Windy City Times – February 14, 2022
Last year, I visited the Edgewater spot Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar, 1100 W. Thorndale Ave. for brunch—and was taken by the laid-back vibe of this spot as well as the wide selections of cool food and breakfast drinks (the latter courtesy of Jordan Reinhardt).
Well, as the saying goes, the only thing that’s constant is change. This year now sees a Pajama Brunch, with owner Daniel Barat evoking nostalgia and “whimsical fun” (as he told Windy City Times) with cartoons on the large corner television as well as punny menu names.
Consider me sold.
Items are divided under menu headings such as “Good Morning, Baltimore,” “My Favorite Things” and “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” along with “Scooby Snack Sides.”
There’s a nice list of bowls and Benedicts. For example, the Speedy Gonzales Bowl contains mushrooms, roasted tomato, pickled onion, bell peppers, potato, pesto drizzle and an over-easy egg. (My friend, a vegan, actually had cauliflower added to his dish and had the egg removed. Thank goodness each dish is customizable.) The Green Eggs and Ham Benedict—which I thoroughly enjoyed—consisted of ham, poached egg, tomato and spinach-artichoke fondue, with a side.
Other choices abound. For example, the Big Bird Breakfast Sammie consists of bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and garlic-basil mayo on brioche. Oscar Grouch’s Avo Toast adds pickled onion, radish, herbs and an over-easy egg to the standard bread/avocado combo. And Nuts & Hunny is a delightful parfait with seasonal fruit, granola and hunny, um, honey.
Thankfully, some things haven’t changed. The pastries (such as the raspberry cream-cheese muffin and an incredibly flaky apple turnover) are still delicious, but there are also items such as vegan scones that may whet your appetite.
And then there are Reinhardt’s inventive drinks. (He told me he wants to get the first Michelin stars for his coffees, and he just might.) There are Honey Nut Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles and Golden Grahams lattes (the first, naturally, laced with honey as well) and he even concocted a red-velvet latte that had a nice chocolate undertone. Then, there was the Tangerine Dream, which consists of tangerine ginger tea, vanilla syrup, orange peel and cold-brew green tea, then shaken with ice. It was amazing—although I see this more of a drink to sip outside on the patio during the summer. (Don’t take this off the menu, Jordan!) Also—yes!—bottomless mimosas are available.
No place is perfect (another certainty of life). However, Rewired—with its fun, family-friendly atmosphere; engaging menu items; and innovative, delicious drinks—comes pretty close.
More about the brunch is at rewiredcafe.com/brunch/ .
NOTE: In this day and age, some may take offense to dishes named after Gonzales and Panchito Pistoles, as they represent archaic stereotypes of the Latinx community. I—as someone who remembers those crows in the Dumbo movie—can certainly understand.
By the way, people can dine in the outdoor (and heated) “Love Shack” tent until spring. Also, in honor of International Women’s Day, on March 1-31, Rewired will feature female-owned Brewpoint Coffee and Metropolitan Brewery, and will donate 10 percent of proceeds from each coffee sale to the Chicago Foundation for Women.
Note: This visit was arranged.