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Apr 10, 2007 07:24 AM

Best Brunch Bets: Meritage Cafe, Sweets and Savories, or Erwin?

I'm looking for a nice/new (for us) brunch spot for this coming Sunday. We'll be celebrating my husband's birthday and I'm trying to make it a weekend-long celebration! I've narrowed it down to these three (but still open to suggestions)...

Would like something very, very, good and fun, but not fancy and formal (such as brunch at the Ritz or Four Seasons).

Can anyone help me make a decision?! Thank you!

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  1. Those are three excellent choices, and all fit the description of what you're looking for.

    You might try looking over their brunch menus to help in deciding. Maybe one will sound better than the others to you. All three show their brunch menus on their websites:

    7 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thank you for your feedback, nsxtasy... I actually already perused each menu and I STILL couldn't decide!

      Was wondering if you have tried these places and if so, what stands out? Each menu/venue looks great to me (we've been to Meritage twice for dinner already and have enjoyed it both times)...

      1. re: DKS1

        Yes, but not (yet) for brunch - sorry!

        1. re: nsxtasy


          i whored out basically every brunch in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area last fall. from Rodan to Bongo to Francesca to Dodo to bin wine cafe to hot chocolate to ad nausea... but NEVER made it to Meritage.

          S&S, amongst your selection is the value/price winner, especially when Clarence worked the Sundays. simple store front room, can get loud on Sundays and i really hate to talk about the brunch here because the place is already getting so darn crowded but:

          House made scones + palmiers, an extremely pungent coffee, prix-fixe, 3 courses, $16 INCLUDING a mimosa. It's already Tuesday, better make your reservation now.

          1. re: TonyC

            Thanks, TonyC, for this. I think I really am most excited about S&S (esp. since we've been to Meritage before - for dinner - and for some reason Erwin just seems like an "every Sunday" kind of place - maybe not something special)... But I like your feedback about the value/price combo - I assume the brunch you had there was pretty outstanding?

            I actually was able to get a reservation, so thankfully that shouldn't be an issue!

            Thanks again for your feedback. And if I might suggest (I'll listen, too, at some point), you should try Meritage for brunch! If it's as good as they're dinner, then it's sure to please...

            P.S. Who's Clarence?

            1. re: DKS1

              Keep in mind that the service at S&S for brunch can be a little....odd, shall we say? And though I love Chef Dave, stay away from the scones - they are too sweet by half, and more like a a cookie than a scone, and not really in a good way.

              Personally, for brunch, I'd choose Erwin, but that's just me.

              1. re: sundevilpeg

                Hmmm, interesting, sundevilpeg... What do you mean by "odd" regarding the service?

                And why do you like Erwin better?! Just curious...

                1. re: DKS1

                  Just that - odd. Having to beg for flatware to eat with, service occasionally bordering on snarly, stuff like that - stuff which NEVER occurs at dinner service. Some - not all -of the staff that works brunch just really doesn't seem to want to be there, to sum it up. Odd!

                  Erwin, on the other hand, is about as dependably good as one could ask for. Not trendy anymore, it's settled into what you could maybe call its dotage, but the food and service are consistently good. No begging for a spoon is ever necessary!

    2. Just had brunch at Sweet and Savories for the first time this past weekend. Was so disappointed with the rushed and inattentive service. Yes, the price is a bargain ($16 brunch menu) but our first course (soup) was served and approximately two minutes later, the main course was served. I had not even finished soup, and the waiter was obviously aware of the fact that he had just previously brought out the first course, as he apologized for the "chef rushing through the courses." Regardless, he left my main course on the table, so I rushed through my soup. As I began to work on my main course (which was now cold), I was even more disappointed to find that my boyfriend's pancakes had been burnt at the bottom! At this point, after 2 courses, did they then bring our rolls/ the end of the meal. The waiter did not even return once to check on the service. VERY DISAPPOINTING. Spend a little more and go somewhere else.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jmol11

        Wow, that IS disappointing - and unacceptable! I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, but thank you for reporting...

        We actually ended up choosing Erwin's for brunch on Sunday. It pretty much met my expectations, but those were neither high nor low. The service, although effecient, wasn't exactly pleasant. The food was very good, but not outstanding in a way I had hoped. We would return, but there are also many other places I'd like to try first - and many more I'd go back to before returning. Again, it was a perfectly fine experience, just not mind-blowing.

        I'd love to hear about Meritage's brunch, too, if anyone has tried it out!

        1. re: DKS1

          I think Meritage is fine, but expensive for what it is. Nearish to there I'd rather go to Hot Chocolate or Bin Wine Cafe. I live (literally) around the corner from Meritage, but don't go that often because I like other places better, and like other places better for the price.