Monday, January 10, 2011

Orange – Chicago, IL

D.Rough and I were in need of some breakfast. Fortunately, a while back, someone got me hooked on this place called “Orange” in Chicago and it immediately went to the top of the list for my favorite breakfast places – of all time. I love this place and wanted D.Rough to check it out. I had a hunch she’d like it.

The place is always busy, especially on weekends. There’s a reason for this – the food is awesome and fun. When we got there, we were told there’d be a 45 minute wait. Not a problem since there was a coffee shop right around the corner from the place. We stopped by Iguana Café for a cup of coffee/cocoa. It’s a European Coffee House and Lounge – hip, happening, and fun. Plus, they have great coffee great hot chocolate – which we found out. It was delicious, but amazingly hot. Like nuclear reactor with a touch of the sun, kind of hot.

We went back to Orange and got seated. There are four or five different locations and they’re all a little different.
The first thing I did was check out what pancake flight they were offering today. Every week, they change the theme of the pancake flight. One time I went around the nominations for the political parties’ candidates for president. It was a democratic candidate themed flight. One of the pancakes was styled after Obama and had white and chocolate chips in the pancakes. Another one was made with fruity pebbles (I can’t remember which candidate was considered fruity). They are super creative with their pancake flights. I wasn’t feeling the pancake flight on this particular trip, sadly.

The place is trendy, but also a little bit classy. To showcase this, I took an artsy photo.

We scoured the rest of the menu and finally decided. It wasn’t difficult, since everyone on the menu looks amazing. I ordered the green eggs and ham and D.Rough ordered the Caprese Benedict. Since this place is also a fancy juice bar, you can get all kinds of fruit juices combined – I got a carrot and pineapple juice and D.Rough got a pear and pineapple juice. We were also feeling pretty hungry right NOW, so we got a fruit plate as a sort of appetizer.

The drinks came out quickly and were awesome. Both super good.

The fruit place came out and was delicious. Pineapple, grapes, canteloupe, strawberries, and apples. Simple, but a great way to start off. This place also has frushi – which is fruit cut all fancy style to resemble sushi. It’s still fruit, so we didn’t want to pay the extra cash to have them cut it fancy. It does look REALLY pretty though.

The entrees came out and looked ten times better than we expected them to. The green eggs and ham are basically basil pesto scrambled eggs with ham bits and roasted tomatoes in them, then covered with fresh mozzarella. It’s also served with a molded mound of mashed potatoes on the side. I added a little sri racha to my plate and it ended up being perfect. Amazing flavor!

D.Rough’s caprese benedict got some pretty serious raving comments. An English muffin topped with over roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, poached eggs, and pesto-hollandaise sauce. I was lucky enough to get a couple bites of this and it was absolutely top-notch. I believe she said it was the best benedict anything she’d ever had. If you like eggs benedict or a caprese salad, then you really need to do yourself a favor and order this.

I will go on and on about this restaurant and try to get to this place every time I’m in Chicago. It still stands as my favorite breakfast place of all time and has never disappointed me.

Top 5 things about Orange
1. Green Eggs and Ham
2. Caprese Benedict
3. Amazing menu
4. Carrot Pineapple Juice
5. Pear Pineapple Juice

Bottom 5 things
1. ALWAYS a line to eat here. Just plan on it. Or go find a coffee shop while you wait.
2. For some reason, this place attracts women with strollers who have a chip on their shoulder and feel entitled to not be considerate of other people.
3. I can’t ever eat EVERYTHING that I want (and I always want Cinnamon Roll pancakes and chai tea french toast.)
4. It isn’t a cheap breakfast, but you’ll be glad you paid a little more for quality.
5. If you order something sweet-sounding, be prepared for it to be the sweetest thing you’ve ever tasted. The cinnamon roll pancakes will make your teeth hurt.

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