In the kitchens of Blueberry Hill's five suburban outposts, cooks forgo lazy morning lounging to pull together homey assortments of timeless brunch fare. Pancakes infused with fruit or sweets are made from scratch, much like hand-knitted socks or hand-painted report cards. French-toast slices get stuffed with apple and cream cheese, smothered in fruit, or rolled in Cap'n Crunch. Fresh meats and veggies take cover under eggs in savory skillets, and a selection of sandwiches quells cravings in handheld form.
Shortly after the grand opening of Calla Lily Cafe, Natalie Stevens of the Oswego Patch sat down with Pedro and Dee Lopez—the husband-and-wife team behind Oswego’s newest eatery—to find out what made their business tick. The pair mused about their family’s string of restaurants and bars out in California, citing how they’ve always dreamed of doing the same. However, Calla Lily—named after the Lopez’s favorite flower—isn’t a bar; it’s a cozy and comfortable breakfast spot. Platefuls of multigrain pancakes, thick-cut french toast, and belgian waffles share menu space with hearty egg skillets, omelets, and biscuits and gravy. Customers not in the mood for breakfast can opt for lunch items such as triple-decker club sandwiches, half a dozen kinds of burgers, and fresh salads, before thinking long and hard about why they weren’t in the mood for breakfast.
Four Beans Coffeehouse's baristas sate the ping of caffeine cravings with a bevy of flavorful fresh-brewed coffees, fine teas, and baked goods. Cool overheated summer stomachs with an iced caramel macchiato ($3.90 medium; $4.30 large), or stoke the fires of creative frenzy with a hot mocha ($3.50 small; $4 medium; $4.50 large). Quick eats, such as the croissant sandwich ($2.99) with egg salad, tuna salad, or chicken salad, banish midday munchies. A cup of French press tea ($3.95) comes in over 80 varieties, served in a porcelain cup and saucer that take turns politely engaging customers in philosophical debates. For take-home orders, bean buffs can purchase blends from all corners of the actually round world, including the Ethiopian Harrar, a complex medium roast with hints of blueberry and cinnamon flavor, or the Tanzanian Peaberry, a mellow companion.
Limestone Coffee & Tea's organic, fair-trade coffees are brewed with beans from Chicago Coffee Roasters, promoting feelings of health and responsibility with each sip from the classic coffee menu. Caffeinate a morning with a double latte ($2.90) or a cup of the daily brew ($1.60/12 oz.), or enhance a standard teatime with Green Walnut tea, a smooth green tea mixed with coconut and halved walnuts ($1.75/12 oz.). To combine solid sustenance with luxury beverages, peruse the light breakfast and lunch menu for café fare such as a slice of spinach-and-feta quiche ($4.16) and an herbed bacon bagels, an everything bagel crowned with onions and bacon ($5.50).
The 50 flavors of frozen yogurt at Yumz are packed with bold flavors and healthful probiotics. They are also made with fat-free, natural ingredients, yielding healthful treats that mimic sensations ranging from biting into a slice of watermelon to eating the huge red velvet cake that toppled onto your legs and trapped you in the kitchen. The selection of more than 70 toppings includes strawberries, brownies, Snickers, cheesecake bites, and Oreos, and patrons can also build their own combinations for the world to see with an online platform.
There's a place in Naperville where the train station resides just down the street from a medieval castle, inhabited by a society of young pirates and princesses. In a nearby oasis, a council of giants confers over bitter potions and sweet nectars until, at their leisure, they scoop up their diminutive wards and carry them off to their home kingdoms. This haven, Cafe N Play, maintains the balance between playtime and parenthood with a vast tract filled with toys and play structures, all adjacent to a WiFi-equipped lounge serving fair-trade coffee, organic drinks, and foodstuffs friendly to any diet. Kids 6 and younger hone their imaginations on wooden trains and a town of intricately detailed buildings. The kid-friendly staff also hosts birthday parties, furnishing private rooms and necessities such as pizza, invites, and utensils.