Hidden Loop diner dishes out homemade everything

May 23, 2012 (CHICAGO)

They've had a part in several Chicago restaurants-- Spring, Green Zebra and Custom House Tavern -- and now the group brings a bright, diner where everything's homemade.

Only an ambitious kitchen can crank out three square meals a day, but Eggy's seems like it's up to the task. Located in a community just off of Lake Shore Drive, the space is somewhat hidden, but certainly, a bonus for nearby residents.

"We're just right across the street from Millennium Park, behind the Blue Cross Blue Shield building, below the new Mariano's and it's just something I think people have been wanting here," said Zach Millican, the chef at Eggy's. "Breakfast all day, but then we do lunch and in a few weeks we'll start our What's for Dinner program."

And thankfully, the "green eggs and ham" is available all day -- because what's not to like about Tasso ham, Anson Mills grits, eggs, and tomatillo sauce?

"We roast the tomatillos in-house, reduced down, that goes on top; then we put on our housemade Tasso right on top of there [and] pickled onions which we do in-house," said Millican.

Plus, they add queso fresco, slivers of radish, fresh cilantro and a few chunks of fresh avocado.

At lunch, sandwiches and salads are the norm, but consider the beer battered and fried whitefish, housed between fluffy, eggy brioche buns that are slathered with homemade tartar sauce; melted cheese is optional, but the crunchy fennel and cabbage slaw provides necessary crunch contrast.

Millican loves pasta, so his carbonara - loaded with cream and bacon - is a carb lover's dream, which he offers any time of day.

"I'm a pasta freak - I eat pasta all of the time - kind of just made sense to me: onions, bacon… things you have at breakfast; why don't we just offer it as a different breakfast item?" he said.

It's a diner, so customers can't forget about something sweet: thick and creamy milkshakes are made-to-order, and the impressive cakes - like a decadent coconut version - are all made by the pastry chef at Custom House Tavern, Eggy's sister restaurant.

"Everything gets brought over in the morning, and if we sell out in the morning we bring over another shipment in the afternoon, so everything's incredibly fresh," said Millican.

The cakes rotate frequently.

The owners are opening a French bistro in the same complex in about a week or so, called Maison.

333 E. Benton Pl.
(773) 234-3449

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