Well, I have truly gone off the deep end and ventured into territory that I had said I would not post on this food journal site. I have entered the realm of the American café. Queue scene with the sky turning red. People are running through the streets screaming. There is mass pandemonium everywhere. Cats and dogs are uniting in marriage. Democrats and Republicans are having peaceful mediation; Hell is also freezing over in this case. The sun is rising from the West. And I am sitting in a café in Chicago’s River North neighbourhood having a sandwich and a cup of cappuccino, completely oblivious to the madness outside the window.
In my usual spirit of weekend enjoyment, I took a little time out from some outdoor photography to stop in a local café. My belly was up to its commonplace growling and there were plenty of eateries in sight. Whenever I am certain I am going to journal an experience, I opt for a non-American, ethnic restaurant. However, I wanted an authentic café atmosphere so that I could enjoy my food, sit for a while, and relax. And so there was Brett’s Kitchen at 233 W. Superior Street, located at the corner of Wells Street and Superior Street under the Brown Line.
As expected, Brett’s Kitchen panders to those who have more of a European like. You order and pay at the till. You take your own seat and need not worry about being rushed out after you are done. You get to look behind the counter and see the cook preparing your food. After I had ordered a tuna provencal sandwich and a cup of cappuccino, I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the place, being mindful of the patrons who actively got into my compositions. Once the sandwich came, I had somewhat of a quizzical look on my face. I was always accustomed to having tuna salad prepared with mayonnaise, which is one of my three fears, celery, onions, and eggs. Tuna provencal is prepared differently. The only way to put it into words is to link you to the Food Network where a recipe is. Click here for recipe.
While enjoying my sandwich, there were several patrons who came into the café to be greeted by name and who held conversation with the cashier and the cook. Clearly, Brett’s Kitchen is the kind of place that keeps locals coming back. The service has got to be that good and it was very apparent during my short stint as I enjoyed the tuna sandwich — which is now top on my sandwich list — and my cup of coffee — which they took great pride in making for me.
After I had finished, I exchanged pleasantries with the cashier and the cooks, as they were curious as to where I was from — seeing that I was snapping away at the camera like a tourist. Their inquiries made the experience even more enjoyable because after fifteen minutes of conversation, I had made my mind up that I will go back. Next time, I will return for breakfast, having seen the menu and the delectable selections that my teeth will love biting and chomping.
There are countless restaurants, eateries, and cafés in the wonderful city of Chicago. However, there are only a few that become regular spots for satisfying my ongoing appetite — and I have all except for a few of them listed here on my journal site. And if I keep stumbling upon a longer list of American cafés that one may liken to those of the European style, there will be recommendations galore being written on this site. Brett’s Kitchen is the first.