Bloggers Who Brunch @ The Allis, Soho House

Bloggers Who Brunch

What happens when you get a group of amazing blogger babes together and you all go out? Brunch at one of Chicago’s most beautiful spots, that’s what.

The wonderful Dasha of Windy City Wardrobe got this great group together to share a meal, meet each other, and just commiserate over being a blogger in this city of ours over some amazing food. We met up at The Allis inside Soho House.

Left to right in the photo above we’ve got Sabrina of Styles by Sab, Lindsey of Butter & Type, Dasha of Windy City Wardrobe, me, and Jalpa of Samosa Pop. We also had Michaela of The Deep End Review, Dasha’s wonderful wife and our photographer for the day. It was so great to get together with other bloggers where we could really chat with each other about all things blogger and there was zero judgement over taking tons of photos (and standing on chairs to do so) and just being our blogger selves.

But let’s talk about The Allis for a second. Because oh my goodness.

This little photography haven is actually the lobby of Soho House and serves a very limited menu. Their brunch menu is less than 20 items and that includes pastries. But every single thing is so so good and $15 or less. So it’s perfect for those of us who have to brunch on a budget but still want to have a wonderful and delicious time. Between all of us, we sampled a hearty portion of the menu and I think it’s safe to say we all really enjoyed what we had to eat.

My favorite item was definitely The Allis Breakfast. It’s avocado, hard eggs, smoked salmon, tomatoes, and toast all for you to mix and match and mash and devour. I also highly recommend the grilled cheese (there’s goats cheese on this, people!) and their lattes which are as delicious as they are beautiful. I definitely plan on going back very soon as it was so good.

I mean… I DO have a birthday coming up next month… (THIS IS A GIANT HINT!)

Beyond their brunch, The Allis is known for their afternoon tea which is served every single day and ridiculously popular. Definitely book in advance for that. Their lunch menu, equally small, is rumored to be wonderful as well. I’m convinced this place can do no wrong.

Now on to the photos!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

A good portion of our spread. Check out those amazing plates!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

The Allis Breakfast

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

That wonderful grilled cheese. Comes with a smoky tomato dipping sauce.

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

Gorgeous latte art. Decaf for me!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

Check out these blogger babes!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

Of course there were mimosas to be had.

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

Gorgeous decor everywhere!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

A little salmon and avocado toast from The Allis Breakfast. Delicious!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

More of that gorgeous latte art. I’m a sucker for pretty milk.

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

In case you forget where you are, there’s gorgeous art to remind you!

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

And this wonderful piece.

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

That grilled cheese again. With the tomato sauce dip. So. Good.

The Allis @ Soho House | Stile.Foto.Cibo

Vegan Tofu Benedict with Avocado and Beer Bread

So let me tell you about my Saturday morning.

7:00 rolls around and the dog upstairs scampers down the stairwell (which our bed shares a wall with so we hear everyone going up and down) and wakes Zoe up. Like every morning. Suddenly Zoe realizes she also has to go outside so we get all bundled up in our respective coats, venture out into the world, and greet the day like any good dog should. Come back inside, have some doggy breakfast, and decide to curl back up in bed for another hour or so before her mommas have breakfast.

This has all taken about 45 minutes. We climb back in bed, get cozy, have some petting and cuddling the dog time, and then the sound of a helicopter starts in the distance. This is a pretty standard noise- as are airplanes. Living so close to a massive airport, you get a lot of air traffic.

The sound crescendos as it usually would. But when it reaches its peak, it doesn’t stop. It just continues. And continues.

And continues.

I get out of bed to see what in the world is going on. Zoe has curled up under the covers to hide from the noise (and get warm) at this point. Sarah and I are both bemoaning the fact that it is 8am and why why why does this need to happen. I look out the window and there is a literal helicopter hovering in what looks like the driveway of two buildings over.

Literal actual helicopter hovering. I kid you not.

Literal actual helicopter hovering. I kid you not.

My first thought is “what in the…” and my second was “Well, this is going to be a fun one for the blog”

It hovered for a while, eventually flew up to the top of another high rise with something mechanical attached. Hovered up there for a while and flew down with something else mechanical that looked like it had been through hell (that building had had a fire earlier in the week. I’m guessing this was a replacement). Our neighborhood news posted on their facebook later in the day that, yes, it was a mechanical delivery. But at 8am on a Saturday, I don’t care what your excuses are. I want to go back to sleep.

