Brunch at Orange has always been a favorite pastime of mine in Chicago. This place is known for their super creative breakfast and lunch menu, making fresh fruit juice, and a daily changing dish of fruit sushi and themed silver dollar pancakes. Total mouth-gasm, trust me. Of course this was back when Orange was only in the super trendy Boytowns neighborhood and no bigger than a shoebox, and where waits of 2 hours or more with a large group were not entirely unheard of. At least by me. Then again, maybe that only happened to me because I was the only dumb-ass to try and take a group of 9 to a popular shoebox restaurant in the middle of a Saturday brunch. I’m just saying. Thankfully, there are two more locations in Chicago, a downtown branch on Harrison and a Roscoe Village branch on Roscoe. I went to the latter on a rainy Sunday morning with a few friends, and was seated instantly. This Orange is so big, it easily could have eaten the original Orange and still had room for some bacon. Orange has such a playful, fun menu, with dishes like green eggs and ham, fruity pebble pancakes and fruit sushi. I decided to start off with the fruit sushi (, a rotating range of fruit juice-infused rice topped with various fruit and fruit sauce garnishes. That day, the selection included coconut infused rice with mango and kiwi, and a rice whose juice I cannot remember, but I know it was topped with some cantelope. I was so excited for the fruit sushi, in fact, I ate it before I remembered to take a picture. Such are the casualties of the food blogging war. I did remember to take a picture of my main brunch dish, an omelet filled with melted leeks, caramelized onions, and Camembert, topped with an avocado puree ($8.95). I was really happy with it, but sort of sad I didn’t get any bacon. It was a lot of egg that definitely needed some bacon. The cheese, while delicious, wasn’t melted enough for my liking, and I almost wish there was a more meltable cheese in the mix, like a mozzarella or a cheddar, to help spread the Camembert around. One of my friends went with a favorite of mine, the baked chai tea french toast stuffed with ricotta and topped with honey and caramelized apples ($8.95 USD).
It was delicious, as always, a perfect blend of sweet and creamy and tangy. The only thing that would have made this absolutely perfect was, of course, some bacon. My other friend went crazy and got the themed pancake flight ($10.95 USD), and this week the theme was “Four corners of the world”.
India had dried apricots, raisins and apples poached in chai tea and finished with a spiced chai tea reduction. Hmm. I’m starting to see a pattern here on the chef’s view of India. Is chai all my country’s good for? HUH? I never thought I’d be saying this, but what about the curry??? But I digress. Brazil had melted white chocolate, bananas and walnut. France came with an almond creme anglaise, marischino cherries and sliced almonds. Finally, the good old US of A had pecan paste, Hershey’s chocolate chips and Kahlua, an excess of sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Sure makes a gal proud to be an American.
The table favorites were France and Brazil, but I could barely stomach USA. The pecan paste was really overwhelming, and the chocolate and Kahlua certainly didn”t lighten it up much either. And when you are eating four small stacks of silver dollar pancakes, a pancake like the USA really slows you down, and that makes me angry. India was just okay, didn’t really have a strong flavor for me. And again, bacon would have made it better. But I am a thankful gal, I know that my country is blessed with heaps of amazingly creative breakfast places that I missed while in Australia, so all in all, it was a great meal. And next time, I’m getting the bacon. ~LTG!