Meb Byrne

Archive for the ‘diner’ Category

Niko’s Breakfast Club

In american, breakfast, chicago, diner, treasure trove on July 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Niko’s Breakfast Club isn’t a place you only visit once. Lodged in a strip mall off the main drag in Oak Lawn, Illinois, just outside Chicago, Niko’s draws biker gangs and big families alike with its extensive menu and breezy atmosphere.

Niko’s décor is downright fowl. A motley crew of chicken statuettes festoons the entire restaurant. Multicolored wooden chickens with spindly legs and iron weathervane roosters perch high on the cheery walls of yellow and green, while plump ceramic hens squat sunnily along banks of booths, upholstered in a kitschy floral. A neon Marilyn Monroe hangs over the dinette bar, where waitresses refill coffee quickly and with a smile.

Just as the furnishings at Niko’s extol the virtues of the chicken, its menu waxes poetic about the egg. Four pages devote themselves to cleverly branded categories, including Egg’straordinary Omelettes, Egg’citing Scramblers, and Egg’stremely Satisfying, a decadent litany featuring hollandaise in every dish. Even the children’s menu pays homage to our feathered friends, with the Little Rooster entrée of eggs, toast and hash browns.

Niko’s globetrots its way toward the toothsome, pleasing all palettes while tweaking traditional dishes and having a little fun in the process. The Irish Benny plays along nicely with the German Breakfast, and southwestern frittatas settle easily beside Eurocentric crepes and blintzes. A dozen unique combinations of hearty meats and eggs gratify the hungryman, while the health-conscious can pore over an equal number of oatmeal concoctions and mammoth egg-white omelets bursting with veggies. The playful category Toast Egg’strod’naire even forks over an array of desserts in breakfast’s clothing, including the saccharine Pecan Roll French Toast and the even more immoderate Banana Split French Toast.

No matter your proclivity, Niko’s dishes up solid, inventive ways to start your day. Bring a group and an appetite, and get ready to pass your plates around.

Niko’s Breakfast Club is located at 4002 West 111th Street in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Phone: (708) 422-3344. Open daily, 6 am – 3 pm.

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The All Night Egg Plant

In breakfast, brunch, diner, recommended, restaurant, syracuse on August 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Syracuse can be a tough town for foodies, especially if you’re looking for something more than a chain restaurant (read: Erie Boulevard.) Visiting foodies should acquaint themselves with The All Night Egg Plant to appease their diner-hungry stomachs.

The Egg Plant’s success lies in its simplicity, allowing patrons to make what they will of the restaurant. Early morning coffee? Early afternoon brunch? Late night munchies? The Egg Plant satisfies all criteria, with a simple menu of tried-and-true dishes, fresh ingredients and straight-forward service. The popular omelets can be stuffed with up to three ingredients, from a large list that ranges from traditional (cheddar, ham) to eclectic (lox, hash) to downright weird (chocolate syrup, peanut butter, assorted berries.) Strange combinations often work well; be adventurous! A similar, if slightly less bizarre, assortment of pancake flavors and toppings are equally scrumptious. Even the chocolate milk is made to order.

The prices are modest, the atmosphere calm and welcoming. The crowd runs the gamut in age and ethnicity, making the open dining room lively during peak hours. With such great breakfast basics, there’s no reason not to make The All Night Egg Plant a staple of your Syracuse dining experience.

Recommended.