Ladies Who Brunch

Review: Uncle Mike’s Place by Benjamin
January 5, 2009, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,
Filipino bacon ham

Filipino bacon ham

Craving a new breakfast experience close to our secret headquarters, the ladies who brunch headed out on a Saturday morning to Uncle Mike’s Place. Uncle Mike’s is pretty much your standard diner, with prices to match, but they do one thing better here than at your grand slam breakfast spot: Meat.

In addition to the regular American breakfast items, Mike offers up a few traditional Filipino breakfasts, featuring tocino,a sweet, bright red cured pig product, and longaniza, the Phillipine’s Spanish inspired garlicky chorizo.  We got the tocino, but subsituted hash browns for the typical garlic fried rice.  Neither of us was quite ready to have rice for breakfast.  The tocino was amazing and I left totally craving more of it.  It’s sweeter than regular bacon, but fattier and more flavorful than most ham.  You get a huge portion of it, too, which I’m sure is far from healthy, but more than welcome.  The filipino dishes are also accompanied by the tradtional island condiment sasawan, which looks deceptively like pico de gallo but taste more like vinegar with fish sauce–surprisingly good with eggs and hash browns.

The menu made some pretty bold claims regarding its marinated skirt steak, so we tried that as well. Does it ever make you suspicious when a restaurant claims to have “Chicago’s Best” anything? I rarely get steak and eggs so I have little basis for comparison but Uncle Mike’s puts together a stellar version. We ordered the full steak, which arrived at the table looking like it was easily 30 oz.

The dripping grease means its good

The dripping grease means its good

If you’re a steak purist who believes nothing should touch a piece of beef but salt and pepper, you’ll probably hate this steak. If you treat most food as an opportunity to soak up some condiments, however, this is the skirt steak for you. It came with eggs, toast, and fairly unremarkable hashbrowns, but I doubt I would have noticed if they never arrived. The steak held me in thrall.

Mike’s was pretty much packed to the gills when we arrived, a good mix of families, streets and sanitation guys on their lunch break, and a couple giant tables of 12-15. If a group that big settles on a restaurant, it probably has something to please everyone, so I take it as a pretty good sign. The service managed to keep up with the rush and even though our food took awhile, our coffee got refilled plenty of times, and we always come packin’ crossword puzzles anyway.

Here’s the breakdown:

+ 20 points for two hot sauces

+ 5 bonus points, no tabasco

+ 5 bonus points, one sauce was mexican

+31 points, one for each time our coffee was refilled

-32 points, the coffee was really awful

+ 25 points for having the balls to put Spam on the menu

-25 points for actually putting it on menu

Final score: 29 points X $25 for 2 diners / 33 (number of points Ben Gordon scored against the Hawks on the day in question) = 21.96 points


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