A Little Pick Me Up

Friday, December 19, 2008

On one particularly cold and snowy night, we ran many blocks up Clark Street to find a sweet little cafe that our friend Danielle recommended. Finally, we made it to Pick Me Up Cafe and hurried in out of the cold. When I first stepped in I got a feeling of instant warmth. Not just from being indoors; the whole place felt cozy and friendly. It was not crowded that night, but some tables were full with a great mix of people. Families with small children and college-aged kids.

We were seated in a cute booth and ordered some drinks. I had hot apple cider that was crisp and sweet, and just delicious enough to make me forget about the weather outside. Gordon had a smoothie and Brynn had a delicious, rich mocha drink. They offer organic coffee and prepare beverages way better than most coffee shops.

The menu at Pick Me Up is just as diverse as its patrons. There is a full breakfast section available all the time, classic American diner food, and entrees inspired by Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisine. We started with an appetizer of cheese fries that were golden and extremely indulgent.

I tried the falafel wrap which was good and came with a side of vegetarian chili that was terrific. I could have just had a bowl of the chili to eat, it was that hearty. I felt that the falafel could have been seasoned more, but I can't complain otherwise. Gordon had a giant sandwich that was comprised of three different types of deli meats. This sandwich was nearly too tall for him to eat, but don't worry. He put up a brave fight and thoroughly decimated it. We had this meal before leaving for Christmas, and no one can remember what Brynn ate Seriously... everyone is blanking. We all got distracted because we exchanged gifts over dinner. At least that's my excuse.

The staff of Pick Me Up is comprised of hip, tattooed folks who are friendly and don't mind putting up with customers who can't decide on what to get. They will also gladly make recommendations. And you can get food from them anytime as the cafe is open 24 hours. With most entrees under $10 each, you can afford to splurge on a fancy drink or appetizer. There are many vegetarian and vegan options as well as manly and meaty items that have been Gordon-approved. Next time you're down for a good meal, find yourself a little Pick Me Up.

In Today's Review:

Pick Me Up Cafe
3408 N Clark St

Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 248-6613

Eat this burger!

Alright, I'm sneaking in a special post to tell you about this veggie burger I ate a few weeks ago. My mom came to town from Baltimore and took me to Eleven City Diner, a restaurant for which I already have much love. Their face-sized latkes and all day breakfast menu are legendary.

But I never tried the Star Veggie Burger before this trip. And it was outstanding! The burger is HUGE and is nestled in a toasted and buttery roll. It tastes like fresh bakery made bread on there. The best part is that the burger is topped with slices of cool and creamy avocado, which is just perfect. Seriously perfect. Complete with a side salad, this meal is no wussy vegetarian dish, but a hearty dinner! If you are not too hungry, splitting it for two would be a great snack.

Ok, I'm done. I just really needed to sneak that in there.

In today's mini-review:

Eleven City Diner
1112 S Wabash
Chicago, IL 60605