Tony from NUDE HIPPO here! For almost a year now, I’ve been wanting to check out a restaurant called ORANGE. After hearing several people rant and rave about it, including Johnnie and Kara (I must give them props), I got tired of listening to all of the fuss and decided to find out for myself whether or not this place was worth the parades.
I went with Rachel Gaffen from the show. She loves this place and has been telling me about for awhile now. So, what is so unique about this tiny little tucked away joint named after a fruit? Well, first of all, we walked up to the place and there as a line out the door and down the block. I was skeptical about waiting that long for food because we were in the south loop and there are about a million different places to get good pancakes, but Rachel insisted that the food was too amazing not to wait for. We waited only fifteen minutes before being called in and lead to our table by one of the neighboring college’s students. Besides the orange grove decor and the juice bar that had all the makings of a Dr. Seuss-ish fruit killing machine, the menu was what really caught my eye.
It had the strangest selections I had ever seen including breakfast orders like the Green Eggs and Ham (which is self-explanatory), and the Pancake Flight which is a selection of four different types of pancakes made four different outlandish ways. This week the theme for the Flight was old fashion pudding. So they made pancakes with chocolate and banana and vanilla and butterscotch on each stack.
After browsing through the four page multi colored menu, I settled on the French Toast Kabob. I was then caught with the dilemma of what juice to order. The freshly squeezed juice menu lets you pick a base juice which could be anything from orange to apple to celery, but to be different I went with carrot. Then you could add other fruit or vegetables from three column list, I added grape and banana…but you can pick your own juice combination. When our food was brought to the table, my plate was a visual masterpiece.
The menu read that the kabob was made with cubes of brioche soaked in coconut milk that were baked and then grilled and put on two skewers with strawberries and pineapple, but my plate was piled high with delicious looking and not to mention tasting scrumptious culinary delights. Look out mom’s French toast, here comes Orange! Rachel ordered the fabulous Cinnamon Roll Pancakes which are topped with candied pecans and sweet vanilla glaze, garnished with powdered sugar. Think cinnamon rolls in pancake form that are bigger than the size of your head, unless your Barbara Walters of course.
To top it all off, our check was delivered with a personalized drawing of our waitress saying thanks. There is so much to talk about, including their cucumber water and the cool paintings on the wall, done by local artist, but you’ll have to visit them yourself to experience it all.
Orange: 75 W. Harrison St., Chicago – (312) 447-1000 Fax: (312) 447-0226