The Southern cooking trend couldn’t be hotter right now and for classic dishes like chicken and waffles, Lincoln Park’s Batter & Berries in Chicago delivers the trendy breakfast you’re looking for without the pretention.
Food trends create opportunities for the diner to find the exact variation of whatever dish they’re looking for. With Southern comfort-style food being popular right now in the food scene, the opportunities to find any price range and dining atmosphere grow as well. However, one thing that sets a dish apart is when it not only captures the essence of the dish but actually elevates it.
In Chicago alone, Eater Chicago mapped the “top” 20 spots to find this classic breakfast item (20!). Batter & Berries was number four on the list. After spending a morning there, it was easy to see why.
The interior was nothing particularly special: it had brightly colored walls that mimicked batter (yellow) with berry accents (purple). There was a substantial wait in line but the staff was friendly and the long lines only made you feel as if it was worth the wait. Their bustling kitchen was open and you could peek back there while waiting to see them whipping up plate after plate.
They have a menu with a lot of variety, including French toast flights, omelets, eggs Benedict, and pancakes. Their specials were also unique to the time of the year. Before New Years Eve they had mimosa french toast and a decadent lobster eggs Benedict.
The two stand-out dishes on their menu were by far the Cluck-N-Gaufre (also known as “Goof”, or chicken and waffles) and the french toast flight. Cluck-N-Gaufre was made up of a chicken-stuffed sweet potato waffle, a perfectly moist fried chicken breast, maple butter to spread on the waffle, and a light powdering of confectioner’s sugar. The combination of the salty chicken with the savory waffle and maple butter was truly a unique take on the dish. The chicken was not greasy and the waffle and butter were not overly sweet. The most unique part of the dish was the nutmeg hot sauce that topped the chicken; it hit the perfect balance of tangy and spicy.
Their French toast flight, which had strawberry, blueberry, lemon and caramel french toast with maple butter, was a nice compliment to the savory chicken dish. To top everything off, their bottomless coffee helped keep the chill away on a cold day.
In keeping with the Southern food trend, Batter & Berries just seems to be ahead of the trend. You come here to eat good, classic food without having to feel like you’re trying too hard.