After a late night out this Saturday featuring a Bacalar/Raffe showdown (much less eventful than the Smush/Pearl showdown) and a visit to the weiner circle (look for a post later this week), I was abruptly woken by a text asking me out to breakfast. I drearily replied asking if it could be a late breakfast. The response to this was, "Sure, how's 9:30?" Tired, yet hungry, I decided to give Ricky and Schneider a kick in the ass, and off we went to the Ukrainian Village. (Side Note: I was too afraid to venture into the cave that is Steve's room for fear of some unspeakable image or hearing him sing "I got 99 problems and they're all bitches" for the 1000th time).
So on to Jam (http://www.jamrestaurant.com), a place I've walked by for weeks without ever noticing until my sister finally invited me out to join her this weekend. With the attempt not to repeat breakfast locales, I've gotten pretty used to menus trying to trick you into buying a $10 plate of eggs with a funky name. When I came in and saw the award for 2009's Best Brunch from Timeout Chicago, I knew I was in for something different.
I can't really say how this place might be come 11am on the weekends since we were there a little earlier, but I would imagine it gets crazy packed (but what good breakfast place doesn't). Like many other restaurants of its kind, Jam is far to narrow for it's own good and doesn't lend itself well to large groups (keep it to 4 or less). Also, the wait staff is very knowledgeable, which is helpful since the menu has many confusing words.
This was not your traditional meal by any means. Rather than quantity Jam really goes for quality, but that's not to say I wasn't plenty full after. To start things off, everyone at the table was given an Amuse Bouche (cool right?!) of banana muffins topped with a sweet cream cheese. The waitress also sold us on a half order of their custard filled french toast topped with lime whipped cream and rhubarb jam, which was fantastic. Through some confusion with Lisa basically hijacking Ricky's food, we also split a smaller order of their chocolate pancakes (basically a breakfast smore...awesome). I went a little gastro for breakfast and got the Cured Trout Quiche with Panzanella (bread salad) which was the best quiche I've had since Tre Kronnor. Finally, for those of you with picky eating friends, Jam has all the standards as well including a spicy sausage made in-house.
If you want to be full all day from an over-sized omelet go to The Original Mitchell's or Ann Sather, but if you want a kick in the taste buds first thing in the morning while still being able to do something with the rest of your day (because you're not in a food comma) then go to Jam. This place stands out as one of my top breakfast restaurants so far since moving here. Between its hidden mystique and excellent flavors, Jam provides a dining experience even while you're still digesting beer and hot dogs from the night before.