Zoe somehow managed the sleeping thing. Bless.

Zoe somehow managed the sleeping thing. Bless.

So 20 minutes later, silence has fallen on the western shore of Lake Michigan. And I cannot fall asleep. Zoe was out, Sarah was out, I was 100% awake and browsing Instagram. Looking at everyone’s delicious Saturday morning breakfasts, I went “I need to turn this morning around. Breakfast is the way to do that.”

And, thus, the vegan tofu benedict with avocado and beer bread was born.

Insert angelic choirs singing here.

Insert angelic choirs singing here.

Took to pintrest, found this recipe, and worked with what I had in the kitchen. After cooking up a storm and making some much needed coffee, I went to wake the cuddle bugs. Sarah’s reaction when she saw what was on the table was, “Oh man. I am spoiled rotten.” And with that, Saturday was successfully turned around.

Vegan Tofu Benedict with Avocado and Beer Bread (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices of beer bread (I use this recipe. Will share the full thing within the next few weeks)
  • 4 tofu steaks, about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 recipe vegan hollandaise (recipe below)
  • big leafy greens (I used Kale. butter lettuce would work great. spinach. whatever you got)
  • Tomatoes (I used 2 cherry tomatoes per tower of delicious. slices of tomatoes would work. again, whatever you got)
  • 1 sliced avocado.

Steps:

  1. Cook those tofu steaks. Season with something tasty. I did salt, pepper, and chili powder. 3-4 minutes per side in some oil over medium heat. Get some color on those babies.
  2. Warm or toast your bread. Whatever floats your fancy. These slices of bread were too thick and too crumbly for the toaster and we have no broiler. So. I find that 15 seconds on a plate with a wet paper towel on top brings any bread back to life.
  3. Assemble! Bread, greens, tomato, tofu, hollandaise, avocado.
  4. Serve with coffee, wake up everyone in the house, devour.

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Vegan Hollandaise

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 non-dairy milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Steps:

  1. Put the butter in a saucepot over medium heat and melt to lightly bubbly.
  2. Whisk in flour until a paste forms.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk until well combined.
  4. Increase the heat to medium/medium-high and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Take off the heat, add in nutritional yeast and seasonings.
  6. Optional poor timing step: If you, like me, made this first and then made everything else, your sauce is going to continue thickening and cool slightly. Add a tablespoon of very hot water and whisk in. It will bring it back up to temp and loosen the sauce so it’s, ya know, pourable.

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Get ready for delicious! What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Berry Delicious Green Vegan Smoothie

It’s no secret that I’m a smoothie addict. I can make a smoothie out of basically anything I find in the fridge. They’re such a quick and delicious way to get lots of nutrients. This is my standard smoothie, the one that I make time and time again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 c silken tofu
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 or 2 big handfuls of baby spinach

Steps:

  1. Put frozen fruit and banana into the blender.
  2. Add almond milk.
  3. Add in rest of ingredients.
  4. Let smoothie sit for 15 minutes or up to overnight. This lets the frozen fruit start to thaw and gives everything some time to mellow out. I like to prep my smoothies the night before so all I have to do in the morning is…
  5. Blend until smooth, pour into glasses, and enjoy!

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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

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Does anyone else have those mornings where you wake up early without an alarm and all you really want to do is make a nice hot cup of tea and bake something for breakfast? Just me? Probably.

We tend to always keep some Pillsbury crescent roll dough in our fridge at all times. A lot of them are accidentally vegan (which is wonderful!) so we have them just ready to go for pretty much anything. The dough is super versatile for fillings and things or super tasty just on its own baked to golden brown fluffy flaky perfection.

They have since started making the dough in sheets instead of the perforated “rip, roll, and bake” kind. Which I saw and went “ooh, easy cinnamon rolls!”

Yield: 9 small rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll Pillsbury crescent dough
  • 2 heaped tablespoons melted Earth Balance butter (we use the Organic. use whatever you like!)
  •  1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to the specifications on the package (usually 350F-375F)
  2. Unroll dough.
  3. Brush melted butter onto dough making sure to cover the entire sheet.
  4. Mix granulated & brown sugars and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over the sheet.
  5. Re-roll the dough and slice into pieces. I got 9 decently thick rolls. Pick your thickness and go.
  6. Place into a 9×9 greased baking sheet
    1. NOTE: i know the directions on the roll say ungreased baking sheet. They have clearly never baked with melting sugar. Grease that pan within an inch of its life if you ever want it to get clean again.
  7. Pop into the oven for FIVE MINUTES LONGER than the baking instructions say. This will guarantee you get nicely golden rolls.
  8. While your rolls are baking, mix the almond milk and powdered sugar to make a delicious icing.
  9. Serve and enjoy.

