Mmm Mmm Monday: Waffles

I'm back in the digital world! Yippee! Spending a weekend unplugged - more on that to come - meant we had plenty of time to eat. So on Sunday morning we met friends for brunch at Waffles in Chicago's South Loop. (Warning: If you click that link their website plays music. **Shudder**).  Located on S. Michigan Ave, Waffles is just what you'd expect from its name. With a perfectly edited menu and clean modern decor that incorporates a welcoming color palate, Waffles is your friendly, neighborhood brunch spot. 

Since Waffles lives in our 'hood, it pains me not to be able to write a gushing, "get your buns there right now" review. But, I can't. However, I can promise that our second visit to Waffles was not a total clunk. Perhaps my expectations were just set too high. Our first visit, back in November was terrific. We were in town looking for a place to rent and ducked into Waffles to grab a quick bite on a Saturday morning. My Chicken and Bacon (bacon waffle with a fried chicken leg + thigh topped with spicy maple syrup) was delicious. The service was fantastic. Our waiter was new-ish to Chicago too and took a moment to welcome us to the neighborhood while he took our order. It was a quick, simple, personal touch that clearly left an impression. And the surprise of the meal was the water. We were served a pitcher of cucumber water that made me rush home to replicate it in my own kitchen. Needless to say, we were impressed that Waffles got the big and the little things right and we were excited to return. Maybe that's why yesterday's visit was disappointing.

Waffle Benedict @ Waffles in Chicago's South Loop
Waffle Benedict

Again, I stress, our meal wasn't a total flop. The experience was just a bit more underwhelming. Despite the fact that the restaurant was hopping, our wait for a table was very reasonable. The fact that we received a text when our table was ready rather than being tethered to the restaurant by a remote indicator was a nice touch too. Unfortunately, once we were seated we waited quite a little while to have our meal orders taken. And though we were served coffee relatively promptly, the table had no utensils, so this cream and sugar girl couldn't drink it. Keeping me from my coffee is never a good way to start a meal. When our server finally arrived, I ordered the Waffle Benedict. Though I loved the concept, my egg was over poached and the whole dish was warm but not hot. I ask you, is it really a successful Benedict without that runny yoke? On the bright side, the hubby's chipped beef hash and eggs was tasty. I will say that the server seemed a bit frazzled (we were with a little one who never even received the milk his Mom ordered him). But even though we rarely saw her, she was friendly when we did.

Can you tell that I'm trying my best not to write a bad review?

Having made such a great first impression, I'm sad to report that I was disappointed with our second trip to Waffles. It wasn't so monumentally awful that I would warn you off, but I can confess that with all the brunch choices in the city, I'm not sure I'll be excited to rush back.

How likely are you to give a restaurant a chance to redeem itself after a less than stellar dining experience?