WESTERN SPRINGS – In recent years, brunch has evolved from a right of passage among weekend warriors to the second meal of the day; and nobody in the Chicago suburbs is currently doing brunch better than Solstice in Western Springs.
The brain child of La Grange Park brothers Lucas and Matt Bumba, Solstice promises more than the traditional diner, offering farm to table dishes such as specialty omelets and chicken and waffles and a rotating seasonal menu.
After opening in 2015 as a breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch spot, Solstice has since expanded its service for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Nestling in downtown Western Springs at 800 Hillgrove Ave., the Solstice dining room can comfortably accommodate about 40 patrons while another 25 diners can eat on the front patio.
Eager to try to weekend brunch menu, I set my sights on a Saturday at Solstice in early August.
Upon first arrival, we were immediately greeted by the hostess while taking in the industrial feel of the dining room, which featured exposed ductwork, high ceilings, and sleek tables and chairs.
The restaurant was noticeably full, but we were quickly seated and immediately dove into the menu. The current brunch offerings consist of salads and starters, egg dishes, "the classics," biscuit sandwiches and traditional sandwiches.
We began with the loaded fries, a mouthwatering bed of hand cut french fries and deep fried cheddar cheese curds smothered in homemade ranch and diced bacon. While not for the faint of heart, the loaded fries are great for sharing and almost guaranteed to cure your weekend woes or Sunday blues.
Moving on to the main course, I selected an omelet while my friend had the cheeseburger and we split a grilled cheese for good measure.
Brunch at Solstice features two omelets on the menu, a chef's omelet and a veggie omelet, and both differ every day depending on the season and available meats and vegetables. I went with the daily chef's omelet, which consisted of a a delectable portion of thinly sliced steak, cheddar cheese, and sauteed onions and green peppers. It was served alongside Solstice potatoes and your choice of toast.
Not to be outdone is the Solstice Sunrise Burger. A 21-day dry age patty topped with house bacon, cheddar cheese, sauce and a sunny side egg on a pretzel bun, my friend gave the burger two emphatic thumbs up, calling it a nice "mid-morning spin on an American classic."
"It was a thinner patty that was perfectly with a little crunch and texture on the outside with a little pink in the middle," she said. "Adding an egg, bacon and cheese is a great excuse to eat a cheeseburger in the morning"
Our eyes may have been a bit larger than our appetites, but that did not detract from the deliciousness that is the Solstice grilled cheese. Served with either fries, house potatoes or a salad, the grilled cheese features cheddar, Swiss, chevre oozing out of two slices of sourdough. To brighten up the dish, we asked our waitress to add a couple slices of tomato, and she happily obliged.
Overall, the brunch experience at Solstice is tough to beat – the service is friendly and attentive, the atmosphere is lively and the food is top-notch.
The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Suburban Life Media. The diner's identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. Only positive dining experiences will result in published reviews.
WHERE: 800 Hillgrove Ave., Western Springs
HOURS: 7a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for Friday and Saturday dinner.
DRESS CODE: Casual
More photos online
To see more photos from Solstice, find this story online at shawurl.com/2129