Local food

Food writer Tinker Park offers a glimpse of local offerings, including Zambini Eggs Benedict, top, salmon with a double baked potato and bambino bread, bottom left, and bourbon-soaked bread pudding.

“They’re open!” Well, almost, but it’s a great start!

Restaurant guests across Kankakee County and beyond are excited to be able to dine at their favorite restaurants, albeit outdoors. It’s summer, and after all, al fresco dining is very chic. The response has been positive.

Dave and I were able to dine outdoors at several restaurants – Yolk and Berries in Bradley and Tucci’s Italian in Bourbonnais.

Although some of the menus are limited, the owners and managers are doing a fantastic job providing their guests with their most popular dishes.

Sunday morning, under the big tent, Dave and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Dave went for the design-your-own skillet, “each a work of art,” He ordered bacon, avocado, blue cheese, and black olive over hash browns skillet and was topped with three eggs. Yes, he ate the whole thing!

I ordered Zamboni Benedict with poached eggs, bacon, avocados on an English muffin and topped with their hollandaise sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish and will order again.

I have had their pancakes in the past, and they are fantastic. Why not have your pancake topped with fresh in-season strawberries? Better yet, order their Belgian waffle with powdered sugar, butter, and warm maple syrup. So good, so fattening, so worth it!

Salads are also trendy during the summer months. Yolk and Berries have a nice variety of salads, but since it’s summer, why not take advantage of fresh fruit? The Berry Chicken salad is loaded with romaine lettuce, chicken salad, fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and pecans with balsamic vinaigrette on the side.

The Strawberry Fields Forever salad is made with grilled chicken breast, fresh strawberries, pecans, and crumbled bleu cheese.

The California Cobb salad is made with grilled chicken breast, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, bleu, and cheddar cheese.

Yolk and Berries is a relaxing restaurant, good food, and has an excellent staff. Lucinda, our server, was fantastic. I highly recommend this restaurant, especially the outdoor dining. Take time out of your day for breakfast or lunch, enjoy their food, and the summer weather that we are experiencing.

Yolks & Berries is located at 505 N. Kinzie Ave., Bradley. The hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Call 815-935-1501. Check them out on Facebook or their website, yolkandberries.com.

Earlier in the week, we dined on the patio at Tucci’s Italian, Bradley. It was gorgeous weather, the courtyard was set beautifully, and it provided us an atmosphere to enjoy each other’s company.

With a limited menu, we had no trouble at all choosing what to order. Everything was tempting, but we decided on the grilled salmon.

We began with their house salad, which is one of my favorites and their bambino bread, warm and crusty.

We received a nice portion of grilled salmon, flaky and flavorful, and the seasoning perfect. It came with a baked potato with sour cream. The piece was large enough that we were treated to leftovers the next day.

After dinner, we indulged in one of their fabulous desserts, bread pudding. This is a bourbon bread pudding. French bread is soaked in cream, butter, raisins, sugar, and bourbon liquid. It’s baked and served with an exceptional sauce that is caramelized and soaks into the pudding. Absolutely fabulous.

We were able to sit and visit with the manager, Cheryl, while we were there. The staff is terrific and Cheryl was a delight.

The dinners are filling, but if you are with several people, I recommend an appetizer. My grandchildren love the garlic breadsticks. I personally like the spinach rolls; Dave is my wing guy.

Also, on the menu, a variety of pasta entrees, including their lasagna or the Village Platter with angel hair pasta with oil and garlic, lasagna, and Joe’s pork sausage.

The chicken parmesan is excellent. I’ve had it several times, and each time it’s perfect. I also recommend the chicken Dominic,– a chicken breast that has been dusted with flour and parmesan cheese, pan-fried, and topped with roasted red peppers over angel hair pasta. It’s absolutely fantastic.

There are also steaks, pork chops, and chicken, also served with a house salad and bambino bread.

For a take-home, dinner go for their pizza. It’s stone-baked and wonderful. The choices include the Margherita; Baria, with creamy tomato sauce, fennel sausage, artichokes, black olives, and mushrooms; or the Italian Nacho with crumbled sausage, black olives, pepperoncini peppers, mozzarella, and sauce, then topped with oregano and crumbled Italian nacho chips.

Take time out for their carry-out or enjoy their relaxing patio. There’s always time for Tucci’s.

Tucci’s is located at 1560 State Route 50, Bourbonnais. Check out their Facebook page or website, tuccisitalian.com, for more specials and information. Call 815-929-1875.

I will add that both restaurants take great care for the safety of their guests during this COVID-19 pandemic.

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