Place: Broadway Cellars
Neighborhood: Chicago’s Edgewater, 5900 N. Broadway
Ambiance: I made sure I did a decent amount of brunch research in preparation for my long weekend in Chicago. In the end, it came down to M. Henry and Broadway Cellars. I had read slightly better reviews for M. Henry (which is BYOB and doesn’t take reservations), and the restaurants are only a stop apart on the Red Line. We chose Broadway Cellars because it is a shorter walk from the station (it was raining out when we left for brunch) and because of their drink special.
Broadway Cellars in located in Edgewater, a quiet neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. The first thing I noticed was the outdoor seating, which they had plenty of. Tables and benches were surrounded by flowers outside of the restaurant. We sat inside, where a long bar is located in the front as well as high-top tables. The dining area has tables of all sizes — we were a party of two, but they are able to accommodate large groups. Artwork, bottles of wine and wine racks hang from the walls, and each table is covered in white paper as they welcome kids to draw (they’ll provide crayons). The place wasn’t super crowded but wasn’t dead either. I noticed the staff wasn’t limited to one task, rather they pitched in — bartending, cleaning off the tables, serving food, etc. Our server, Heather, was very friendly. She recommended dishes, talked to us about the neighborhood and was super quick to bring us more drinks.
Let’s start with the drinks: Broadway Cellars has a good drink special for those interested in all-you-can-drink brunch: Bottomless mimosas or blood Marys for $10 or combination bottomless for $15. As usual, we went with the mimosas. The first few cocktails we had were strong and tasty. The last couple were more OJ heavy (Heather said it was because she wasn’t the one making the mimosas :-)). I estimated that we probably had six mimosas each. I have never experienced a brunch in which they had such quick refills. Numerous times I had a half a mimosa left and Heather gave me a new one! We also got a carafe of water for the table. If you were drinking coffee, they left a pot of coffee on the table. I don’t understand why more restaurants don’t do this.
What we ate:
The Salmon Benny $12 / Poached eggs and smoked salmon over potato pancakes with caper hollandaise and cucumber tomato salad
I’ve been on a Benedict kick ever since I tried Eggs Benedict for the first time a couple weeks ago. And lucky me, Broadway Cellars offers three different Benedict dishes. The Salmon Benny was a great twist on the original, substituting Canadian bacon or ham with smoked salmon and an English muffin with potato pancakes. The pancakes were like a flat hash brown. They were cooked well and weren’t greasy at all. The caper hollandaise sauce was different than what I’m used to, but it was good. The tomato cucumber salad was delicious and very refreshing. It’s something you want to make at home and would be a perfect dish for a summer party.
BBQ brisket burrito $12 / Scrambled eggs and brisket in barbecue sauce with avocado, tomato and cheese in a wrap. Served with Broadway potatoes
I was deciding between French toast (naturally) and the BBQ brisket burrito. Heather said the burrito is the most popular brunch item and that they usually sell out of it. Sold! This dish was a great choice. The eggs went well with the tender and juicy brisket, which was easy to bite through. The avocado, cheese and tomato were nice additions. The burrito was a bit messy because of the barbecue sauce; I should have asked to go light on the sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the potatoes. They were packed with flavor. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, and I could taste it in literally every bite.
The final bite: Good food. Great drink deal. Excellent service. Broadway Cellars is a bit of a hike on the Red Line, but it is worth it. I encourage Chicagoans to venture out to this spot for a delicious brunch. You won’t be sorry!
Reviewed by: Stephanie