Bakin' and Eggs

  • Restaurants
  • Breakfast
Photograph: Martha Williams
soft opening of Bakin Eggs, 3120 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL. Various pastries, Banana French toast, and Mac n Cheese shown
Lakeview

At Bakin’ and Eggs, there are tables for dining in, a coffee bar and pastry case for takeaway, and an empty area to the right of the doorway that’s a de facto stroller parking garage. It goes without saying that a café that can accommodate a fleet of double-wide strollers is positively enormous, and its concept—adding a savory menu to the array of homey sweets that have earned the owners’ bakery, Lovely: A Bake Shop, a loyal following—seems poised to fill every seat. Symbolizing the merger, the restaurant’s full name is Bakin’ and Eggs: A Lovely Idea. Unfortunately, despite the subtitle, the savory food here is less lovely than elementary.

It’s not just that sweet cinnamon-raisin toast can’t seem to get along with sharp cheddar—it’s that the whole chicken-sausage sandwich is dry and lacks flavor. Pumpkin pancakes are heavy, but the bigger problem is that they taste more like the essence of pumpkin than pumpkin itself. A heaping amount of whole-grain mustard can’t possibly be expected to give life to an underseasoned turkey burger when the combination of the soft onion roll and soft meat renders the whole thing squishy anyway. (Same, sadly, with a bland meatloaf sandwich, despite the appealingly salty pretzel bread it’s served on.) And the potato and pasta salads are so basic and flavorless it’s as if someone was oblivious to the fact that diners would actually be paying to eat them.

Other dishes seem poised to succeed but then drop the ball: A big bowl of potato soup with floating bits of bacon and green onion would have been a welcome addition had it come out of the kitchen warmer than room temperature; croissants are incredibly flaky but ultimately dull. The only dish that seems to benefit from minimal intervention in the kitchen is the bacon flight: five strips, each coated in a different glaze, made from a material too delicious to mess up.

Venue name: Bakin' and Eggs
Contact:
Address: 3120 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago

Cross street: between Barry and Belmont Aves
Opening hours: Breakfast (Mon–Fri), brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Mon–Fri)
Transport: El stop: Brown to Paulina. Bus: 9, 11, 77.
Price: Average main course: $10
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