Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Disclaimer: You may notice that the progression of this post seems a little out of place. This was a meal that I ate a little while back, but was still working on a few things. Enjoy!

My last post about Kelly's Pub fails to mention that the reason my parents came downtown wasn't just because of the Hawks game, but also because the next morning was Bike the Drive. My dad wanted to start bright and early. We woke up at 4:30 so that we could get to the start by 5:30. It's a good thing we gave ourselves some leeway because we were moving pretty slowly after our dinner of nachos, wings, onion rings, and deep dish pizza.

 My Dad and I after the ride

The ride was lots of fun and the weather was perfect. When we finished up, the neighborhood gang got together at Buckingham Fountain and rode over to get some breakfast at Yolk. We were with quite a crowd, and nothing is more appealing to fellow diners than a group of sweaty guys in spandex padded shorts. With a large group comes lots of food pictures so get ready to eat with your eyes. If that wasn't enough, Lisa, Noam, Sammi, and Mara came a little after and were able to take over our table, so my Mom, Dad, and I stayed for a second meal. After all of that, I believe I've gotten a perspective on practically the entire menu. I think I was at Yolk for a total of 3 hours, and after all of that eating I was lucky enough to get to ride my bike home (not too quickly though).

 Some Rolling Hills Riders

Yolk has two locations, one in River North, and one in the South Loop (and I've been to both). They're almost exactly the same. The general design is a big open kitchen, booths along the far wall, and a smattering of tables throughout the rest of the space. The room is very large, which is a good thing since there always seems to be a moderate wait for a table. You can't make reservations like most brunch places, and both times I've had to wait about 45 minutes for a table.

One thing that was nice was that the food came out pretty quickly. I think they understand that their waits are long so the food better not take a while or people would throw a fit. Our waitress was pretty attentive, keeping the coffee and water cups full. Also, they did a pretty good job of handling our large group by bringing out the food at the same time and knowing where the plates should go without asking. She also smiled at all of the neighborhood guys' bad jokes.

As far as pricing goes, almost everything costs $9.99 with a few items as cheap as $6. I've often hated on places for charging the standard ten buck breakfast, but the portions here are pretty huge. Many items here can easily feed you for two meals so I like to view the menu as relatively inexpensive.

The Food
As I said before, I got to check out pretty much the whole menu, but what I'm going to do is focus on a few key dishes I tried (don't worry, I'll still include pictures for the other dishes). I ordered the Tour de France which is a sampling of three different french toasts. It included Banana Nut Bread with Bananas and Peanut Butter, Sweet Orange Bread topped with Strawberries and Orange Marmalade,  and Lemon Poppy Seed Bread topped with Blueberries. Each piece of bread had a nice crust with a fluffy center. It was a little on the sweeter and richer side of breakfast, but there's nothing wrong with that. The marmalade was a little tart, and the peanut butter seemed like Jiff, so the sauces could've used a little improvement, but the fresh fruit was a nice touch.

 The Tour de France

The next dish was something I got last time and was ordered this time which was the West Coast Crepes. These sweet crepes were filled with avocado, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, jack cheese, and cheddar cheese. These crepes are humongous. You get two of them, and each is the size of a chipotle burrito. Last time I had them I brought a whole one home. The sweet and savory flavors compliment each other nicely, but the flavors of the individual ingredients get a little lost in this hodgepodge filling. Also, the I would expect the crepe to be a little thinner.

 The West Coast Crepes

My dad ordered the Veggie Skillet, a mix of zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes over potatoes and eggs and topped with jack and cheddar cheese. I was pretty impressed with this dish. The individual veggies were distinguishable, and everything was cooked right. Plus, it comes with a side of pancakes to help fulfill your sweet tooth. I wouldn't say it's as good as the skillet at Egg Harbor, but those are excellent. I think the key to a good skillet is well done potatoes at the base, and these could've been cooked a little longer. My mom got the Garden Delight Omelette, which I would talk more about, but it's basically the omelette version of my dad's skillet.

 The Veggie Skillet (sorry I didn't get to it soon enough)

Below are the pictures of the other food I didn't get to try, but everyone seemed pretty content when I asked them how they liked it.

 Banana Blue Crunch Cakes

 BLT Supreme

Samantha Orbach

Mom, Lisa, and the Veggie Skillet

I think location is one of the reasons that Yolk is somewhat of a logistical nightmare. The food is pretty good and pretty huge, but I don't know if it's really worth the wait. At least the service once you're sat is quick. I bet if you go at a slightly earlier time than I did that you'll get in quickly. The flavors were there for the most part, and the dishes can get pretty creative. The menu is nice and large in case you've got a picky eater in your midst. Ultimately though it doesn't take a special restaurant to serve you tons of food. I'm giving Yolk 3 out of 5 Pearls. Also, I'd like to give a special thanks to my sister Lisa and Dr. Klass for providing all of the pictures.

One more important note for all you Northwestern med students out there is that Yolk will soon be opening a new location in the ground floor of The Streeter across from The River East Club (formerly known as Holmes Place).

Addendum 3/9/13
I finally got around to trying the Streeterville location with my buddy Taylor after a lengthy morning rounds. There's not much to say except that it's exactly the same as the other yolks. Same large portions, same crowds, etc. 

Yolk on Urbanspoon
Yolk on Urbanspoon
Yolk on Urbanspoon


  1. Was your dish choice, the Tour de France, at all influenced by the fact that you had just finished a bike ride?

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