Homegrown Cafe
Go bananas: French toast at Homegrown Cafe.

Chicago loves nothing more than brunch. But in order to fight the crowds, we have to be truly inspired by a restaurant?s menu--after all, our own homemade huevos aren?t half bad.

And once we find ourselves staring at a list of scrambles and flapjacks (across a veggie-laden Bloody Mary, of course), the internal struggle inevitably begins: sweet or savory? ??At two new neighborhood spots, we?ve found favorite dishes on both sides of the line.

Sweet You?ll be tempted to order the chicken and waffles amid the rustic furnishings and country music at Lincoln Square?s farmhouse-chic Homegrown Café, but we think the real standout is the fluffy brioche French toast ($8). It comes heaped with warm bananas glazed in a buttery, cinnamon-laced sauce; there?s no more decadent way to meet your potassium quota for the day. 4343 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-477-7144 or facebook.com/pages/homegrown-cafe

?Savory The Bentley Tavern--a pretty, European-style brasserie in Lakeview where sunshine pours through elegant arched windows--puts a genius spin on a brunch classic. The Bentley?s Benedict ($12) is two perfectly poached eggs over (surprise!) moist cornbread cakes topped with creamy hollandaise and asparagus spears. 2834 N. Southport Ave.; 773-477-2283 or bentleytavern.com

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