Drink of the week:
Black Velvet at Flo
, 1434 W. Chicago.
The damage: $9.
Thousands of bars in Chicago, why this one? When I tell my over easy- and omelet-loving friends that eggs bore me, they shoot me looks of confusion, disgust and utter annoyance. But it's true. In my book, the incredible edible egg is more like the incredibly dull breakfast mainstay. Even when it's dressed up, stuffed with cheese and topped with salsa, I end up pushing the fluffy mass around my plate, picking out the veggies and strategically removing the cheddar to reposition it atop my hash browns. Despite this egg-aversion, I keep making brunch plans for the sake of my social life. But why should my taste buds suffer? Thankfully, my good pal let me in on a secret: Flo's New Mexican takes on eggs were guaranteed to crack my apathy.
How it went down: Mimosas generally conjure images of brunching ladies carefully sipping on dainty champagne flutes. But the Black Velvet, though in the same family, is quite possibly the antithesis to this typical morning tipple: Three-quarters of a tall glass that fans out at the top is filled with Guinness and then finished off with Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. An almost inch-thick creamy head crowns the coffee-color concoction; the leftover brew in the fat Guinness can is served alongside.
The drink tastes surprisingly breakfast-friendly, with the sparkling wine ever-so-slightly sweetening the stout and adding a nice layer of bubbles to the typically flat beer. I took big gulps of the rich, hearty and a tad fruity blend, which worked well to combat the complex spice of my huevos rancherosócorn tortillas crammed with cheese, topped with runny fried eggs, slathered with red chile sauce, and served with a side of delightfully wet black beans. Yep, that's me praising a plate o' eggs.
Would I want to become a regular? Not only did I eat every last bite of huevos, but I went so far as to use my lone tortilla to soak up the yolk-sauce-bean mix that had come together in a beautiful marriage on my plate. But beyond the food and drink, Flo scored big points with its relaxed atmosphere, despite being packed with families, artsy types and hung-over twentysomethings. A mellow soundtrack of everything from Beatles to Beck matched the warm lighting and earthy, muted color palette of mustard yellows, deep teals and wine reds. I'm a changed woman, indeed.
Dana Kavan scours the city for drink deals so good you'll offer to buy a round and creative libations that outshine your average on-the-rocks concoctions. Want to give Dana tips on where to rack up a bar tab? Share your finds before her next night out.