Between the two of us, we crushed the entire pan of rolls with zero regrets. So tasty!

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One Gigantic European Style Pancake

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Ah, Saturday morning. You bring with you such endless breakfast possibilities. With more time to cook and a significant lack of rushing out the door, the creative juices can get flowing and something beautiful can happen.

Something beautiful being one gigantic pancake.

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This style of pancake is referred to as Dutch in some places and German in others. The usual batter involves lots of eggs which we are not about in our kitchen. So we improvised a little bit. We used regular Bisquick mix with dairy and egg replacements.

Yield: One Gigantic Pancake, 6 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch classic Bisquick pancake batter using almond milk and egg substitute (Our favorite egg sub is 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp baking powder per egg)
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp butter (I use earth balance organic)
  • 1 medium to large apple
  • 1 heaped tablespoon sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • powdered sugar
  • table syrup

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place a 9 inch round cake pan in the oven with 2 tbsp butter.
  2. Make up your pancake batter. I like to add some cinnamon directly to the batter.
  3. When oven comes to temp, pull out the cake pan, quickly pour in the batter over the bubbling butter and put back into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. While baking, dice apple into 3/4″ cubes (ish). Sizzle over medium head with more cinnamon, the sugar, and the rest of the butter. Cook until apples are soft and the sauce has a nice caramel color, approximately 7-10 minutes.
  5. Remove giant pancake from oven, turn out onto a plate
    1. Put the plate upside down directly onto the cake pan. With one hand on the bottom of the plate and one on the bottom of the cake pan, flip everything and jostle slightly until you hear your creation pop onto the plate.
  6. Top with warm apple topping, table syrup, and powdered sugar. Slice, enjoy.

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Chai Smoothie

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I’m a smoothie person. However you want to give them to me, I’ll drink em! Green, protein, veggies, fruits, you name it. I’m constantly experimenting with new flavor combinations and always excited to try something new. So when I found this Chai Spice Smoothie recipe by Wild Hearts + Green Tea, I was on board from the get-go!

I changed some of the recipe, as one tends to do, to fit what I had in my kitchen and my diet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas (slice the bananas up into a bowl before you freeze them. It makes blending easier. Never try to peel a frozen banana you will hate everything)
  • 3/4 c almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp of each of the following:
    • Ginger
    • Cinnamon
    • Cloves
    • Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp agave

Steps:

  1. Put everything into the blender and blitz until everything is smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses. Could make one big serving or two smaller servings.
  3. Top with a dash of cinnamon.
  4. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Sesame Breakfast Cookies

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Happy Hearted Kitchen is one of my favorite food blogs of all time. I always get excited when I see one of her posts come into my email in the morning. The food always looks wonderful and, where I have made recipes, they taste amazing. Once again, she did not disappoint with these cookies.

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I have a problem with breakfast wherein I get sick of whatever I’ve been eating if I have it for too many mornings in a row. I need to keep things varied but it also needs to be something quick- I’m not up for proper cooking when I’m trying to rush out the door to work. These cookies fit the bill perfectly. And then I get to have cookies for breakfast. It’s really a win-win!

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They’re not terribly sweet which is perfect for me. And they pack a super good protein punch! Served alongside a hot cup of tea or coffee, these make even the most mundane of mornings just a little more bearable. They also make a splendid dessert with a scoop of soy ice cream on top.

I made some adjustments to the recipe based on what I had available in my kitchen. Tweak how you see fit for your needs!

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Yield: 2-6 cookies depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 c dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c + 1 heaped tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp flour (whatever your flour preference)
  • 1/2 c oats
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ground cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F
  2. Chunk the banana. Add it to a food processor with the apricots and oil and blend until incorporated
  3. Add peanut butter, syrup, and flax meal. Blend again
  4. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in sesame seeds, flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  5. Divide out your batter on a sprayed cookie sheet (or put down some parchment paper). Make sure you shape your cookies as you want them to come out. They don’t spread much at all in the oven.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cookies should be mostly firm to the touch, lightly risen, and starting to brown around the edges. I needed to keep mine in for closer to 15.
  7. Enjoy cookies for breakfast!