Brunch at Nana Organic
|December 13, 2012||Posted by jcogswell1 under Breakfast/Brunch, Chicago Young Foodie Spots|
Last month, Tommy was watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, and saw a restaurant located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago called Nana Organic. What caught Tommy’s eye was the fact that not only did all the food look amazing, but everything was organically and locally sourced. Knowing how I feel about “lorganic” food, Tommy immediately put this on the “restaurants to try” list.
Nana’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner during the weekdays and brunch and dinner on the weekends. We definitely wanted to try dinner at Nana, but we already had reservations for both nights of the weekend (one night at Pizza DOC and the other at iNG), so we opted to go on Saturday morning for brunch instead.
The space at Nana is quite large with two long, but narrow, rooms. The rooms are light and airy thanks to the floor to ceiling windows that line the restaurant. When you sit down and look through your menu, you immediately notice how important being an organic and local restaurant is to Nana.
Not only does the menu detail Nana’s restaurant philosophy, but it also informs you about where exactly (aka which farms) your food is coming from. The waitress reminded us that all of the food we would be eating was organically sourced!
I think some people have a misguided perception that organic food is “healthy” food and thus not good. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. All organic butter, cream and oil has the same amount of calories and fat as its non-organic counterparts. So if you are looking for a rich meal (which we definitely got), please rest assured that you can get it with food that produced in an environmentally friendly, non-pesticide way!
But back to the great food and drink at Nana. To start, Tommy and I ordered some brunch drinks. I ordered the roasted poblano and cheddar bloody mary which contained crop organic vodka, spicy, poblano infused tomato juice, house pickles and veggies.
This was a really unique bloody mary because not only was it absent of the traditional horseradish you find in the traditional version (which Tommy appreciated because he hates horse radish), but it also had cheddar cheese mixed into the drink itself. This added a unique flavor and I was only mildly weirded out by the small chunks of cheese that hadn’t full incorporated.
Tommy ordered a spiked hot apple cider which had a house-infused cruzan rum combined with seedling apple cider. The rum was infused with pear, raspberry, star anise, cinnamon and rosemary flavors and was oh so delicious.
The cider came steaming hot and was the perfect drink option for a cold and rainy day like we had on Saturday.
In addition to Nana’s regular menu, they also had a number of breakfast specials. One of them included a “starter” of plantain beignets that sounded too good to pass up. The waitress sealed the deal when she told us that we could order two (instead of the four listed on the menu) and that she highly recommended them.
I am typically not a donut person (which is essentially what beignet is), but these were absolutely amazing. The beignets themselves were doughy on the inside and just barely crisp on the outside thanks to dip in the deep fat fryer. I also love that the beignets were not overly sweet at all. In fact, I would be surprised if they had more than just a bit of sugar in the mixture. The reason this was so important is that Nana served the beignets with a delicious sweet crème anglaise and fresh whipped cream, both of which had a nice sweetness to them. So the combination bite of beignet, crème anglaise and whipped cream was absolutely perfection. To top everything off, we finished with some crunchy plantain chips that were tasty and offered a nice contrast in texture.
For the main portion of the meal, I opted to go with the Huevos Rancheros, per the waitress’ recommendation.
The Huevos Rancheros comes with two eggs any style, crispy corn tortillas, refried pinto beans, onions, peppers, poblano cream, guacamole, queso fresco and your choice of chorizo or soyrizo (soy chorizo).
That seems like a lot of ingredients for one dish, but all the flavors really worked. This had a great balance of spice, salt and tang. In fact, I thought it was so well seasoned I didn’t add a thing – including hot sauce, which is a staple in my brunch diet.
Tommy ordered the “nanadict” which is Nana’s version of eggs benedict that comes with poached eggs, chorizo, pupusas, poblano cream, farm greens and home fries.
Tommy was nice enough to share some of this dish with me and it was also a winner. It actually had a lot of similar flavors to my huevos rancheros, so next time, I think we will mix it up a little bit. What I found to be especially great about this dish is how well the peppery arugula complimented the poblano cream and how delicious the pupusas was. A pupusas is essentially a cornmeal “disk” that in this case took the place of the traditional english muffin. It was quite flavorful and I really enjoyed the corn flavor that it brought to the dish.
Overall, the food was absolutely fantastic. The service wasn’t anything to rave about. In fact, after our waitress suggested menu items and took our order, we basically didn’t see her again. But it definitely wasn’t negative enough to put a damper on the whole experience. I can’t wait to go back again for brunch and try Nana Organic’s dinner. This is a great restaurant and definitely worth the drive (or bus ride) out to Bridgeport!