outside batter and berries
Outside Batter & Berries 

Apart from the bitter cold that included my big toe suffering tremendously, The Hungry Black Man’s Chicago food tour has been nothing short of amazing.  How fitting that today, International Day of Happiness, I write about my favorite brunch spot in all of Chicago, the incomparable Batter and Berries located at 2748 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.

Eater and other ratings publications, except for dumb ass ZAGAT, have all recognized the value of this delicious eatery by ranking it in the top 5 brunch spots in Chicago.  Excuse the profanity, but it is an homage to the late “Aunt Fee” O’Dell of Los Angeles, who became an internet superstar last summer by creating meals at minimal cost.  The culinary world (at least black folk) will miss her.

At Batter and Berries, I started with their Cluck & Gravy ($9), house made biscuits served with a southern homemade chicken sausage gravy, coleslaw and an egg.  The gravy is on the sweeter as oppose to salty side, with the biscuit driving needed salt flavor in addition to being soft and buttery. I recommend this dish for the true biscuit lover. You may want to skip the gravy and simply get the biscuit with your meal and some jelly or preserves.

biscuit
Biscuits and Gravy 

My next order was a gastronomic masterpiece with their version of chicken and waffles.  The Cluck-N-Gaufre (Goof) ($13) is a chicken-stuffed sweet potato waffle topped with a delicious fried chicken breast, drizzled in a nutmeg hot sauce and finally topped with a sweet maple butter.  Lord give me strength! This creation was EVERYTHING! If you are a true foodie, this entree will satisfy every ounce of your being. Savory, sweet, hot, and a hint of spice from the nutmeg provides the taste buds with just about every sensation the good Lord provides.

chicken and waffle
Cluck-N-Gaufre

There is a specific way you MUST eat this dish to truly enjoy it, so be sure to ask the server how it’s done! (Check out the video below if you can’t wait.) Since returning home to Miami I have craved this waffle several times, wondering if Uber Eats would drive there and back.

Up next was yet another winner! I wanted to try each one of their French Toast.  One order was only ($10), so here we go! First up was the Blueberry French Toast, a brioche bread dipped in house made blueberry batter and topped with fresh blueberries. Father God, help me for I have committed the sin of lust! I felt dirty eating such an indulgent and decadent French Toast, only to be topped by the Lemon French Toast, a brioche bread dipped in house made lemon batter, topped with lemon zest, house-candied walnuts.

Get behind me Satan! My stomach will not continue to grow, but yield abs for the summer! Nope, not today as my fork dove into the Caramel French Toast, a brioche bread dipped in house made caramel batter, topped with house-candied walnuts, caramel sauce and their signature maple butter.  Nearing the end of my pathetic attempt to reject the Devil and his temptations, I fully committed to devouring these irresistible slices of taste bud bliss with our last French toast, the Strawberry French Toast, a brioche bread dipped in house made strawberry batter and topped with fresh strawberries.

french toast batter and berries
Slice of Each French Toast 

I thought this orgy of gastronomic pleasure had subsided, until I realized there was one more piece of French Toast left. Their weekly special was some supernatural concoction including goodness drizzled all over with cinnamon toast crunch bits throughout. I honestly blacked out from the amazing flavor so you’ll have to ask them about that one. I just know it is sinful and unlike any other French Toast in these parts.

Attempting to regain my soul, I ordered something a little more traditional to get my mind right. As a foodie, we can’t push the envelope too far, or there will be no turning back. I settled for he 2748 Steak Sandwich ($14), a rib eye steak with grilled onions, mushrooms, pepper jack cheese and romesco sauce served with a side of fries. Each nostalgic bite bought me back to my hometown of Miami and eating with my friends at the small Cuban spots ordering a steak sandwich.  This is a MUST HAVE for sure.

sandwich batter and berries
2748 Steak Sandwich 

I couldn’t help myself. I just couldn’t leave this place and not try the pancakes. We put in an order of their delicious pancakes and had absolutely no regrets. Fluffy, buttery, and hearty, these pancakes are no frills, and should be drizzled sparingly with hot syrup as not to take away from it’s amazing flavor. It’s not one of those flavorless pancakes you need a lot of syrup on, so remember sparingly! Remember to always ask for your syrup to be heated in order to get a true heightened pancakes experience…you’re welcome!

pancake
Pancakes 

Batter and Berries was worth two visits from me; one to simply dine in and try the place, and the second for my review. That’s usually my method, but ladies and gentleman, I made a third visit simply because the food was outstanding.

Centrally located and super close to downtown Chicago made this place not only convenient but trendy. As a black owned establishment, I felt proud to see experienced chefs, managers, hostess, and servers delivering quality service to an extremely diverse clientele. This will definitely go down as one of my favorite brunch spots in the entire nation. It certainly get the HUNGRY BLACK MAN’S approval and a 10 out of 10.  You can check out our second visit for our Facebook live review below.  Reach Batter and Berries by phone at (773) 248-7710.

Follow The Hungry Black Man on Facebook @thehungryblackman and Instagram at #thehungryblackman! Sign up for great eateries around the country by dropping your email below!

 

 

Written by thehungryblackman

Starex Smith is an accomplished and experienced public administrator, fundraiser, foodie, and culinary business developer who has committed himself to maximizing the Black experience in the United States! He currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Development for Black Tech Week with over twelve (12) years of experience in managing public/private partnerships, large scale events, and nonprofits. He has successfully raised over 20 million dollars in funding for various governmental entities, food companies, and individuals. Starex has assisted countless food industry businesses successfully obtain funding, taking mom and pop storefronts to scalable businesses. His success in working with restaurants sparked a passion for food and entrepreneurship which led to the launching of Sothern Bytes, a teaching platform food business dedicated to an ever evolving food industry with a focus on technology, culture and innovation. Having constantly run into stereotyping negatively affecting his dining and vacationing experiences, Starex decided to curate great destinations, restaurants, and discuss issues surrounding being a hungry Black man. Starex completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s coursework in Public Administration at Florida International University where he served as president of the Black Student Union and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Lambda Tau Chapter

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