Take a wild guess where we’re brunching today? Oh, I won’t leave you hanging… it’s Nookies. That wonderful bastion of neighborhood brunchdom. I found myself at the Old Town location with a passel of cousins and a handful of children (that’s five cousins and two children, if you want to do the math).
With three locations and hours rather conducive to dining when you’re hungry (two locations are open 24 hours on weekends), it’s hard not to find this casual restaurant appealing. Although there are plenty of highchairs and Cheerio-throwing goons around at brunch, be forewarned that the Old Town location doesn’t have a changing area in the bathroom. (I really wish I had taken a pic or two of my cousin and I wrangling our sons and diapers while sitting astride an open toilet.)
But let’s not toilet-talk when we have eggs and pancakes to discuss.
What We Ate
I had an Eggs Mushroom which is really two poached eggs sitting atop sautéed mushrooms and an English muffin. Then, slather the baby in hollandaise sauce and serve it with a side of hash browns. Except the waiter got confused by my order. I ordered my plate with an additional side of fruit for Mr. Moo. Instead, my waiter subbed out the potatoes with the fruit. (It’s OK, I didn’t need the starch anyway.) The poached eggs were a bit firm, but the hollandaise was high on lemon (a plus in my book).
My sister had the Santa Fe Chicken Salad (listed under “Big Salads” for the very obvious reason that it’s huge). A giant bowl of salad with blackened chicken, black bean and corn relish, tomato, cucumber, tortilla chips, and peanut-lime dressing. Em asked for avocado as well, which our waiter forgot. He brought it quickly once reminded. The Moo enjoyed eating the avocado and corn that his aunt slid across the table at him.
The rest of the cousins seemed to have decent brunch platters as well. There was an order of Eggs Spinach (same as my dish except replace the mushrooms with spinach—obviously). Another cousin ordered one of the specials—pumpkin pancakes with candied pecans. I mean, seriously, could you think of anything better for fall? (Mr. Moo was also pleased that the plate was heaping tall with pancakey goodness as he received a half a pancake from his cousin. His little legs a kicking he practically devoured the thing.)
But, I think the winner of the morning was the egg skillet. Nookies has a number of “Mexican-inspired” skillets, but they are all very similar—a few eggs, salsa, Chihuahua cheese and tortillas. The shake-up comes with the type of egg, and the addition/subtraction of beans, chorizo, or rice. It’s a pretty decent skillet as evidenced by the record finish time.
What We Drank
Coffee and waters all around!
The final lesson is that the food is exactly what you would expect from a Greek-owned breakfast-friendly place, but so is the service (a bit spotty but pretty quick to fix).
Location: The Old Town location is 1746 N. Wells. They have one location in Lincoln Park at 2114 N. Halsted and one a bit further north on Halsted in Lakeview/Boystown.