HOLIDAY weekends are prime for scouting new brunch places. Even better is scouting new places in new cities with friends you haven’t seen for a while. So for this July 4th, I left Philadelphia behind and high-tailed it to Chicago, where I met up with Bizzy & Neal for an afternoon in the Lincoln Park Zoo, an evening sketch comedy show, and a celebratory brunch the next day at Over Easy.
We picked Over Easy for convenience: it’s close to Neal’s apartment and the wait isn’t long, even on Sunday. There’s an outdoor coffee stand set up so you can get started on the caffeine while you wait for your table, and the menu posted on the window allows you to start making your decisions before you’re even in the door.
Over Easy is an incredibly aesthetically pleasing place. From the brightly colored menus to the low-hung wall art, Over Easy soothes the senses and promises mealtime respite. We all remarked on the well-planned color scheme and cohesive décor. There doesn’t seem to be a detail left unmanaged here, giving the impression–correct, I’d say–that Over Easy has it all under control. Not just the food selection (which was dauntingly inspiring), but the whole experience. It’s all taken care of. All you have to worry about is deciding what to eat, and then digging in.
Because, let me tell you, it is good. The level of detail they put into the decor here is just as evident in the food. Neal went for the sassy eggs, getting a laugh out of our waitress with his sassy delivery of the name. (Bizzy and I agreed that, were George Clooney to ever make it to Over Easy, he’d have to order the sassy eggs, simply for the name alone.) The mound of egg and guacamole and and sheer mass of food speaks for itself. I think we were all in awe of the aptly-titled sassy eggs.
Bizzy and I went for a little more manageable fare. Bizzy ordered the corncakes, with her two eggs sunny side up. I got the blueberry french toast, garnished with crème anglaise and a strawberry coulis, along with a side of applewood smoked bacon. And we also got their specialty juices: “freckled orange juice” (with strawberry) and “blackeye oj” (with balckberry). Delish!
The conversation revolved around the food (scrumptious) and the Clooney (equally scrumptious). But eventually we settled into our dishes and ate in companionable silence, one of the true marks of great food. But the hallmark of Over Easy is the aesthetic standard, which is as stylized (and as contemporary) as a quirky Wes Anderson movie. We walked in with eyes smarting with anticipation, and left with heads full of conversation and ideas. Indeed, the mark of a good, satisfying meal.