Archive for November, 2011

Nana

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Nana
3267 S. Halstead St
Chicago, IL  60608

Good food : 4.5/5 | Good Service : 3.5/5

A recent weekend trip into Chicago had us stopping for breakfast at Nana. We had recently watched Guy Fieri’s ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives‘ show and were intrigued by their duck confit biscuits and gravy  (one of the featured specialties) & decided we had to try them for ourselves.

Nana sits on the corner of W. 33rd St. and S. Halstead in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. Since this is a mostly residential area, parking is a little challenging during the day, but you can find free street parking off of one of the side streets if you’re willing to walk a couple of blocks.

 

The open kitchen area allows you to see the dishes being plated and prepped, tempting you to change your order after you’ve placed it. A small bar toward the front of the restaurant allows diners to have their food and drink at the same time. The main dining area runs along the front corner area of the window storefront, and a back room allows dining for larger groups.

We ordered 2 entrees and several sides so that we could satisfy our cravings.

Nanadict

Cherry French Toast

Nanadict : This is Nana’s Mexican interpretation of the Eggs Benedict breakfast dish. 2 pupusa-like corn cakes take the place of the traditional English muffin halves to host housemade chorizo sausage crumbles. Each pupusa is then topped with a gently poached egg and covered with a poblano crema sauce. Home fries and a small helping of tossed spring greens complete out this dish.

Cherry stuffed french toast : one of their seasonal menu items, the 2 pieces of egg toast surround a fruity buttercream filling center, which contains dried cherries. The toast is dipped on one side in egg and fried on the flat top griddle, and the completed toast structure is then topped with dried cherries and fresh huckleberries, slivered almond slices and raspberry syrup, with a light dusting of powdered sugar. A side dollop of chocolate whipped cream completes out the dish. It almost felt like we were eating a decadent dessert cake instead of breakfast.

Sides : biscuit and duck confit gravy, poblano-cheddar grits and house maple-dijon bacon.

Biscuits with duck confit gravy

Cheddar grits with maple bacon

The duck confit and fluffy biscuits brings the traditional biscuits and gravy dish to a higher plane. The richness of the duck confit fat creates an unctuous mouth feel to the lumpless poultry gravy, and the hand-rolled/hand-cut fluffy square biscuits melt in your mouth.

The maple-dijon flavoring on the bacon slices is subtle. The bacon slices were fried a wonderful crispy brown and had an extra sheen and oil feel to them. We were debating whether these had been deep-fried in duck confit or done on the flat griddle and basted. Either way, these bacon strips were wonderfully crunchy and crispy, with no chewy/gummy fat portions.

The only disappointment was the grits – the cheddar cheese created a slight grainy mouth feel to the creamy grits from the cheese breaking down, and the hubbie didn’t like the bits of poblano slivers mixed into the grits. The poblano does provide a nice layer of spicy sweet and I did not mind chewing on the slivers.

The hubbie ordered a mocha, and was pleasantly surprised with the usage of Mexican cinnamon in the chocolate addition.

Service was a little on the slow side, but this could be attributed to allowing the diners to enjoy their food vs. trying to turn over tables.