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
(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.”
(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.