Photos & Review by David Paul Downs

At the corner of Roscoe and Hoyne, in Chicago’s quaint Roscoe Village neighborhood, sits one of the cities best restaurants for a vegetarian friendly brunch. Victory’s Banner offers a bright and comfortable environment for late morning dining.

Their menu is an array of creative takes on traditional breakfast fare, such as eggs scrambled with spinach, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and feta; apple-pecan pancakes made from oat bran flour; or buckwheat waffles topped with fresh seasonal fruit, homemade whipped cream, and real maple syrup.

I couldn’t resist ordering a plate of almond stuffed French toast, one of the specials for today. My wife, and favorite dining partner, ordered the curry omelet, in an attempt to counter-balance my raging sweet tooth. We almost always split our dishes. I order the sweetest dish I can find, and she orders something savory, giving us an equal balance to satisfy our palettes.

Our order was taken by a petite waitress dressed in a colorful, silken wrap. Her friendly demeanor was genuine and she seemed to project an inner glow, reflective of the restaurants philosophies.

While waiting for our dishes to arrive, we sipped on homemade chai tea. This hand-crafted drinkest was the freshest I’ve experienced, with strong distinctive, spices you could smell and taste. The chai is also offered “bottomless” as you would expect for house coffee. We started with two hot cups, but considering the heat of the summer day, and the servers were kind enough to switch us to iced chai’s.

The curry omelet arrived with a side of spicy, grilled potatoes and a slice of thick artisan bread. It was a fluffy blanket of curried eggs rolled around tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and sweet apple chutney. The contrast between the spicy eggs and the luscious chutney was a perfect combination!

The almond French toast was served alongside the omelet dish. The thick and moist slices of free range egg battered toast sprinkled with delicately toasted almond slices were enticing enough, but there was more to discover below the surface. I drizzled the all-natural maple syrup over the toast and cut off a corner to devour. Once in my mouth, I could taste the delectably creamy almond paste stuffed in between the toast. Absolute perfection! The warm slices just melted in my mouth.

On all counts, my breakfast dining experience at Victory’s Banner was fantastic. They truly live up to their reputation, and next time I’m biking out in that direction in the morning, I’ll be sure to stop in again for their warm hospitality and great food.

You can visit Victory’s Banner at 2100 W. Roscoe between 8am and 3pm any day but Tuesday, when they’re closed.

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