Fuel up on delicious, hearty fare at Kildeer's new Brunch Cafe
In the ever-expanding retail corridor that's proliferating up and down Rand Road in Kildeer, someone finally decided to open a new restaurant where visitors can enjoy a hearty breakfast before hitting the stores or wind down their shopping sprees with brunch or lunch. You don't have to be a shopper to check out Brunch Cafe, which opened its doors a few weeks ago in the strip mall across Rand Road from Deer Park Town Center. Just show up hungry and be ready for lots of choices.
The Kildeer Brunch Cafe joins several other locations -- Fox River Grove, Huntley, McHenry, Niles, Roselle, St. Charles -- in this chain of suburban eateries. The Brunch Cafe website describes its fare as "creative spins on classic dishes." But the first thing you'll notice when walking into this restaurant is its size. The spacious dining room decorated in earthtones is filled with plenty of wood-top tables and booths. So chances are you won't have to wait long to be seated.
On a recent Sunday morning, my son and I were quickly seated and served wake-up beverages of coffee and orange juice. When it came to ordering food, we needed a few minutes to canvass the extensive menu. There's definitely something for everyone, but you may need a few extra minutes to make a final decision.
We ordered three breakfast dishes to share. I went with the Berry Explosion Belgian Waffle, which is loaded with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries atop a thick, circular waffle accompanied by powdered sugar and a berry glaze drizzle. I'm not usually a Belgian waffle guy, but on a chilly morning that begged for some comfort food, why not?
It tasted exactly how you'd want a big waffle to taste, more on the light, fluffy and chewy side without feeling heavy or dry. And yes, the berries, drizzle and splash of maple syrup did generate a nice burst of flavor.
Off the "egg'squisite skillets" section of the menu, we chose the veggie option. The skillet came in a deep white plate filled with eggs (scrambled for our order), mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, green peppers and spinach, all held together with Monterey Jack cheese. This hot dish hit the spot: The eggs were nicely cooked and all the vegetables added to the taste. I would have liked to have seen it arrive in a slightly bigger portion or on a wider dish, but ours came with a side of golden brown pancakes, so nobody went hungry.
We also tried a third item that caught our eye: the lemon poppy seed crepes. These flat, doughy delights were topped with a nice combination of blackberries, kiwi and vanilla bean glaze. If you're looking for something on the sweeter side, this would be a solid choice. The crepes actually tasted a little heavier than my waffle, but it held all the toppings well and didn't fall apart when on the fork.
Brunch Cafe's lengthy menu also features other breakfast staples such as pancakes, French toast, omelets, eggs Benedict creations and skillets. A couple of notable items include the Portobenny, a gluten-free dish featuring portobello mushroom, asparagus and goat cheese, and the Nacho Scrambler -- tortilla chips, diced chicken, tomatoes, green onions, pepper jack cheese, salsa verde and sour cream.
There are just as many interesting dishes on the brunch and lunch menus, such as the arugula pear salad. It's a combo of sweet, salty and savory featuring arugula, pears, goat cheese, red onions, thick-cut bacon, candied walnuts and lemon vinaigrette. In addition to a selection of burgers, salads and wraps, you can also pick from the paninis section choices of turkey avocado, caprese chicken and grilled veggie.
If coffee or juice just won't cut it for your brunch beverage, no worries. You can pick from the banana strawberry or berry berry smoothies. For those over 21 who need more of a "morning kick," the menu also features a Loaded Bloody Mary and mimosas.
Brunch Cafe is a solid anchor among a sea of retail shops and eateries in this developing area of the Northwest Suburbs. It's nice to know there's a sizable place with delicious fare where you can start or end your morning with something traditional or with a twist. Once Brunch Cafe becomes more well-known, don't be surprised if you may have to wait a bit longer to be seated.
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20393 Rand Road, Kildeer, (847) 847-7120, brunchcafe.com/
Cuisine: American breakfast, brunch and lunch
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily
• Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.