Restaurants in Chicago’s Southland: Blueberry Hill, Homewood

I met a work friend for a “retirement celebration” for breakfast Sunday morning. She ordered crepes with blueberries and topped with yogurt, granola, and fruit. This was only the second time in her life she’d had crepes. The first time was the day before, Saturday. She tells me they were good. The dish certainly looked delicious.

My choice was the Blue Plate Special: two fried eggs over easy, sausage links, and pancakes. At best, I can say that my choice was “uninspiring.” Sure, there’s not too much one can do to eggs and sausage unless they’re in an omelet or skillet. I went with pancakes as I like them and I haven’t made them for 3-4 years (at least), rationalizing all the carbs as a “treat.”

These were large, but no treat. Tasteless, even topped with butter and “hot syrup.”

Insipid.

This is more like what I had in mind:

Pancakes @ Luella’s Southern Kitchen on Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL

Unfortunately, Blueberry Hill isn’t unique in much too often mediocre food. Supposedly, there are some further west in Tinley Park, Mokena, and Orland Park which get raves from folks I work with. Gail suggested Homewood and I came up with Blueberry Hill which I tried more than 20 years ago when it opened. And certainly which should be a mecca of good food. It certainly has the vibe for it. But there just aren’t a lot of restaurants to choose from outside the usual fast food and carry out joints.

I understand why we don’t have a Luella’s or finer upscale casual or even fine dining (Le Voute, also in Homewood, being an exception). It’s got a nice sized population, 20,000 people which is not bad for a suburb. But for the type of food I’m after, you need a sizeable population with a good segment of “finer eating” aficionados plus “tourist types>.”

Still, am still holding out that Batter and Berries, on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago finds a way to finally get here. They were supposed to move to Flossmoor, then COVID hit, eventually losing their location to another business.

French toast platter, Batter + Berries, Chicago

Perhaps, to you, the pancakes would have been perfectly acceptable. Maybe even good. Or maybe you would have chosen a menu item that sounded a lot more appetizing. Because let’s face it, doesn’t a “Blue Plate Special” sound like it’s on par with a Kmart “Blue Light Special.”

Out here, people aren’t typically looking for “fancy food,” but a restaurant in which the food is “good enough,” has good table service, and there’s enough menu choices that everyone they’ve come with will find a dish to order. What’s of paramount importance being the people and having a good time because you’re in the company of people you love and enjoy.

And in our case, the food didn’t diminish that one bit. Good company and good times. Those are the other two qualities of the Chicago Southland Foodies experience, after all.

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