Hello to all out there in the food world coming back again for another helping of culinary wisdom from Mastication Monologues. This month’s adventure I will be explaining the fundamental deliciousness of a breakfast place by me with an odd name serving up breakfast standards with unique twists. The establishment in question is called Juicy-O which can be found at various places around the country, but the location I went to is at 6300 Kingery Highway , Suite 418, Willowbrook, IL. This restaurant has been around for a couple of years now in the strip mall by my house, but the two times I have been in there have been quite interesting.
To begin, why exactly is this restaurant named, “Juicy O”? I soon found out when I walked into the door with their walls that are covered in small picture frames containing comical pictures about the importance of enjoying a good breakfast in a society that seems to be even more fast paced with each passing year. It also gave off a vibe of being more along the lines of an old-fashioned diner that prides itself in its freshly squeezed O.J. (that’s orange juice= the Juicy O in question), I’m not talking about the other type that tries to run away in a white Bronco haha). I digress, here is an example of their homely wisdom about the universality of breakfast and the integration of various cuisines:
As we were seated quite promptly, we received our menus that were quite profuse in terms of variety and the bright colors that inflamed the senses as soon as you looked at the front of it
I was immediately surprised that they served bubble teas given that the only time that I have had them was when I was in a restaurant that specialized in Asian cuisine, but I guess they were reaching out to all possible markets when designing the menu. They got the Latino market as I naturally gravitated towards the Southwestern favorites since I always do crave something spicy/something with tortillas to eat. However, whilst I was attempting to make my choice there was something that made me bow down to the greatness of this place. The waitress proceeded to place a bowl of small donut holes covered in cinnamon sugar in front of us…for free!
This definitely blew the standard basket of bread out of the water at any Greek run restaurant, and my giddiness was confirmed as I took one succulent bite of these expertly and lightly fried donut spheres of excellence. Before I could realize it we had destroyed the entire donut population like settlers decimating the buffalo on the Western plains. We should have paced ourselves because the second bowl wasn’t free, but it focused my mind again which eventually settled on chilaquiles, which is eggs with chicken, tortilla chips, and salsa all mixed in a bowl. Initially I was worried about my choice given the fact that earlier in my life I ordered enchiladas in a similar place which lets just say did not end muy bien. However, the dish was surprisingly tasty since the tortilla chips were not too soggy, the eggs were not runny at all, and the spicy salsa did not cover the flavor of the other elements of the dish but rather brought them out to their full potential.
My second, more recent, visit was pretty much the same deal with the donuts, but I decided to get something a bit more traditional with a twist since I thrive on finding new foods to try or variations of universal favorites. Thus, the Elvis French Toast caught my eye (price: $9) due to the fact that it had French toast, bananas, and peanut butter (three of my favorite foods in the world since I eat pb and banana sandwiches everyday), so I thought it would be a match made in heaven. I also tried their famous, freshly squeezed orange juice which was tasty and tangy, but definitely not worth the $5 price tag it supposedly demanded. Eventually the moment of truth arrived when I’d be face to face with a Rock and Roll legend in French toast form, and my mom also ordered Bananas Foster French toast due to her obsession with New Orleans cuisine.
At first glance, my Elvis french toast looked like his ’68 return special when he was rejuvenated through the use of black leather and sweet sideburns kind of like this:
Sadly, this dish was as bland as his characters in his many movies, and it just left me bloated/disappointed at the end of it all (R.I.P.). The syrup did add a hint of flavor to the peanut butter, but overall it was too many neutral flavors cavorting in one dish which never really grabbed a hold of my palate and said, “I Want You, I Need You”. Instead I was just left with Suspicious Minds…alright, pun fest over. My mom’s choice, the Bananas Foster French toast, was the same pattern where the presentation overshadowed the quality:
I enjoyed the bananas more than with the French toast which was bland overall, but the fruit had a nice coating of a cinnamon sugar glaze which would satisfy anyone with even tiniest of a sweet tooth.
Overall, I would recommend Juicy O to anyone who wants to try some new variations on breakfast favorites, even if they aren’t that satisfying sometimes. On a closing note, the establishment only stays open till 3 p.m., so if you’re uncertain about going, take the everlasting advice of a soulful Mississippi boy, “It’s Now or Never”.