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Uptown in the News  

August 1, 2003
Chicago Tribune
The art of breakfast, by Tweet of Uptown
By Emily Nunn

The minute you take a seat at Tweet, a charming new Uptown breakfast/brunch spot, a waiter fills your coffee cup (with socially responsible Fair Trade Organic Intelligensia coffee) and will probably fill it again before you've had time to order.

"Good morning, my lovelies," says owner Michelle Fire, arriving in an apron and big sparkly earrings to plunk down two slices of homemade coffeecake and give you the skinny in the culinary ethos of her café: Her food is fresh, hormone free, antibiotic free, organic when possible---and all served, according to the menu, "with love."

While Fire is well versed in the art of breakfast, she also knows the breakfast of artists. On Tweet's walls is her terrific art collection (much of it by Chicagoans) and on the menu are some of the artists' favorite midmorning meals. For instance, the coffeecake recipe is from the painter Ellen Lanyon, the Pubcrawler Lowfat Pancakes were created by the photographer Jed Fiedling, and the Everymorning Breakfast (sliced bananas and Jell-O topped with more fresh fruit and sunflower seeds) is what Ed Paschke has when he rises. Bob Thall's Breakfast, a cup of coffee and one multivitamin pack, is also available for $3.50.

My friend Will (a.k.a. my betrothed) zeroed in on the breakfast burritos and was glad to see chicken sausage on the menu since he rejects red meat but is not too evolved to accept sausage if it is offered. He picked the Numero Dos, and it was a beaut: a pale green spinach tortilla filled with fresh spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, scrambled eggs and cheddar, accompanied by little pots of crème fraiche, and homemade pico de gallo, red salsa and salsa verde. After he'd hacked at it like a wild animal and covered it with all four sauces, it no longer looked so great; when he let me have a couple of bites, though, it made me feel both happy and virtuous. My omelet, topped with Swiss cheese and filled with asparagus and shallots that still had some crunch to them, was just right, and so were the hash browns---thinly shredded and barely browned.

All of this food came with a little dish of peel-on apple compote with raisins, which reminded me of an apple dish my grandmother used to make---and I'm not just saying that; the place is hip and homey at the same time.

A few more things to know about Tweet: You can also get a burger and a B.L.T., there's patio dining and parking out back, and if you bring kids under 10, the café will provide them with an "activity basket" and serve them Egg in a Basket---toast with an egg cooked in the cutout center, otherwise known as Bird in a Nest. Very Tweet.

Tweet is at 5020 N. Sheridan Rd.; 773-728-5576. Open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. Entrees $5-$12.

To view the entire article for a fee, please visit the Chicago Tribune website at www.chicagotribune.com.

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