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Breakfast Beat

Love to sit down with a plate of eggs, some tasty potatoes or toast, a cup of freshly brewed joe, and the morning paper? These recently opened spots have got your number.

Love to sit down with a plate of eggs, some tasty potatoes or toast, a cup of freshly brewed joe, and the morning paper? These recently opened spots have got your number.

Photography: Tyllie Barbosa

Hashbrowns
(731 W. Maxwell St.; 312-226-8000)
Ron Ruffolo, partner
Breakfast philosophy:
“I love breakfast,” says Ruffolo. “But specifically I love hashbrowns.” While cooking up plans for his dream breakfast spot, Ruffolo spent five years perfecting recipes at home.
Signature dishes: Take a wild guess. Ruffolo’s favorite is the sweet-potato hashbrowns, but you can also order a casserole version made from white potatoes, sour cream, onion, Cheddar, and corn flakes, or a combination of white and sweet spuds with Romano.
Weirdest request ever: Ketchup for the sweet-potato ‘browns. Ruffolo: “I don’t think you really need ketchup with those.”

 

Juicy-O Pancake House
(2942 Finley Rd., Downers Grove; 630-932-4260)
Jimmy Banakis and Jimmy Bannos, co-owners
Breakfast philosophy: “I never thought a breakfast place could be profitable,” says Banakis. “But I’m a baby boomer and I find that more and more of my contemporaries are going out to breakfast as opposed to going out for dinner.”
Signature dishes: A do-it-yourself breakfast slider that begins with homemade sausage on a brioche bun; smoothies, shakes, and bubble tea from the juice bar; and, of course, Bannos’s bananas Foster French toast
Weirdest request ever: “Hot sauce on French toast,” says Bannos. “Actually, it turned out to be pretty good to turn up the heat on the pure maple syrup.”

 

Over Easy
(4943 N. Damen Ave.; 773-506-2605)
Jon Cignarale, owner
Breakfast philosophy:
“If you [as a chef] don’t do dinner, you’re seen as a lightweight, but I thought you could do fun, interesting, good-looking food at breakfast. Besides, I’m married and [when I did do dinner] I never saw my wife.”
Signature dishes: Frazzled eggs-a concoction of grilled balogna and eggs drizzled with spicy maple mustard
Weirdest request ever: Cignarale is considering a request by customers to place his special “Hangover Hash” (potatoes with ham, chorizo, bacon, and red peppers, covered with toasted bread cubes and a Cheddar-cheese béchamel sauce) on the daily breakfast menu.

 

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