Healthy breakfasts at Kingsbury Street Cafe

February 24, 2012 9:53:55 AM PST
A two-decade old, family-run bakery added a kitchen after relocating just a few blocks from the original Near North Side location.

A landlord dispute forced the owners of Work Of Art Cakes to move directly across the street from the brand new flagship Whole Foods Store near Goose Island. The new space allows for much more than a bakery, so they added a kitchen and became Kingsbury Street Cafe.

As soon as you enter the spacious Kingsbury Street Cafe, you are greeted with a tempting display of sweets: cookies and cupcakes, muffins and mixed berry kuchens, a holdover from the owner's days at Work of Art Cakes on Halsted.

"I think we're pioneers to the neighborhood," said co-owner Rose Duong. "We've been down here for about over 25 years. Originally it's a smaller space and with small cafe, now it's much bigger."

There is room for both the bakery and the kitchen, which currently cranks out healthy breakfasts and lunches only. In the morning, giant, plump shrimp are sautéed and placed carefully over a spinach and egg white frittata. Pancakes, meanwhile, are given a swipe of lemon curd embedded with fresh blueberries.

"We wanted to bring a healthier option to breakfast," Duong said. "And offer quinoa breakfast, vegan scrambled tofu to the menu. I have been to a lot of places and some of the breakfast are very heavy and we want to offer a lighter version of it."

At lunch, Duong's Vietnamese heritage comes through in dishes like a banh mi sandwich, featuring pork belly stuffed into freshly-baked French bread. Also, a vibrant, crunchy salad containing cabbage, mint and red onions, dressed in a light cilantro vinaigrette.

"I was born and raised in Vietnam," said Duong. "We came here when I was four years old. So, a lot of the culture where I was growing up, brought up, I just added into the food"

Dinner service starts up in about a week here at Kingsbury, so it will be three meals a day. But you cannot forget about the sweets, including two of my favorites: the Sara Bernhardt, which is an almond macaroon bottom with a chocolate creamed filling, dipped in chocolate. The pistachio meringue is light and crispy and delicious.

Kingsbury Street Cafe
1523 N. Kingsbury St.
(312) 280-1718