UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A new restaurant specializing in breakfast and burgers is taking reservations for a special opening night next week.
Two seatings, one at 5 p.m. and one at 7 p.m., will offer the restaurant's dinner at 20 percent off.
Owner and chef Rick Rodriguez, formerly of Logan Square's Rocking Horse and Ukrainian Village's High Dive, said he picked the spot for its "up-and-coming" feel and the number of families.
The BYOB joint is along a stretch of Chicago Avenue that's seen several new businesses in the past year, including Mariano's at 2021 W. Chicago Ave., boutique Tarnish at 2024 W. Chicago Ave. and shop and event space Adhoc at 1948 W. Chicago Ave., among others.
He and brother David Rodriguez, his sous chef and business partner, have been working to open the place since before March.
"Owning my own restaurant was always my dream," Rick Rodriguez said.
Brunch choices include crab cakes, chilaquiles, omelettes and scrambles, along with plenty of sweet options, including pumpkin cinnamon roll pancakes, salted caramel pancakes, Reese's pancakes and Snickers-stuffed French toast, among other items.
"We wanted to bring our own twist on the American brunch into this neighborhood," he said.
Dinner includes burgers, sandwiches and wraps.
Rick Rodriguez said he's a big fan of breakfast-for-dinner, so he'll also feature steak and eggs along with fried chicken and waffles. Several burgers on the menu are also available "breakfast-style" with extras like eggs, avocado, hollandaise, chorizo, or even substituting french toast for a bun.
A few standouts include the house burger, made with Chihuahua cheese, chipotle mayo, guacamole and tortilla strips (the breakfast version adds scrambled eggs and chorizo), along with a Chicago-style burger, with American cheese, sport peppers, white onion, tomato, celery salt and sweet relish. Definitely no ketchup on that one, he said.
There's also the horseshoe burger, a burger served on Texas toast and topped with fries, bacon bits and pepper jack sauce. Breakfast style substitutes chipotle hollandaise sauce and adds a sunny-side up egg.
Early menus showed burger prices ranging from $10.50-$11, and breakfast versions add $2. Sandwiches and wraps are $9-$10, and the brunch menu items range from about $7.50-$11.
Rick Rodriguez said he hopes to later add milkshakes as well as brews from Dark Matter Coffee to the menu.
For opening night, he recommends making a reservation but said there will likely be some space on the new patio for stragglers.
After opening night, Whisk will be open for brunch daily from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. and then for dinner from 4-11 p.m. starting June 14.
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