboring corner, so grab a bottle of bubs and order some fresh-squeezed juice to toss it in.
My favorite brunch item on their menu right now is the smoked salmon salad. It's a mouthful, both literally and figuratively. The delicious salmon, smoked in-house, is served on a sesame bagel that is perfectly buttered and toasted and it's all topped with peppery arugula. It comes with a cute little salad on the side, so it's healthy. They always have a breakfast sandwich prep on the brunch menu, which I just got recently. This time it's a fluffy brioche bun with a cheddar spread, onion jam, roasted tomato and a fried egg + bacon. As I was eating it, I was upset with myself that it was my first try. (Perhaps I should live in the moment, yes?)
The croques (glorified grilled-cheese sandwiches topped with sunny eggs) are menu standards and always delicious. Opt for the monsieur if you are crouque'ing because it involves ham. Duh. My favorites for a more lunch-centric route are the club, tuna melt, and pot roast sandwiches.
No matter what you order there, everything is always really fresh and tastes like elevated homemade food. The price point is really fair for the quality of food, and frankly, they could charge more. They just started a monthly Saturday Supper, so check their website for dates and menus and grab a reservation. Their patio is a glorious hidden-gem tucked behind the restaurant. Unfortunately for us, they were on Check Please recently and the word is out. So don't sleep in too late and grab a seat on the patio for your next warm-weather brunch (fingers crossed that this will, in fact, happen).
What are your favorite places to brunch in the city? Send me somewhere good!