Monday, August 1, 2011

Uncle Mike's Place

-Grubbing in Chicago
Where the locals eat.

We haven't ate any breakfast in a while here @chibbqking. Perfect day to head over Uncle Mike's Place on Grand ave in between Ashland and Western in the Ukrainian Village 'hood. I must of drove by this place 100's of times without ever stopping in until a rec for the place came with glowing reviews that also informed me they have a Filipino breakfast menu that is very popular with the Filipino people. They've been in the neighborhood since 1991 and have quite a loyal following and constant traffic of customers from all races all the time. Well needless to say I made my first visit some time last year and have enjoyed each visit back since then.

a favorite of many from all over on Grand ave

As we enter

Because of it's location which isn't a far drive for me and the authentic Filipino breakfast menu this is now one of my favorite places to enjoy a weekend brunch. When you go in there on a weekend day you might have a little wait but the place is big and goes all the way back so it's never a long one. You'll see couples in there as well as families with three generations at the table enjoying their meals. There's also a counter if your rolling solo and parking is never an issue. The Filipino portion of the breakfast menu is why 90% of these people are here. Mike's does breakfast and lunch but I have not been able to pass on the blackboard with the Filipino dishes. One time when I went with a friend we got some potato pancakes and sausage to share and while they were good, I wouldn't pass on the specialties of the house.

Potato Pancakes

Sausage and scrambled eggs

The menu is mostly American diner food but you'll see the little black board both on the menu and on the wall with the Filipino options. Each breakfast comes with two eggs of your choice and some of my favorite rice from anywhere, their addictive garlic rice. You have your choice of six dishes, three of which we will take a peak at today. I have yet to try the Bangus (boneless grilled monkfish), Spam or Pork Chop. I'll definitely be trying the fish and the pork chop might pass on the Spam. The other specialties of the house are the Tocino, Longaniza and skirt steak. All of which are excellent. All people dining in are offered a free cup of Lugaw, a thick creamy rice porridge with bits of chicken and some fish sauce. Very good, classic Filipino comfort food.

Complimentary Rice Porridge

My first visit there I went with what I would end up getting my next visit because I enjoyed it so much the first time. Tocino is pork shoulder cured with annato and anise. It's then thinly sliced and grilled 'til cooked thru with a crispy char on the outside. Filipino breakfasts have a tendency to be sweet and even though I'm not the biggest sweet toothed man out there I love this dish. I like to take the garlic fried rice which I mentioned is just great and mix it all up with cut up pieces of pork and my over easy eggs all tossed together into one. Then I add the pico de gallo which also comes with each meal and jump on in.

Tocino Breakfast from Uncle Mike's

Next up is the Loganiza which is a sweet chorizo sausage made with anise and wine. You get three nice sized pieces on your plate along with the rice and two eggs. The sausage has a firm texture with some garlic flavor with a little sweet taste mixed in and really hits the spot. I know a few Filipinos who will get this dish a couple times a month from Mike's. If you cant decide between the sausage or pork shoulder just get the combo which comes with both.

Loganiza breakfast from Uncle Mike's

The insides

After my first few visits I was finally able to try what Mike's labels "the best damn marinated skirt steak east of Pecos". Being the big time skirt steak fan that I am this was a dish on my 'must try list' as soon as I first saw it. Knowing how good the previous Filipino breakfasts were and how much I love the garlic fried rice and enjoy a steak with eggs at anytime, I had a good feeling about this dish. You can get it in a full order (12 oz) or half but at $13.95 you might as well go whole and save what you cant finish should there even be anything left. Just like I do with the Tocino I mash it all up with cut up pieces of skirt steak thrown in. Also included was some sort of sweet tasting refried bean? dish. Not exactly sure what it was but damn this is my type of breakfast. Good stuff indeed and well worth checking out.

Skirt Steak and Eggs breakfast from Uncle Mike's

Uncle Mike's Place
1700 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 226-5318

Uncle Mike's Place on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

That wasn't refried beans, it's a chocolate rice pudding. Awesome.

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