Tucked away in a quiet corner of Chicago’s Wrigleyville community resides a decidedly progressive albeit completely casual edifice to culinary indulgence; the Uncommon Ground on Clark Street.
On a recent trip to Chicago my wife and I had the good fortune to hop on the El-Train from our downtown Chicago hotel and take a short ride north to the tight-knit community of Wrigleyville. A community steeped in history and Chicago culture, this slice of main-street America lies almost hidden in the ample shadows of iconic nearby Wrigley Field. This unique community has such a small-town and tight-knit mid-west Americana feel that it is often hard to fathom it’s actually just a small part of the greater metropolis that is one of America’s greatest and most urban cities; Chicago, Illinois.
Walking up to the Uncommon Ground on Clark Street one of the first things you take notice of are the forty-seven “earth-boxes” that line the sidewalk dining area. A green border a midst an urban landscape the plants do great justice to an eatery that prides it’s self on being one of the most “green” in America. Relaxing, calming and inviting the urban oasis afforded by the outdoor dining room beckons the passer by in…and if you’re eyes don’t get the job done, you nose surely will…as the aromatic odoriferous emanations are as delectable as they are inviting. Aesthetically the decor is as would be expected…indie/hipster, but not in the cloyingly annoying way all too often encountered. Here everything feels genuine and the embrace of the “Green” movement is echoed in nearly every aspect of the eatery and dining culture at large.
The staff here is friendly and knowledgeable, offering copious amounts of insight to the menu choices and their locally grown and/or organic options that have been employed whenever possible. The hostess saw to our seating in short order and while the restaurant was packed it was never anything less than comfortable for convenient. Our waiter was attentive and helpful, striking that perfect balance between being available when needed but not over abundantly at your disposal.
The food here is…excellent. Having stopped in for a leisurely late morning breakfast we were blown away by the sights and smells of the veritable cornucopia surrounding us. Everything here is made fresh, cooked to order and plated with artistic indulgence and care…even breakfast. Our meal was not only delectable it was visually intriguing… On this occasion I opted to try the organic whole wheat pancakes gingerly smothered in Klug Farm tart cherry-pure maple syrup and complimented by a garnish of farm fresh raspberries. To this carbo-terrific plate of awesomeness I also added a side of the Jones Dairy Farm smoked bacon…bacon perfected. My wife opted to try the stuffed French toast that was on special, a decadent thick cut organic toast that was perfectly sprinkled with sugar and soaked by the Klug Farm tart cherry-pure maple syrup; a syrup semi-soaked delicacy served in heaping amplitude, perfectly complimented by a side of crispy potatoes and house made Duroc pork sausage patties. Then of course there are the coffees…something my wife particularly took indulgence in while I opted for an unsweet iced black pekoe tea with which to compliment my meal. Excellence on a plate and in your cup, to say the Uncommon Ground was a foodie highlight of our Chicago trip would be a complete understatement!
From it’s humble beginnings as a neighborhood coffee shop in 1991 to two restaurants, that are both so much more than restaurants, Helen and Michael Cameron’s commitment to their community, environment and businesses has proven unparalleled. Strongly reccomended to anyone who finds themselves within reach of Chicago’s El-Train network!
The Uncommon Ground on Clark
3800 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60613
Mon – Thurs: 9am to 10pm (Bar midnight)
Friday : 9am to midnight (Bar 2am)
Saturday: 8am to midnight (Bar 2am)
Sunday: 8am to 10pm (Bar midnight)