The Quest for the Best Brunch In Evanston -- Round 2

Bracket Challenge Round 1: Review!

Heya, folks! We here at Hotplate would like to thank all of you who helped us with the first round of our Brunch Challenge by casting your bracket for the best Eggs Benedict in town! With your contributions and the reviews of our local food experts (check out their info on the previous blog post!), we were able to select the 4 contenders going through to the next round! Without further ado, here's the lineup! 

Matchup 1: Cupitol Coffee & Eatery vs. Farmhouse


Even though the competition was tense, it was clear towards the end of the voting period that Cupitol was going to go through to the next round. Out of all our entries, Cupitol managed to snatch this victory with 75% of the votes! It's clear that Cupitol has stolen your hearts, but Farmhouse did give them a decent fight -- our chosen reviewer describes their Farm Egg Benedict a "gorgeous, wholesome brunch" that is "simply divine," and gave it the only perfect score out of the batch. Unfortunately, it was no match for Cupitol's decadent, biscuit-based Country Benedict, which also fared super well with food experts! Tommy, our reviewer, describes this unique biscuit-based, gravy-smothered creation a brunch option that is both "decadent and homey." At the same time, though, it doesn't fail to impress aesthetically -- just look at the smoothness of that poached egg exterior, and that amazing milk foam heart atop that latte! Cupitol's Country Benedict clearly has captured your hearts, and if it hasn't, then it surely will!

Matchup 2: Walker Bros. vs. Creperie St. Germain

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Walker Bros. seized an easy victory with this matchup -- more than 60% of you guys voted for them to seize victory over Creperie St. Germain. CSG's fluffy Eggs Benedictine was clearly not enough to win over the Venetian Benedict, which was piled with spinach and mushroom for a "healthy kick" and even came with some of their famous pancakes to complete the package. Giving it a solid 8/10 rating, our reviewer praises the ratio of this Benedict's ingredients and how all of its components come together in perfect harmony. Just from that picture alone, everything does seem to come together just right -- there's enough velvety hollandaise there to please, but not too much that it overwhelms and hides everything else from sight. If that isn't a solid winning Benedict, then we don't know what is!

Matchup 3: The Cellar at the Stained Glass vs. Ten Mile House


Folks, I present to you the 2nd closest victory out of our 4 matchups this round. Ten Mile House proved tough competition all the way through, but The Cellar at the Stained Glass managed to take the rights to move forward with only 1 extra vote. The Cellar's Classic Benedict really does live up to its name; our reviewer comments that it's a well-composed Benedict that would "please any Eggs-Benedict-loving bruncher," no more and no less. Though they praise the decadent runniness of the poached egg yolk and the well-seasoned potatoes on the side, the dish appears to "lack a wow factor," and that there "may be other options on the menu" worth exploring instead.  After a grueling first round, The Cellar has managed to earn its rights forward, but it faces tough competition, and we sure hope they can prove their right to take the crown in the next round!

Matchup 4: Clarke's vs. Le Peep

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Always saving the closest for last, aren't we? Well, here it is! Clarke's and Le Peep both received 50% of the votes for their initial matchup, and were neck and neck all the way through. It was difficult to determine the winner for this matchup, but ultimately, under the consultation of our food experts, Le Peep's Original Benedict emerged victorious. Our reviewer gave it a 9/10 for its creamy hollandaise and perfectly runny poached egg -- they were even nice enough to accommodate her request by substituting their regular serving of ham for turkey instead! With a solid 9/10 rating thus far, Le Peep will be a name to look out for in the upcoming rounds!

...and there it is, folks, your next 4 contestants. It's tragic to see half of our restaurants go, but for the sake of science, we have to continue to narrow down. Don't worry, the actual establishments won't actually be going anywhere, so please continue giving Farmhouse, Creperie St. Germain, Ten Mile House and Clarke's your businesses! 

"...I Like Benedicts, But What About The Sweet Stuff?"

Well, if that's what you've been wondering, then you're in luck -- that's what the 2nd round is all about! Moving on from our brunch classic, we're taking this second round to test our 4 contenders on their ability to deliver a kicker sweet brunch! Which two restaurants will emerge victorious? Will it be Cupitol with their 'Berry Mascarpone French Toast', Le Peep with their 'Le Petit Toast', Walker Bros. with their 'Apple Pancakes', or the Cellar with their 'Donut French Toast'? Check in soon at [] to find out which two will carry on to the final showdown!