Sweet Maple Cafe
Location – 1339 W. Taylor Street (Taylor and Ada)
In one word – Biscuits
Food – Although Taylor Street is better known for its Italian restaurants, Sweet Maple Café has established itself as the place to go to for brunch in the UIC/Little Italy area. If you want some shee-shee version of eggs benedict, go to a Wicker Park yupster brunch place. At Sweet Maple, stick to the basics. The menu isn’t very extensive, but anything you order will be good. The french toast is second to none, the home fries are so good I stole them off my date’s plate. Oh, and make sure you get a biscuit (as a side if necessary). Do it now, thank me later. Sweet Maple also offers a decent sandwich selection if you’re in the mood for lunch – after what I ate, I think you’d be crazy to pass up the breakfast options.
Drink – The coffee is delicious; it’s Intelligentsia, but it tastes like it’s been brewed on site. Otherwise, it’s the basics: juice, water, tea, etc.
Service – The host is a busy guy, so don’t wait for him to come to you; get inside and put your name down ASAP. Once you are seated, your wait-person will be re-filling your coffee cup often enough that you can pretty much guarantee you’ll be taken care of.
Scene – This place attracts neighborhood folk, South Loop yuppies, and all comfort-food lovers. Sweet Maple Café is not very big; there are 12-14 tables total, and only two or three seat more than 4. This makes for an unfortunately long wait due to this cozy spot’s popularity. In the summer, it’s no big deal – they have a bunch of lawn chairs that they set up outside, so take a seat and wait for the nice gentleman taking names to call out your name. In the winter, you’ll have to squeeze into the entry-way while you pass the time. Regardless, the food is well worth the wait.
Occasion – A brunch for two. With the size and popularity of this place, you’ll be waiting forever if you have a party of 4 or more.
Cost – $12-$15 per person will set you straight for brunch.
If you like…, try – Original House of Pancakes
Written by RG