Friday, July 8, 2011

Hub 51 or Hubba Hubba!

The Slow and Savory Review

After The debacle that was Roof at the Wit ("Even their capitalization is pretentious!" Brandy was heard to remark) Our Ladies decided to try their luck with Hub 51, a chic industrial themed restaurant named after its address of 51 W. Hubbard Street.  There they met someone very special, the splendiferous Mama Bee, Queen of the honey industry and owner/operator of the world famous Honey Bee Bakery.  The three were swept in off the street and given a table right away by a friendly host, given water immediately ("Thank goodness!" coughed a very thirsty Bunny) and presented with menus.

Right away, Brandy scanned for cocktails.  A rather nice variety were to be found, and for only $6 a piece, they were well worth it.  Brandy opted for the St. Germain and O.J. which was wonderfully sweet and refreshing, where as Mama Bee settled on a River North Mimosa, made with house punch to be bright and unique.

Brandy insisted on treating the others to a starter, so they opted for something called Breakfast Nachos.  Their table was presented with a gigantic plate full of fresh made tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, scrambled eggs, cheese, and hot sauce.  Everything together made for an exciting start to their meal, though Bunny and Brandy agreed that the addition of some crumbled bacon might have made the dish even more breakfasty.  "And don't forget the honey!" Mama Bee reminded them (Mama Bee is on a never ending crusade to make honey a condiment on par with ketchup and salsa.  So far she has been fairly unsuccessful on that front).  Overwhelmed by the sheer size of the portion, Our Ladies and guest had barely even made a dent before their entrees arrived.

Mama Bee, being an expert in all things sweet, picked the Skinny Cinnamon Pancakes.  The dish arrived as a hubcap sized portion, a little under dressed, but bursting with cinnamon flavor from both the cakes and the cinnamon glaze that coated the dish.  The consistency of the pancake was somewhat unique, somewhere between a crepe and a dutch pancake.  "Reminds me of my English pancakes," Bunny mused.  "Needs honey," Mama Bee chirped between chews.

Bunny's choice was the Baked Apple French Toast, with which she was very pleased.  The apples were warm and deliciously caramelized, but not too sweet.  The toast itself was a little on the dry side, but still rather tasty in combination with the apples.  "Would you like some honey with that, dear?" Mama Bee asked, pulling a honey straw from her bag.  Bunny politely shook her head.

Brandy's breakfast consisted of the Truffled Egg Sandwich.  Again served in a huge portion (Brandy, who usually finishes her dishes without blinking an eye, was only able to conquer one half of the sandwich) it came served with a side of thinly cut and uniquely spiced fries, which Brandy had to hover over for fear of Mama Bee trying to slather them in honey.  The sandwich itself, which was served on a giant slab of artisan bread that housed melted brie between a scrambled egg that had been cooked in truffle oil, was filling and pleasant, but became bland after a few bites.  "A touch of vegetables may have helped to break it up a bit," Brandy mused, to which Mama Bee responded, "I know what might pep up that sandwich, a little bit of-"  "NO!  Thank you,"  Brandy interrupted her.

With near perfect service, good pleasing food in humongous portions, and a sophisticated but not unfriendly atmosphere, Hub 51 had Bunny and Brandy leaving in a much better mood than they came in with.  The lesson learned this week is that there is no room for empty hype and gimmickry when it comes to a good brunch.  Our Ladies would rather have a friendly staff and comforting food over sky high views any day.  You can rest assured, dear reader, that the smiles across Our Ladies faces upon exiting Hub 51 were indeed genuine, as was their haste to pull Mama Bee from the restaurant before she had finished asking to see the head chef about adding a "Honey Glazed" section to the menu.

The Short and Sweet Review

Hub 51 on Urbanspoon

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