Sitting in the middle of a West suburban strip mall that looks to be in rebound mode is a little piece of Athens.
The buzz around Briki Café has been growing since it opened in Addison last year, especially in the morning when it serves up breakfast entrees that go way beyond the same-old-same-old. So if you're looking for an excuse to move out of your eggs-bacon-and-pancakes breakfast comfort zone, Briki Café aims to make you a believer in traditional Greek favorites -- with a contemporary twist.
Briki Café serves food throughout the day and has an ample menu of lunch and dinner specials. But our Sunday morning trip was all about the breakfast, and it's a good thing we came hungry. Once we sat down at one of the many small wooden tables surrounded by walls filled with black-and-white photos depicting street scenes in Greece from decades past, I was ready to dive into old-world breakfast culture.
As a regular morning coffee drinker, it was a nice change of pace to start things off with a small, yet potent, cup of traditional Greek coffee. This will wake you up really fast. And the shortbread served on the side for dunking is a nice touch.
Briki has a full morning menu of breakfast beverages, which include barista-prepared coffees, espressos, cappuccinos as well as a selection of fresh smoothies. If you're feeling like you need a hearty drink that encompasses the best of breakfast and dessert to start the day, you may want to order the Peanut Butter Smoothie, complete with frozen yogurt, skim milk, peanut butter, banana and chocolate. That drink alone may quell your appetite, but I highly recommend you save room for the food.
For a breakfast appetizer, we ordered a heaping plate of traditional Greek loukoumades to share. If you're not familiar with this tasty pastry, loukoumades can best be described as puffy balls of deep-fried cakey-dough goodness topped off with sweet sprinklings and syrupy drizzles.
Our platter of traditional loukoumades came with honey syrup, powdered sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Other versions include salted caramel with crumbled pretzels, sea salt and caramel glaze. Or there are s'mores, Oreo and Nutella varieties, too.
Briki offers a full menu of regular breakfast favorites, as well as many dishes inspired by the old country. In sticking with a Greek-themed breakfast, I ordered Briki's spicy feta omelette, which is filled with gyro meat, onions, tomatoes and topped with a spread of spicy feta cheese. This light and fluffy egg creation is served with a side of diced red potatoes and a choice of toast or pancakes. It's as good as it is different, and you'll be tempted to eat the entire thing -- and that's a challenge when you have loukoumades and a side of thick, golden pancakes within fork's reach.
My dining partner went with the Eggs Royale breakfast special, featuring thinly sliced ham, fresh mozzarella, sunny-side-up eggs and hollandaise sauce sitting atop a grilled croissant. This dish is a really nice balance of sweet, salty and savory.
Other Greek-inspired breakfast dishes include the Breakfast Pita, which are actually three mini pitas stuffed with eggs, gyro meat, onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce -- basically Greek breakfast tacos. There's also the briami hash with grilled eggplant, green pepper, zucchini, red onion and potatoes with your choice of two eggs any style.
In addition to an ample selection of omelettes, pancakes, waffles, French toasts, eggs Benedict platters and crepes, there's also a variety of Greek-themed toasts to choose. Not only does tyrokafteri toast sound fun to say, but the grilled croissant with avocado spread, bacon, grilled onion and poached egg covered in tyrokafteri (spicy whipped feta) sauce sounds like it's worth a try.
Briki Café serves breakfast until 4 p.m., so if you're not a morning person, you have some extra time to sample their start-your-day dishes that are well-worth the trip. Going out for breakfast, especially on weekends, should always be a fun experience, and Briki Café offers that plus a multitude of choices you won't find on menus elsewhere.
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1453 W. Lake St., Addison, (630) 613-8567, brikicafe.com/
Cuisine: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
• Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.