Jojo’s Earth-Shattering Breakfast Blog

Growing up in Highland Park, the main breakfast joint was Country Kitchen. Yesterday, I went there for breakfast with my brother.

They did not disappoint.

I had an omelet with turkey sausage and American Cheese. They whip air into their omelets which makes them fluffy like a soufflé cake.

Gregor had a Belgium Waffle and thick cut bacon. They made it perfect: dark brown and crispy on the outside, yet on the inside, tender and fluffy.

The servers are lifers. They smile. They’re friendly. I love the old-school denim dresses. It gives the place a fun, easy-going atmosphere.

Max’s Deli does a banging breakfast. We learned a lot from going to Country Kitchen, all those years. They taught us to focus on the details and take chances within the minutia.

I remember when I first made the switch from traditional diner coffee to Intelligentsia. There was a small revolt from the regulars. But then we got a tidal wave of gratitude.

This is how we knew the change honored the tone which had been established by Grandpa Bernie. The trick is to tweak what needs tweaking and leave what’s already working alone.

Otherwise, it’s about ego instead of a joyful dining experience.

Truth be told, every time I go to a restaurant with Gregor, we geek-out like kids, marveling at the rhythm of success. Every room teaches us something new.

What a gift, from Grandpa Bernie to his 3-grandchildren, a room to perfect the craft of creating great food in an atmosphere where customers lingering a little too long is the surest indication you’re living-up to the dream.

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13 Responses to Jojo’s Earth-Shattering Breakfast Blog

  1. Babs says:

    While you were growing up in HP, the mommies used to meet at Country Kitchen at least once a week. That is until the owner started telling us we had to leave because he needed our table for another customer. And we were just barely finishing our meal! We weren’t the only ones he did that to. And people got pissed and he lost alot of business. Finally, he realized why he wasn’t as busy anymore and kind of apologized. A lesson learned taught by his customers! It took me about 5 years to go back as there were alot of other places to go. Just alittle history!

    • Gregor says:

      Learning is hard. I don’t care if it’s from a customer, teacher or divine intervention. Learning is hard.

      Sometimes when I’m seating people and there’s a long line, a customer will tell me to hurry up a table. I’ll usually look at them and say, “I don’t like hurrying up. You wouldn’t want me to hurry you up when you’re sitting at the table, would you?”

      They’ll usually look at me and say, “It’s different with me.” That’s pretty much how everyone feels, “It’s different with me.” And besides other options in HP, why it took Babs 5-years to forgive the owner and return to Country Kitchen.

      I sympathize with the owner of Country Kitchen. It’s difficult to make a buck on omelets and toast. But that’s the road we chose. Truth be told, I look at lingering customers as perk.

      The longer they linger, the more it says to me we’ve created a room where people feel at home. That’s the feeling I’m going for.

  2. joey says:

    I encourage them to linger cuz it makes our line longer and helps with the perception that we are always busy.

  3. Andy says:

    Walker Bros in Lake Forest the best breakfast in the United States.

    • Gregor says:

      I love Walker Bros. My favorite location is on Green Bay Road, just north of Evanston. By the way, my favorite breakfast joint is anywhere I happen to be eating with my brother or Mom.

      I save dinners for Dad. He loves Scotch. I love getting him Scotch.

  4. joey says:

    prop 8 andy! how’s life?

  5. Andy says:

    Life’s the best it’s ever been. Will there ever be a JBH-2? I want my walleye with Israeli couscous.

  6. joey says:

    Absolutely yes and it will be called Greg & Joey’s Diner!

  7. Claudia says:

    Waiting, patiently or maybe not so patiently for a new blog post from Greg Morelli.. Writer extrodinar.. :)

  8. Joseph says:

    I think it would be a smart idea if you closed on Saturday to rest for Shabbat and spend more time with your family.

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