By The Black Foodies
Chef Jamie Gilmore, owner of Lizzy J Café, located at 2205 West Montrose Avenue in Lincoln Square, is a New Jersey transplant who has fallen in love with Chicago. She shared with us that the support and acceptance she and Lizzy J Café have received has reassured her that Chicago was the right choice for her relocation and establishment of her new café. Lizzy J’s is a small, quaint café that’s cranking out some impressive and delectable brunch dishes. In the words of Chef Gilmore, “It’s an opportunity for people to come out and feel like you’re in your grandma’s kitchen – food you are familiar with but with a different twist.” The Black Foodies are delighted to offer you our commentary on Lizzy J Café.
We started things off with Lizzy J’s take on eggs benedict, their Crabby Benny. The dish consisted of a poached egg, sautéed spinach, with a crab cake perched atop an English muffin, drizzled with their signature ‘crabby hollandaise’ sauce. This jaw-dropping dish aptly showcased the deftness Chef Gilmore exhibits in her kitchen. We loved every bite! The eggs were perfectly poached, adding a ‘yolky’ goodness and, when combined with their hollandaise sauce, created a magical condiment that added yet another spark to this amazing dish. The crab cake was huge without an overabundance of filler, and we really appreciated having the flavorful chunks of lump crab being prominent and taking center stage. When ordering this dish, we suggest that you request that your English muffin be toasted just to add some texture; but, otherwise, this Crabby Benny hit on all the right notes. Yummy!
Up next was Freddy’s Favorite Chicken and Waffle. We forgot to ask Chef Gilmore, “Who is Freddy?”… so, make sure that you do. The waffle was sweet potato infused, topped with a piece of fried chicken (white or dark meat) and a hot sauce spiked syrup. Miss Coretta loved the preparation of the waffle. It was light and airy on the inside while the exterior featured a delicate crispiness, with a hint of sweet potato as a back note. For a tasty bonus, tiny nuggets of sugar pearls had been added to the batter, an extra sweet component that we both loved. The chicken thigh (love that dark meat) was perfectly fried – crisp and juicy. The spicy syrup tied the dish together, making it a scrumptious and well-balanced delight. Do yourself a favor and order Lizzy J’s chicken and waffle. Hopefully, you’ll love them as much as Freddy…we sure did!
We wrapped up our dining experience at Lizzy J Café with a serving of Shrimp & Grits. The dish was composed of hominy grits, brown butter Creole gravy, andouille sausage (chicken or pork) and, of course, shrimp. Being the perfect, creamy consistency (not too runny…not too firm), the grits were the ideal accompaniment to all the different flavor profiles. The brown butter Creole gravy – which we felt was more like a sauce – proved to be just another testament to the fact that Chef Gilmore knows her craft well. The brown butter added nuttiness, giving way to a true depth of flavor, and the shrimp were expertly prepared. The chicken andouille sausage had a nice snap, its smokiness providing yet another layer of flavor. When combined together into one bite, these shrimp and grits surpassed our expectations, delivering a delicious, tantalizing, satisfying bite. Job well done, Chef Gilmore!
Lizzy J Café has been open less than six months, a new kid on the block in Chicago’s very competitive brunch scene. We found Chef Gilmore’s culinary creations well up to the task of making Lizzy J Café one of Chicago’s favorite brunch destinations. So, let’s give this Jersey girl a warm Chicago reception, stop by soon to treat yourself to a tasty and satisfying meal, and be sure to tell her that The Black Foodies sent you!
We rank restaurants based on number of kisses (one thru five). One…two…three…four, with five being the best. Lizzy J Cafe receives 5 kisses. Check out the video of our review https://youtu.be/F89boSejXOc
The Black Foodies are food bloggers/vloggers and husband and wife of 27 years. We are also home cooks who believe in group economics and LOVE great food. We write the food blog ‘Let’s Eat’, where we review Black-owned and other ethnic restaurants. FOLLOW us on Instagram and Twitter @theblackfoodies, SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel ‘The Black Foodies’, where we review restaurants, share recipes, and give cooking tips. https://youtu.be/f-VI-7dqWLg. Also LIKE us on Facebook and join our Facebook group, ‘World Wide Black Foodies’.
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