2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago
I'd heard a lot about Longman & Eagle and its deliciousness, but I hadn't quite convinced myself that it was time to drive way out to Logan Square and brave an apparently rather long wait for dinner. But my friend Harold suggested it for brunch, and despite having heard some slightly negative things about their mid-morning offerings from a friend, I assented.
I was pleased to discover that it wasn't difficult to nab a parking spot or a table, and so we found ourselves seated inside their very pleasant back room. The decor is simple but amiable, and while the back room is a bit loud, you can still carry on a conversation without too much difficulty. The brunch menu isn't extensive, but it's well stocked with tantalizing options. I'd heard that the omelets were somewhat disappointing (described as a slightly dry egg pancake folded over cooked ingredients), so I went with the sunnyside-up duck egg with duck confit hash, roasted shallots, and black truffle vinaigrette. Harold got the croque madam with ham and gruyere and a bloody mary. And of course, we both had coffee.
The coffee (Alterra) was good though not especially exciting. The bloody mary was solid. It wasn't knock-your-socks-off amazing, but it was extremely well executed. It was a bloody mary that you inadvertently take for granted; the kind that makes you forget how difficult it is to make a good bloody mary and how many disappointing ones you've had because it's so subtly tasty. I generally avoid drinking cocktails in the morning, but a taste of this one severely taxed my powers of restraint. I should add, too, that the cocktail list was generally quite appealing. I was particularly intrigued by the Horchata para Adultos, a horchata mixed with Sailor Jerry's rum - I'm looking forward to trying one of those someday.
The food did not disappoint. Harold's croque madam was just right in all regards, and my meal was delicious. The duck confit hash was fabulous, and beautifully set off by the black truffle smear that orbited the plate. My one complaint was that it was a tad on the small side - our server immediately suggested I order some toast to go with it. With a side of sourdough toast, it was an adequate, though not particularly large, breakfast, but it also totaled out at $16 for the food alone, which seemed a bit... much. But that was but a spot of gray on an otherwise sunny brunch experience. Good food, good service, good atmosphere - the next time you find yourself standing outside Lula's and hoping that the wait for brunch won't actually be an hour, you might consider strolling over here instead.