Yolk: It’s What’s For Brunch!


What would you consider THE most integral items for a classic American brunch? Eggs—check. Potatoes—check. Coffee—check. We here at Metropolis Coffee Company would choose the last item, of course–it’s what we do.

We expect Taki Kastanis, owner and visionary of Yolk restaurants in Chicago, would pick the first–and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Out of this comes beautiful, flavorful synergy.

Let’s see how it plays out with their 45,000 monthly customers:

EGGS: 36,000 served per month; 1.2-million annually

RED POTATOES: 84,000 pounds annually

COFFEE: 21,000 cups of coffee served per month; 252,000 annually

Yirgacheffe and Redline Find New Home(s)

What we’ve done at Yolk is to work with owner Taki Kastanis to offer his patrons an exclusive single-origin coffee coming fresh out of our Roasting Garage in Andersonville days–even hours–before you’ll drink it at Yolk.

Why Yirgacheffe? “Well, more and more, restaurateurs are ready to push the coffee envelope. Standard coffee at breakfast is a South and Central American blend that’s sweet, centered, somewhat nutty and lemony,” says Metropolis Coffee Company co-owner, Tony Dreyfuss.

“Taki, owner and visionary of Yolk, was looking for something a bit different: flavors that would play well with everything from fruit to bread to eggs, but that would raise a few eyebrows for quality and its unique characteristics.

“His choice, an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, is clean, sweet, and elegant, boasting complex floral and orange aromatics–perfect pair to the fare at Yolk, especially their signature Eggs Benedict.”

For his part, Kastanis was wary of changing up his coffee program. “The hardest to thing at a restaurant is your coffee,” says Kastanis. “After four years, customers get used to it.

“We serve people with a wide range of palates, from tourists to cops to construction workers to fans of Metropolis–everybody,” continued Kastanis. Hence, the goal with Yolk was to keep the coffee program right down the middle. It’s not overly dark or robust, but definitely isn’t diner coffee.

Yolk will also be offering a full range of espresso-based drinks, as well, using our Redline Espresso, which fits Yolk all through, notes Kastanis: “Two of the three Yolks are right off the Red Line here in Chicago; I liked that aspect of it, too–it’s local and just incredibly good on its own or in cappuccinos and such.”

In Other News at Yolk

Kastanis is working the local angle all over the place, with a new, year-round fresh fruit purveyor recently brought on-board, along with other sources of tastily-grown Midwestern ingredients. “We’re working our way through the menu,” says Kastanis.

“All this costs me a little more, but the customer gets a better product, no doubt,” says Kastanis, who is also about to publish a revamped menu.
New dishes? Red Velvet French Toast (above, right) with cream cheese frosting swirled throughout, then dipped, French toasted, strawberries and whipped added on top. “We did it for Valentine’s Day and people went crazy for it, so now it’s Valentine’s day year-round at Yolk, I guess,” says Kastanis. Also, Chocolate Heaven (above, left): made with a chocolate swirl, then toasted, and white chocolate with bananas and strawberries on top.

Good stuff all around; see you at Yolk everyone!

Yolk Timeline: South Loop–November, 2006; River North–June, 2009; and early 2011 in Streeterville.

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