Monday, June 7, 2010

Fun Playing With A Chicago Breakfast That Channeled the Catskills

I so apologize for the long delay between posts. Since my last post on May 19, we've been to NY and back, and to Cincinnati and back - cooking on both trips. Reports will follow eventually - but I didn't want to lose this report on a very cool Chicago spot that was our last taste of that city on our early May trip.

Donut Holes - the Amuse at Lou Mitchell's

Having been forced to dismiss the lawsuit against the city that tore up my labrum after the trial judge allowed the City to fundamentally change the case, literally moments before we were to select a jury, and knowing we'd be re-filing and starting again, I was determined to enjoy one last special taste of Chicago before we left to drive back to Cleveland. The only problem was that we'd had to meet with my attorney first thing Thursday morning, and we had to be checked out of our hotel room by noon to avoid extra charges. So - we sprinted across downtown to 565 W Jackson Blvd to sample a place recommended by a friend - Lou Mitchell's

Now, I suppose that there are a lot of locals who think this place is a tourist trap and nothing but. But let me tell you - one step into the dining room, one breath of the aromas, and one look at the tables, food and servers were enough for me! I felt transported to the world of "Catskilland" - a marketing term coined for New York's Catskill Mountain resorts in the late 1980s. My parents were married at the Nevele, and my childhood experience was indelibly inked by time spent "in the Catskills," at the Nevele and other resort hotels long gone. Since I married Bob nearly 15 years ago, I'd often hoped to take him to the Catskills to experience at least a taste of it; however, it is almost gone now (Kutshers Country Club  is the only "Borscht Belt" hotel still operating).

Fast forward back to Lou Mitchell's. It wasn't especially "Jewish" at all - but something about the look, the smell, the feel - I felt like I was back in The Mountains. It didn't hurt that our server was an older woman who understood completely when I asked for expedition, as we needed to walk a bunch of blocks back to our hotel before noon (and it was already after 11am). I wanted to take some atmosphere shots, but the stress and hurry made that impossible. The above freshly prepared donut holes are kept in a container by the entrance, and offered to patrons as they enter or wait for a table. Fortunately, we got to enjoy our nosh and get right to a table.

La Conga Delight (Bacon, Tomato and Cheese), Choice of Homemade Bread, Melted American Cheese, Crisp Bacon and Tomato, Fries

My selection - brought freshly cooked, hot, crispy and delicious. The house-made fries are simply lovely - creamy and crispy. And, the leftovers made a delightful road snack, holding much of their crunch though cold.

House-Made Coleslaw

Though I skipped the pickle, I adored this cole slaw.

La Conga Close Up

BLT Club, Crisp Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on Homemade Golden Brown Greek Toast, Fries

Bob loved his choice (and my bite was fantastic) - crunchy, cheesy, creamy - and most importantly - made fresh with fresh ingredients.

Since the case has been started over again, I anticipate additional Chicago trips to resolve it. We have promised to return to Lou Mitchell's without a time clock ticking over our heads, to give it the respect and enjoyment that it deserves. Despite the rush - we had great fun sampling not only the tasty food and fabulous service - but the nostalgic atmosphere of Lou Mitchell's.

No comments:

Post a Comment