On TV, it’s bars and coffee shops where everyone knows you. My family had neighborhood restaurants, local places where we knew what we wanted without looking at the menu. Wherever I live I find a restaurant or two that fills that niche; a place I can go alone, and read without annoying the waiter. In Evanston, my favorite spot is The Lucky Platter.
Evanston, IL is a college town just north of Chicago. The diverse community and proximity to the city have made the town a foodie destination. Nevertheless, The Lucky Platter is a local institution, an upscale diner open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Decorated with an eclectic collection of outsider art, the welcoming airy space is a popular destination.
When I go for breakfast I’m torn between the huevos rancheros or one of the egg Benedicts. The Benedicts here come on flavorful cornbread and can be had with fried green tomatoes or a crab cake in addition to traditional preparations. Another favorite is the apricot cheese flakey, It comes with your meal if you get an omelet or a scramble.
Drinks choices are also interesting. I love fresh orange juice with breakfast, but the wide selection of mimosas, from ginger to apple cider is a nice alternative on the weekend. Although sodas of every flavor are all the rage at the grocery store, I return again and again to The Lucky Platter for their homemade cream soda.
The lunch and dinner menus offer a wide selection of entrees, burgers, and sandwiches, but it’s the soups, salads, and sides that I order most. The reason for this is my addiction to their Caribbean pumpkin soup. Chunky, with a mild spice, it’s delicious and restorative. My usual accompaniment is a salad. They are all filled with fruit and nuts or vegetables, so it’s hard to choose. My usual is the chopped salad, with corn, jicama, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and cheese. If I’m very hungry I add some cornbread, however, if this sounds too virtuous, pimento filled macaroni and cheese with a side of hot sauce is also available.