Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Honey Cafe

I love brunch, creativity, fresh organic ingredients...so I was ecstatic to find Honey Cafe in Glen Ellyn (15 minutes away from our house). Brunch places in the city are always crowded over the weekends, so I'm also hoping suburbian places won't be as bad.

The husband and I had Monday off, so we decided to try Honey Cafe. It was around 1:30pm by the time we got there, so it wasn't crowded at all (didn't expect it to be). The decor was cute, colorful, casual, and all of the staff seemed nice and efficient.

I had their fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (delicious), and my husband tried their coffee. It turned out to be fair-trade coffee at $2.45/cup, just a tad expensive for coffee. But it's not a big deal.

Since it was our first time, I wanted to go off the "specials". I decided to try their Market Platter. You can choose 3 market sides for $10.95, or 2 sides and a grilled tilapia or free-range chicken breast for $15.95. The two sides I chose were ratatouille and a mushroom strudel, with grilled chicken. This was the first time I tried ratatouille, and it looked like it was just sauteed vegetables, but I actually found it to be addicting. Although seemingly soggy, the flavors were intense, and slightly crisp. As with all ratatouille, it's a tomatoes based dish with garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and herbs. Everything is sauteed and baked (which explains the "sogginess"). I really enjoyed it!

Grilled chicken was nicely seasoned and cooked decently well.

The mushroom strudel was filled with flavorful, meaty cremini mushrooms and what tasted like goat cheese. The filo pastry was crispy with creamy cheese and deliciously flavored mushrooms.. at an instant, I knew the hubby would fall in love with this dish.

Speaking of which, he ordered a summer vegetable soup that came with a whole grain twist. The soup was clean, very hot (that's a good thing), and the twist was room temperture, but still delicious. It's good, but I probably wouldn't order it again.

For the main course, my hub ordered their Caprese Benedict ($10.95) (Two poached eggs served on top tomato-basil foccacia bread with fresh mozzarella cheese, topped with creamy basil infused hollandaise sauce, served with house potatoes.

It's definitely not your typical benedict dish, especially with the foccacia bread, which was 5 times thicker than the typical english muffin. However, the whole thing worked so well, he proclaimed it as one of his favorite dishes, and said he wanted to go back to order the dish over and over.

Overall, we had a very positive & enjoyable experience, and would love to return... soon. We're excited to know this isn't just a brunch place.. they're also open for dinner. Yay!

Honey Café

499 N. Main Street, Glen Ellyn


9am to 9pm



9am to 3pm

The Works

For the past couple years, I've heard about The Works, a delicious grease joint in Glenview. It was raved as the absolute best gyros in Chicagoland area.

With much excitement and anticipation, we decided to check it out after a round of golf.

Gyros - I appreciated the flavor of the meat, that it was slightly crispy yet tender. The bread was fresh and soft too, but perhaps slightly too thick. Overall, the gyros was good.

Cheese Fries - I don't see what's so amazing about these fries. It's typical fries found in a high school lunch room, with melted cheese on top. By far, Portillo's cheese fries are far superior.

Pizza Puff - This was so greasy I had an instant heartburn, my face feels itchy just thinking about it. Flavor was delicious, with slightly chewy interior, but I will never get this again.

In fact, I probably won't be stopping by this joint...ever.

The Works
2676 Golf Rd
Glenview, IL 60025-4744
(847) 724-0616


A family friend told us a few weeks ago about Chateaubriand steak. He wasn't sure exactly what it was, but he claimed it was fork-tender, and more delicious than filet mignon. According to Wiki:

The Chateaubriand steak is a recipe of a particular thick cut from the tenderloin, which, according to Larousse Gastronomique, was created by personal chef, Montmireil, for Vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, (1768–1848), the author and diplomat who served Napoleon as an ambassador and Louis XVIII as Secretary of State for two years. This dish is usually only offered as a serving for two, as there is only enough meat in the center of the average fillet for two portions. At the time of the Vicomte, the steak was cut from the more flavorful but less tendersirloin and served with a reduced sauce made from white wine and shallots moistened with demi-glace and mixed with butter, tarragon, and lemon juice. An alternative spelling of the statesman-author's name is 'Châteaubriant', and some maintain that the term refers to the quality of the cattle bred around the town ofChâteaubriant in the Loire-Atlantique, France

As a steak lover, I immediately looked up a restaurant that serves this dish, and found the unanimous vote is for Sabatino's (in fact, I don't think there were any other place I found that served it in Chicago). Since my brother was moving out of the country, the hub and I decided to take him out for dinner.

Sabatino's is an old-Italian style restaurant with piano bar, so don't expect anything fancy schmancy. The place settings aren't even nice. However, they do give you a lot of food (great value), and they're generally fresh & tasty too.

We started off with pre-dinner dry grey goose martinis. To my absolute delight, they offered blue cheese-stuffed OR anchovy-stuffed olives.. YUM! I love anchovies...in salads, on bread, pasta, the possibilities are endless. That super salty fishy taste is so addictive. Needless to say, I requested anchovy-stuffed, and didn't even offer any to my husband (he asked for blue-cheese), because it was so good. That super salty (olives AND anchovy) taste mixed with chill alcohol is divine.

No matter what you order, Sabatino's bring over a loaf of bread, AND pizza bread. So easy - but so delicious. I don't see a point in trying to order any appetizers.. you'd only be left with no room for the main course.

Each dish also comes with soup AND salad. (and yes, the Chateaubriand for two would give you two sets)

The hubby went from Minestrone, which was fresh and good with intense tomato base.

I tried the Stracciatella with Spinach. It was decent, reminding me of Chinese egg drop soup with spinach.

The house dressing for salad is Italian (of course), nothing special about it. The only mistake our waitress made was not putting dressing on the side...it was a little salty for me.

My brother decided to order a pasta dish we can all share (we planned on sharing the Chateaubriand too).

"Chef's Favorite" Vermicelli Alla Angelo ($17.95) - Shrimp sauteed in butter, garlic, and wine sauce, and served over Vermicelli Aglio Olio

This dish was okay - a bit too buttery for my taste. It's nothing to write home about.

Chateau Briand for two ($58.00) was prepared table side, which I was barely able to watch because he was behind me (and I was a little buzzed). I told the waitress that I typically like my steak to be between "rare" and "medium rare", so she said she'd request 'rare', and if it's undercooked, they're able to cook it more. It seemed like that's how it was being prepared, but after we cut into our plates, we found that my husband's portion was perfectly cooked, and mine was overdone. Next time I go, I'm definitely asking for 'rare'. My husband's portion was SO MUCH more delicious and tender. The mushrooms/shallots/wine sauce was also very tasty.

The three of us licked every plate clean, and was too full for dessert.

This is definitely a place I recommend for easy, no frills, delicious Italian. As a side note, the waitress also recommended Filet Mignon Meuniere ($24.95) - (Sliced center cut filet in white wine with lemon), and said she loves it more than Chateaubriand. We will definitely return to try that.

4441 W Irving Park Road
Chicago, Ill 60641
(773) 283-8331