Elly’s Pancake House has everything you would want out of a diner. This adorable Chicago establishment serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 24 hours of the day, but it’s best known for its morning grub, as the name implies.
I devoured the Stuffed French Toast ($8), which was filled with homemade cottage cheese and ricotta and topped with my choice of fruit. I chose strawberries and Nutella (I have officially declared the latter a fruit).
Is that picture not enough to make you drool? Yes, the meal tasted as good as it looked. My boyfriend pointed out, “that’s not breakfast; that’s dessert.” Indeed, this was quite a decadent meal to have first thing in the morning. The stuffed French toast was a sweet sandwich consisting of two slices of toast filled with a delicious custard and topped with Nutella, fresh strawberries and powdered sugar. The French toast itself and the filling weren’t overwhelmingly sweet, but halfway through the dish, I was about as stuffed as the toast!
The Nutella and strawberries were the perfect topping, but I would’ve like the fresh strawberries to have been warmed up or cooked a little because their firm texture was a bit discordant with the gooey-ness of the rest of the dish.
I think next time I would get a savory dish and share this as a dessert, because it’s really a lot to handle!
I needed caffeine that morning, so I ordered some Earl Grey tea. The tea wasn’t anything special, but I was really happy with the presentation. I liked getting my own teapot (enough for two cups) and the honey and lemon were a nice touch!
The Olé Omelette, which my boyfriend got, consisted of chorizo sausage, jalapenos, onions and cheddar. He said it was “amazing,” while dousing it in Tabasco sauce.
The restaurant’s decor is eclectic and retro, consisting of a quirky plate mosaic, light bulbs hanging from the ceilings as standalone chandeliers and mismatched chairs at every table. The chairs look like they came from a ’70s classroom. Despite their arbitrary placement, each of the chairs had a pair, if not a whole family, scattered around the restaurant. I don’t know why I felt so attached to these chairs, but I’m glad they weren’t alone!
Next time I’m in the Windy City, I will definitely come back to Elly’s, preferably at some crazy hour of the night, just because it’s open!!
101 W. North Ave (Gold Coast/Lincoln Park)
Chicago, IL 60610