3231 N Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
June 19, 2007
We forgot our digital camera on the day we went to the Orange restaurant, and unfortunately, all I could find to replace it was a really cheap disposable camera, so the photos aren't as high-quality as we might have liked. They still give you an idea though, hopefully.
The inside of the Orange restaurant is, as you might guess, very orange. They offer a selection of freshly squeezed juice. I had apple-grape juice. Yum.
Their specials were various kinds of candy pancakes. I was tempted to try it just for the novelty, but a stack of pancakes with chocolate and candy bar chunks in it just sounded like too much. I love sweet things, but even I have my limits. Still, it appears that the specials change regularly, so the next time we come in, they'll probably have something different.
I got the cinnamon roll pancakes. Wow, just wow. To start out with, they're enormous. I could only finish about half of these, and I'm no amateur when it comes to polishing off a plate of pancakes. Very sweet, very dense, these almost tasted more like cinnamon coffee cake than pancakes, and were covered with some sort of maple-almond flavored frosting. Joe got the chai tea French toast, which I tasted. Good stuff. I also got a side-order of sausage (though I might have skipped that if I'd known how big the pancakes would be) which was quite tasty. The sausages had a bit of a kick to them, and were less greasy than the sausage at most breakfast places.
The Orange restaurant is perfect if you want to try something new and exotic. They're certainly not your av-er-age pancakes. I can't imagine eating here regularly, though. For one thing, it's a bit pricey. For another, the food (or at least, the food we had) is intensely filling and rich. To be fair, I didn't try their normal pancakes, so I can't comment on those, but this seems like a "special occasion" type of place to me.
Joe here. We'd tried visiting Orange earlier in June, but arrived moments too late to get in before their afternoon closing. This time we were right on time, and even found a parking spot right in front of the building. I'd forgotten my camera, so we had to make due with a disposable one instead. If you want better photos, consult this photo collection or others like it on the Internet.
We started our meal with some freshly squeezed juice. Each table has a miniature pail full of pencils and slips which list all the different varieties of juice to choose from. Circle the kind you want, whether it's a blend like apple-grape, or just a plain glass of fresh orange juice, and hand it to the waitress when she comes back around. It's some of the best juice I've ever tasted, and well worth it if you're willing to indulge yourself. If you're not, you might be at the wrong restaurant.
I'd heard rumors of Orange's chai tea French toast and had just to try it for myself. Sure enough, it arrived in a bowl with baked apples on top, and sitting in a small pool of chai tea. It wasn't super sweet chai like most coffeeshops offer, but probably closer to real, authentic chai, which I've only tasted on a few occasions. This was delicious. Don't let these seemingly pretentious offerings fool you: the portions are big, and you actually get what you pay for, even if it turns out to be much more than you expected. We both struggled to finish our meals.
The obvious downside of this is that breakfast/brunch at Orange is -- regardless of the actual value of what you're getting -- fairly expensive. Our check amounted to nearly $35 or so. Hard to see for sure as the photo didn't turn out as planned. I'd love to return to Orange again someday. Their menu (which didn't resemble this at all) seems like an ongoing work in progress, at least as far as their specials. What bizarre creations will they be serving next month? If you choose to find out for yourself, just be sure to bring your appetite with you.