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M.Henry-Worth the wait?

schaf1 May 14, 2009 11:21 AM

Heard good things about M.Henry. Is it worth the wait for a table? How"s the chow? Thanks folks.

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  1. w
    wineme RE: schaf1 May 14, 2009 12:35 PM

    It's really good food, but I've never waited for it and never will. If you get a chance, go there during the week when it's easy to get a table and decide for yourself whether you'd wait.

    1. nsxtasy RE: schaf1 May 14, 2009 02:23 PM

      I really like M. Henry for breakfast/brunch; it's one of my three favorite places to go for breakfast (along with Bongo Room near downtown, and Walker Brothers in the near northern suburbs). I've enjoyed everything I've had there, especially the "blisscakes", but also the egg dishes and the bread pudding. If I'm near Andersonville anyway, I would go there, absolutely, and yes, it's worth waiting for a table. If I'm not near Andersonville, I'm not sure I would take the time to make a special trip there AND spend time waiting for a table; I would be more likely to find someplace close to where I am otherwise spending time.

      There are ways to avoid waiting to be seated. One, as noted by wineme, is to go during the week. I'm not sure whether Saturdays are as busy as Sundays, either. You can also go on the early side; the last time I went there, it was on a Sunday, and there was no waiting when we arrived around 8:45, but there was a significant wait by the time we left around 9:45-10:00.

      My other strategy to avoid waiting is, if I want to have brunch on a Sunday and I don't want to go really early, I'll go to a place that accepts reservations (such as Big Jones if I'm in Andersonville). And again, keep the non-reservation places like M. Henry and Bongo Room for weekday breakfasts.



      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy
        Gweck RE: nsxtasy May 14, 2009 04:00 PM

        I think it's great and if you aren't pressed for time that it is worth the wait. You can usually go in and get a coffee and relax and wait. I feel like waiting for a seat for brunch with friends isn't so bad, gives us even more time to chat and catch up. If you go, enjoy!

      2. chicgail RE: schaf1 May 14, 2009 06:29 PM

        It's your time and you have to decide how to use it.

        I always figure that if a place is crowded, it's because it's worth it in some way -- great food, lots of food, good value, etc. And conversely, if it's empty, it's because it doesn't have any of those.

        M. Henry is excellent, but only you can decide if you want to spend your time waiting. As someone else mentioned, no wait most weekdays. Or bring the Sunday paper. And of course minimal wait at home when you make your own brunch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chicgail
          jbw RE: chicgail May 15, 2009 07:21 AM

          With M. Henry I have found that the more crowded it is, the less pleasant the experience becomes. In my case, it's primarily been a service issue, long waits to place orders and, more long waits to get food, even after a dish, apparently, has been made. Hanging around waiting to be delivered is not the best treatment for an omelette. If you're making a special trip, I'd take the advice of the above and go on a weekday or an off-hour.

          1. re: jbw
            chicgail RE: jbw May 15, 2009 04:41 PM

            The waits are pretty long on relatively quiet weekdays as well. I don't remember them being that much longer on weekends. I tend to write it off to that everything is fixed to order, but maybe it's that the waitstaff is too small (not that they are little-bitty waiters, but that there are too few of them).

        2. i
          iphonechica RE: schaf1 May 18, 2009 03:25 PM

          I live near M. Henry and it used to be a regular stop for us (me, my husband and various friendly neighbors). To be honest, we don't go there anymore. If the food lived up to the wait, I would wait, but the food hasn't been that good.

          I mentioned this previously, so sorry for repeating myself, but I have a problem with a place that specializes in breakfast, but can't cook eggs properly. It's really troublesome. I've even been specific in my request. I like my eggs cooked over-medium, which to me (and most everyone), runny yolk, but fully cooked white. Well, M. Henry doesn't cook them that way...and they are predominately undercooked when I've ordered it that way. So, I've adapted. I've requested a runny yolk, with a firm white. And still, I get gelatinous, under-cooked white. That's just not right to me. They really need to improve their egg cookery.

          Also, the service has gone down hill. There are one or two servers who come to mind that are attentive, but there are quite a few more that perform consistently less than average.

