Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mmmm, breakfast (Blackberry's Pancake House, Tinley Park)

Greek-owned/themed diners and brunch spots are a dime a dozen. In fact, there are probably at least a dozen on LaGrange between 135th and 179th St. If you count the ones just off LaGrange I've been to at least five.

But Blackberry's (9536 179th St, Tinley Park) is just a notch above most of these, I gotta say.

I needed an easy place to meet my family on their return from the Quad Cities. Didn't want to make them go too far of I-80. So this place fit the bill.

It's in a smallish strip mall, across a quiet road from some cornfields and maybe a mile off I-80. It was pretty busy on Sunday around noon, but not slammed and we were seated pretty quickly. The decor is nice, and seating is a bit crowded but relatively comfortable.

The menu is huge, but with some nice twists over the typical stuff -- seems like 85%+ of these greek diners and pancake houses have the same menu, you know? But Blackberry's has variations on French toast (nut-crusted, with Bananas Foster), omelets you don't see everywhere (like bacon-avocado-jack cheese) and tasty-sounding skillets, plus wraps, burgers, chicken, etc., etc.

I had a veggie skillet (I forget the precise name of it) that came with broccoli (which I opted out of -- and there wasn't a piece in it), zucchini, mushrooms, onions, roasted red peppers and goat cheese with hash browns and two eggs (plus toast or pancakes). The veggies were roasted perfectly, the eggs were just right and it was the perfect portion size to feel full but not gluttonous -- although I did not finish my toast, and pancakes would've been too much.

I also tried a little of my brother's chicken-rice soup; he got a big bowl along with his burger and fries (not just a little cup) and it was really creamy and delicious.

Service was friendly, coffee was refilled promptly; they seemed a little scattered but I can imagine a busy Sunday morning will do that to you.

Basically, the next time we need a place for a brunch with my in-laws, I'm going to suggest Blackberry's -- it's a nice change from the generic "pancake houses" of the world.

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