North and West siders, but still best friends

Torn apart by geographical boundaries and an inefficient public transportation system, can two friends find the courage to have brunch at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning?

Favorite homefry (Photo: Carly Fisher)

Favorite home girl eating house taters (Photo: Carly Fisher)

Flashback to an ungodly hour of the morning one week ago: I awoke with unspeakable rage filling my soul. Not only did my bestie, Ailie, wake me at 8:00 in the fucking morning because she suffers from the delusion that this is a reasonable time to be awake on a Sunday morning, but with the crux of modern social aptitude: a text message. Because T-Mobile currently has my ass in a compromising position for a gross misuse of my monthly texts, there have been a number of cease and desist notices handed to all of my closest friends — obviously overlooked this particular morning.

“What the fuck, Carly? Just pay the extra five dollars a month for an unlimited plan.”

“It’s the principle, Ailie. The principle.”

“Whatever. Do you want to meet for brunch? I’m thinking Heartland Cafe —”

Though I would cross fire and hell for this fine woman, an hour of enduring masturbators and rapists on the red line first thing in the morning for a Rogers Park brunch excursion is something I just can’t do. I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.

Al fresco dining at Fianco (Photo: Carly Fisher)

Al fresco brunch at Fianco (Photo: Carly Fisher)

A happy medium was reached in Lakeview at the newly opened, Fianco. An eternal bond of womanhood and the promises of amaretto soaked pancakes offer the type of pragmatic motivation necessary for the effort of two transfers. Unfortunately, where we came through in the name of friendship, Fianco failed to deliver on several accounts.

Service as scarce as the near empty patronage and underwhelming dishes made up for the series of misses. I suppose three tables warrants the nuclear meltdown for our seasoned waitress. So, perhaps things like the 10-minute wait to have my coffee order taken, minimal follow-ups and forgetting to bring one of only two requested condiments just requires a certain level of patience that I haven’t acquired yet. That said, our waitress was kind, but might benefit from choosing another profession that doesn’t involve serving snobby, punk ass bitches like myself.

Sweet was begrudgingly compromised for savory in light of Ailie’s marathon training diet better known as the crusade against fatness, inspired by fitness guru and lesbian icon, Jackie Warner. Although the meat omelet probably contained enough cholesterol to kill a horse with bacon, lamb sausage, pancetta, green garlic, provolone and breakfast potatoes, this and the mushroom frittata were deemed “healthier” than the pannetone French toast.

Close, but no frittata (Photo: Carly Fisher)

Close, but no frittata (Photo: Carly Fisher)

Despite holding second tier status as a side dish, Fianco’s breakfast potatoes are certifiably off the hook and the clear winner of the meal. Crispy, well-seasoned and paired with onions and red pepper, the potatoes overpowered the rest of the entree. Naturally, no one spends $10 on a side dish, so Fianco needs to step it up with getting its recipes right. The meat omelet reigned victorious by default, since the mushroom frittata was not actually a frittata, but rather a severely bland omelet suffering from an identity crisis even a healthy dollop of ricotta couldn’t save. And for the love of brunch, lighten up on the provolone and try to melt it before sending it out of the kitchen. Otherwise, the meat omelet was tasty, but nothing to write home about.

Overlooking its faults, brunch at Fianco wasn’t terrible by any means, but it definitely wasn’t memorable either. In a Carly-eat-brunch kind of world, time is money — neither of which I currently have, or can justify going out of my way for an average brunch.

Brunch is served Sat. & Sun. 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Fianco is located at 3440 N. Southport Ave. in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. For more information, call 773.327.6400.

— Carly Fisher

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jess said,

    loveeeeeeeeeee youuuuuuuuuuuu

  2. 2

    Justin said,

    Carly, you broke a cardinal rule of brunch ordering. Namely, never order a frittata. Their descriptions always sound great on the menu, then you end up eating shit.

    Its the nature of the frittata.

  3. 3

    Carly Fisher said,

    I firmly disagree. The reason you order a frittata in a restaurant is to avoid the effort of fucking it up in the comfort of your home. Given that this is an Italian restaurant, there is a different caliber of expected authenticity, which reached a verdict of “bummer” on all accounts.

  4. 4

    Alison said,

    This is hilarious. Love your writing and basing all future brunch decisions on this blog. No pressure.


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