For a city of about 150,000, Naperville
was due for another breakfast joint downtown. There's nothing wrong with nearby Egg Harbor Cafe
, but there's certainly enough Napervillian early-risers for this to be a "two breakfast options" town.
Thankfully, here comes Tangerine, Naperville's newest breakfast hot spot with a menu dominated by pancakes and French toast, freshly squeezed juice and an interior with simple suburban chic.
What type of French toast to imbibe first – the decadent banana and coconut, or the nostalgic (and brilliant) PB&J version? Aside from the sugary goodness from the joint's crepes (the chocolate hazelnut is another guilty pleasure), French toasts and pancakes, there's also skillets, eggs (served with turkey sausage) and oatmeal (topped with berries). In keeping with its theme, each dish is served with a slice of orange, a nice little ornamental touch.
Lavazza coffee will be a popular way to wash it down, but the real liquid star is fresh-squeezed juices ($3-$5), with flavors like orange, carrot, celery, beet and apple. And Tangerine doesn't close before noon, offering soups, salads and wraps if you're not into breakfast around 2 p.m.
Ambience-wise, the restaurant has a warm glow about its space. Most pictures on the wall are arty photographs of toast (watch out, Art Institute!), aside from a wall-bearing painting of a tangerine that looks like it's destined to become a Camera Obscura album cover. Tangerine is by no means a greasy diner dive – it's a contemporary, spotless place to start the day.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert