Sunday afternoon, warm weather, and the sky is blue with wispy clouds floating by on the breeze. The temperatures have warmed up enough for us in Chicago to enjoy the outdoors. There is no way that you can avoid catching a cold with the way it is cold one minute, warm the next, chilly five minutes later, and hot enough to make you sweat within the hour. Welcome to Chicago. And while you are here, get a listing of restaurants where you can go, sit, and enjoy a meal while the weather waffles outside. That is exactly what I decided to do on this Sunday of spring splendour.
A colleague had told me about the art district in Oak Park, IL, the suburb immediately to the west of Chicago. With the weather being nice I decided that I would see what was inviting in the stretch after church. Remembering her talking about a cafe called Buzz Cafe, which is at 905 S. Lombard Avenue, I had a bit of an expectation and an agenda that my appetite and I decided we would indulge. Buzz Cafe is yet another one of those independent eateries that I have fallen in love with. Perfect atmosphere for a gathering of friends, family, or an escape for a single patron such as myself, I had a feeling after entering that this was going to be well worth my trip to the suburbs. And with great weather, I placed my order at the till. Or rather I said to the cashier, “Make a recommendation,” and paid for the suggested menu items. I then took a seat outside for my enjoyment.
The first recommendation was for the quiche, which had spinach in it and topped with tomatoes. Served up on a flaky crust and with a side of cantaloupe, honey-dew melon, and orange, I had forgotten about the menu item of crepes that I had a notion to order. At many small cafes where I have gone, the quiche was very much pre-packaged madness that was merely warmed in a microwave, placed on a small plate, and placed before me rather perfunctorily. Not this vegetarian quiche at Buzz Cafe. One patron who sat outside chastised me jokingly that I had bought the last slice of quiche. Needless to say, it did not go to waste. The second recommendation was the tofu scramble that was also served with a side of fruit. Although I have been really good with vegetarianism, tofu has never really been something that made my mouth water. The marinated organic tofu, the grilled mushrooms, onions, spinach, and tomato was a satisfying combination that changed my mind about tofu — at least for the moment that I was delighting myself on the dish. The hashbrowns on the side made the tofu scramble that much more gobble-worthy. This dish could easily become the lover of every vegetarian and vegan in the Chicagoland area.
I must say that my love affair with independent restaurants and cafes are all worthwhile, especially when I find myself getting top shelf service and food at places like Buzz Cafe. Being health-conscious, supporting eateries and establishments that are vegetarian and organic friendly move to the top of my list. And a price that keeps saying, “You will be back,” makes it even better. Walking away with a cup of cappuccino for take-away, it was settled that I will return indeed and although I have a feeling I am going to get the tofu scramble again, I am going to definitely show some love for a few other menu items that I did not get to sample on this visit. Even now my appetite is telling me to make a date to return. And I am being obedient.