A NEWSRADIO 780 WBBM RESTAURANT REVIEW BY SHERMAN KAPLAN
BROADCAST OCTOBER 17, 2003
The last time I reviewed a restaurant specializing in breakfast, I think Gerald Ford was president. Well, it’s time to move on and tell you about Victory’s Banner at 2100 West Roscoe in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood.
I’m kind of static about my breakfasts, usually a bowl of oatmeal, a slice of toast and coffee. But, when I want to splurge, Victory’s Banner is the place. It’s a tiny little restaurant, bright and open inside. And, there’s one more thing; the owner, Pradhan Balter is a follower of Indian Spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy. The menu tells you as much, as Balter writes that his restaurant is here to exist for only one reason… joy!
You can pick up more of the philosophy at the restaurant, though no one will approach you on the subject, perhaps unless you ask. However, one of the sari wrapped servers will ask whether you want coffee or chai, for a starter. The chai is special, a delicious tea, available hot or cold, in single portion or bottomless cup. Of course, the coffee is brewed fresh without any bitterness. There’s also thick hot chocolate with a bit of Vienna in Roscoe Village, served “mit schlag.”
Getting down to the breakfast essentials, the omelets, like most everything else, are made from scratch. You should know that Victory’s Banner is a vegetarian restaurant, though using real eggs may not exactly meet vegan criteria. No matter, because omelets can also be made with egg substitutes. The fillings listed on the menu run a gamut from Greek with spinach and feta to a meatless Bacon, Cheddar and Tomato version to my favorite, smoked sausage and gouda cheese. The meats are faux, made from texturized soy. In addition to the listed omelets, diners can always pick their own ingredients.
Then there are the waffles, pancakes and French Toast. Take a look at your hand and spread your thumb and first finger about an inch. Now, double it. French Toast is almost that thick, with waffles close behind. Fresh fruit preserves and maple syrup are the natural accompaniments.
Victory’s Banner serves its breakfasts until 3pm closing. Lunches are added after 11am. I love the meatless meat loaf. You would swear it’s the real enchilada, or meat loaf in this case, with a savory brown gravy. Salads, soups, and veggie wraps round out the menu, along with a trio of faux meatless burgers.
There are some specials listed each day. With pumpkin pie in high season, I suggest you order early and order often to get your share. You’ll spend maybe $20 a couple for a lot of good eating. Victory’s Banner is at 2100 West Roscoe in Chicago and has a K/RATING of 20/20.
AMBIANCE/DÉCOR 4/4 SERVICE 5/5 FOOD 10/10 VALUE 1/1