Ah, the hippies. Peaceful, smelly, music lovers with flowers in their hair, incense in their hands, and mud on their feet. Normally not the crowd Bunny and Brandy would choose to hang about with (they spent most of the 1960's on a farm in Upstate New York, until it was overrun by hippies in August of 1969) but this week they made a conscious decision to hearken back to the days of peace, love, and happiness by having brunch at the Heartland Cafe in Roger's Park.
Heartland Cafe (which is the largest chunk of a three building complex that also houses a general store and a bar) is a sunny little oasis just off the Morse Red Line stop. Covered in shady trees outside and various brick-a-brack inside, it makes for an eccentric stop indeed. Our Ladies were given the choice of sitting inside, on the covered patio, or out under the trees, and as it was a glorious Chicago morning, they chose the latter.
The menu was a hodge-podge of normal breakfast fair (omelets, pancakes, and the like) with a few surprises (buffalo?) mixed in. Bunny and Brandy started with a healthy set of drinks; for Brandy a Coconut/Pineapple juice and milk and for Bunny a Mixed Berry Smoothie. Both were fresh and delicious and the perfect start to the day.
For her entree, Brandy customized a dish called The Panhandler, a mix of eggs, potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms, to which she added turkey bacon, cheese, and avocado. All together, the mix was a pleasant combo with the coolness of the avocado mixing nicely with the richness of the eggs and cheese. The Turkey Bacon was surprisingly flavorful "For a fowl pretending to be swine," as Brandy put it. Not the most impressive plate of food, to be sure, but a good mix of texture and classic breakfast flavors.
Bunny chose the Buffalo Breakfast Plate, a combo of tender slices of buffalo, sauteed with peppers, onions and served up with eggs and potatoes with a side of cornbread. The cornbread was sadly dry, very dense, and not very flavorful. The buffalo was a tad chewy, but tender and lean as buffalo should be, and the eggs were cooked well, though the potatoes were on the bland side.
At an average of $20 a person (which seemed a bit steep for only an entree and a non alcoholic drink) Heartland Cafe definitely delivered on service and atmosphere, but fell short on the actual food. Though after spending a morning relaxing on the porch or moseying through the general store, its hard to come away from Heartland Cafe feeling anything but... gooooooooovy man.