          It's too bad. I would otherwise enjoy the breakfast sandwich (fried egg (supposedly cooked over-medium), gorgonzola cheese, sliced tomato, crisp bacon on toasted sourdough).

          We now drive down to Nookie's Tree for breakfast. I know it's a totally different neighborhood, but they DO know how to cook eggs properly. (Can't wait until they open the new location on Bryn Mawr!) Also, I think their coffee, hashbrowns and service are better. Maybe not as adventurous of a menu. TBT, I would rather walk to breakfast than drive, but I prefer properly cooked eggs I guess!

          2 Replies
          1. re: iphonechica
            schaf1 RE: iphonechica May 18, 2009 04:41 PM

            Thanks for your detailed post. Has it made a difference if you go/went on weekends or weekdays?

            1. re: schaf1
              iphonechica RE: schaf1 May 19, 2009 09:34 AM

              In my experience, no difference.

              I will say this, the patio is a really lovely spot. Too bad the food is spotty.

          2. b
            BRB RE: schaf1 May 18, 2009 06:44 PM

            Go to M. Henry, and if the wait is long, try Uncommon Ground on Devon . . . very close to M. Henry. Personally, I prefer Uncommon Ground for brunch when it comes to savory items. However, if you prefer sweets for breakfast, I believe M. Henry offers better options. Here's a link to Uncommon Ground's website: http://www.uncommonground.com/

            1. a
              alaskafisherman RE: schaf1 Oct 30, 2011 10:50 AM

              Breakfast there a week ago Saturday, party of 6. Waited only a few minutes, no reservation. Food was great, service too. Only quibble is that the room is noisy. We got over it. Worth a little wait if you're not rushing for a plane. I'll eat there again next time in Chicago for breakfast.

              3 Replies
              1. re: alaskafisherman
                ferret RE: alaskafisherman Oct 30, 2011 02:56 PM

                This is one of those places where timing is everything. If you can get there before 9-9:30 you can usually get seated quickly. It's not for everyone but my wife and I tend to be early risers, even on the weekends, so 9 is mid-morning for us.

                1. re: ferret
                  alaskafisherman RE: ferret Oct 31, 2011 11:22 AM

                  We arrived at 10:05.

                  1. re: alaskafisherman
                    umieesa RE: alaskafisherman Nov 8, 2011 02:20 PM

                    We went to M. Henrietta on our trip to Chicago in June (I'm from Toronto) and I can tell you even though we went during a weekday with absolutely no wait, it is WORTH THE WAIT! I dream about going back to Chicago for a few things, and blisscakes are one of them! Just reading this makes me want to go =(

                    You won't be disappointed!

                    M. Henrietta
                    1133 West Granville, Chicago, IL 60660

              2. r
                RileyCat RE: schaf1 Nov 8, 2011 02:26 PM

                Food's delicious, the wait is worth it for me. And for those that have suggested trying it during the week, I'm fairly certain that their weekend brunch menu is different (and better) than their everyday breakfast menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RileyCat
                  nsxtasy RE: RileyCat Nov 8, 2011 02:55 PM

                  >> I'm fairly certain that their weekend brunch menu is different (and better) than their everyday breakfast menu.

                  It's true. Both menus are shown on their website; the brunch menu is served on Sundays only, and the breakfast menu is served the other days. They always have some kind of blisscakes during the week (they vary by fruit), and usually 2-3 kinds on Sundays. One of my favorite dishes is their "out of this world bread pudding"; it's only on the Sunday brunch menu, not the breakfast menu, but it's usually offered as a daily special on Saturdays.

                2. i
                  igorm RE: schaf1 Nov 9, 2011 07:59 AM

                  If you hesitate going there because of the wait, go to Marmalade on corner of Damen and Montrose. Very good breakfast selections and they were inspired by M. Henry.

                  M. Henry
                  5707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: igorm
                    nsxtasy RE: igorm Nov 9, 2011 08:16 AM

                    Marmalade was more than just inspired by M. Henry; an ex-chef of M. Henry helped create the menu there. However, you'll find that the waits at Marmalade on weekends are already just as long as at M. Henry.

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