Getting Fresh Retro at Rhyme and Reason

Between sports bars and brunch spots, it’s difficult to stand out on Division Street. But, Le’Qoinne Rice and Zafer Genc are doing it with Rhyme or Reason, 1938 W. Division. Their 70’s themed interior, menu from Chef Chris de la Cueva, and live entertainment, all help bring a fun, retro vibe to the Wicker Park area.

Plush rugs, velvet couches and mirrors sets the mood for the 70’s eatery with shareable food and innovative cocktails. The mural around the base of the bar is by Jas Petersen, a Chicago visual artist and painter, which surrounds the circular bar. With an open kitchen, large windows, and an outdoor patio with seating up to 75 people, this is a perfect spot to spend the warm summer months ahead.

The Tuesday through Friday dinner menu has a touch of comfort food like fried oysters, lamb meatballs, wings, burgers and poutine, while the weekend brunch has some of my favorites.

On the brunch menu is a delicious edamame toast, an upgrade from avocado toast. For those who enjoy a little heat, the fried chicken and donuts topped with fresno chili is the perfect choice. Their Bloody Mary comes with a slice of house smoked bacon and mini grilled cheese sandwich. It’s like a meal before the meal or a side for your drinks of choice.

The $1 oysters as well as the bottomless mimosas for $18.95 with orange, hibiscus and grapefruit juices are more reasons for Rice’s and Genc’s Rhyme or Reason to be one of your favorite brunch spots too.

During happy hour from 4pm to 6pm, Tuesday through Friday, $5 dollars gets you bites like lamb sliders, fried oysters and the West Town pizzette. Wash it all down with Prosecco on tap and a glass of Retro Fruit Punch.

Tuesdays are special community giveback to Chicago Public Schools. CPS receives a donation of 15% off all sales.

Rhyme or Reason’s music scene is live Friday and Saturday and ranges from local funk to soul and disco. During the week, the vinyl only DJ booth is coolest and brings a unique quality to the venue.

Le’Qoinne Rice and Zafer Genc opened the business in February 2016 and have been friends for years. Rhyme or Reason reflects their relationship, coming from opposite backgrounds, but managed to develop a relationship and now business.

Whether you stop by for food, drink or music, you’ll find there is both rhyme and reason.

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Bakeries: Coffee and Sweets

 

Bakers Tale

Bakers Tale

 

Coffee and sweets are the perfect combination. Nothing like a Sunday morning with a strong coffee and baked good, and maybe a sleeping baby. I have a few favorite go to spots around the city.

The first stop is probably the most well known and awarded, Floriole. What once began as a stand at Green City Market in Lincoln Park, is now a booming establishment since 2010. Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, this bakery not only has some of the best buttery, flaky croissants, sweet and savory scones and quiches in the city, their lunch sandwiches are also not too be missed. My personal favorite is their avocado toast. Their quiche selection changes daily and also one of my favorites. Their coffee is strong and pairs well with, well, pretty much everything. They also feature Sunday Supper with wine pairings as well (tickets purchased in advance). It does get a little crowded on the weekends, so earlier, the better. Especially if you are bringing little ones.

Location: 1220 W. Webster Ave, Chicago

Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 7am-5:30pm

Saturday-Sunday: 8am-5:30pm

Baked is next on my list. With an outdoor space, it is a perfect spot for the next warm weather months. It opened in November 2010 in Wicker Park. It is owned by husband and wife, Jennifer and Eric Estrella. Jennifer is a former pastry chef with Four Seasons Hotels, and her husband Eric, a pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton. Their bakery has a very warm, home like feeling. With the patio outside, yummy coffee, and artwork; it is a place to hang out and relax for awhile

Location: 2246 W. North Ave.

Hours: Wednesay-Friday 7am-5pm

Saturday 8am-5pm and Sunday 9am-4pm

 

Next is Bakers Tale, a step into an Alice in Wonderland theme. With hanging tea cups, grass on the wall, and the most detailed cakes I have ever seen.Theme restaurants can be a cheesy and over the top, but this is the right amount of flavor.  With all the classic baked goods like croissants, scones, etc. I loved the macaroons, especially the nutella. A great place to take the little ones. Or alone for some quiet work time.

Location: 2127 W. Division

Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-2pm

Saturday 9am-3pm and Sunday 9am-3pm