FUEL Review - A Chicago Restaurant You Should Know

Approaching FUEL

When I attended a meeting at FUEL, I finally saw it, and I loved it. FUEL is a North Shore restaurant that opened in August of 2009, conveniently located near the Metra Station in Wilmette, Chase Bank and next to Norm’s Car Wash - all places that I go focusing on what I need to do and though I observed the FUEL signs, I didn’t really see it.  However, FUEL is known by many others, as evidenced by the number of people enjoying its great food and unusual beverages the day Chicago Splash Magazine reviewers, Patricia, Herb, Leon and Barbara were there.

An alcove on the right when entering where Tim is chatting

Owner, Tim Lenon, moved to Wilmette from Chicago and soon missed some of the restaurants he was accustomed to. He thought Wilmette could use a really great “Chicago type” restaurant, and has now provided one. His long time dream of opening a "farm to table" breakfast-lunch restaurant and children’s cooking school was actualized when he suddenly lost his brother and realized “there was no time like the present” and a “right” time might never arrive.  

Entering FUEL where Tim is serving

Entering the restaurant, our group was impressed with its simplicity, efficiency, and attractiveness. The contrast of the embellished white light shades and the simple black one was very interesting. In combination with the cooking school, which is managed by Meghan Scarsella, this site presents many unique features.

Everything is local.  FUEL works with the Heavenly Hearth Bread Company in Wilmette.  I love their breads, so I think this is a great idea.  They use local, organic produce when possible and bring in meat from Wisconsin.  FUEL makes all the food on site.  Meghan prepares the bakery items in addition to teaching at the cooking.  There is an “On the Go..” menu with six items from the regular menu and several sides choices.  The drink menu was extensive and unusual.

Patricia ordered the “Vegetarian Strata” ($8.50).  She enjoyed it very much especially since a previous experience with a strata, yeilded a glorified quiche. She especially liked the crust, dried tomatoes, spinach and the texture.

Vegetarian Strata, Vienna bread, green&red peppers, mushrooms, green onion, low fat gruyere&parmesian, sage,spinach and secrets

Herb chose the “South of the Border Omelet” ($9.00).  He thought the jalapeno peppers were just spicy enough but not overwhelming  and the salsa sauce was a necessary addition.

South of the Border Omelet-3 eggs, jalapenos, onion, tomato chuhuahua cheese and cilantro, hash browns, toast

Barbara was interested in the “Breakfast Burrito” ($9.00).  She thought this was a terrific dish and can’t wait to order it again.  The blend of flavors and textures was very pleasing and the salsa heightened the other flavors.

Breakfast burrito-Cilantro-jalapeno tortilla filled with guacamole and scrambled eggs, salsa and sour cream with choice of hash

Leon ordered one of the specials for the day, the “Corned Beef Hash Special”.  He was sure that his breakfast was the “prize winner”.  He loved the way the texture and flavors of the corned beef chunks and potato chunks blended and the eggs were perfect.

Probably the best dish, the special with chunks of corned beef and potatoes topped with egg

Our group agreed that the "fair trade" Metropolis coffee from a company that does “small batch artisan roasting in the heart of Chicago” was “The way coffee ought to be.”  Patricia was intrigued by the drink board and decided to try the “Baked Alaska”, which was a mixture of chai, almond, cinnamon which could be ordered hot or cold, and with soy or 2% milk.  She really enjoyed it.

Chalk boards listing drinks and specials

Our group enjoys breakfasts and lunch out and are delighted to have FUEL as a choice.  Welcome and we hope to be able to FUEL our day for many years.

John was our server

From the FUEL blog:
The Cupcake Club ($30 per family, per class)
Time: 3:30-5:00
Days: First Sunday of each month.
Remaining Dates: January 3, February 7, March 7, April 11, May 2
Please join us on the first Sunday of each month for a family-friendly afternoon of fun and baking.  That’s right- the whole family is welcome to join us as we create delicious cupcakes with a seasonal twist.  Each month will offer a new cupcake flavor with a new theme- red velvet cupcakes decorated for Valentine’s Day in February.  Each family will take home a box of cupcakes to enjoy and leave the clean up to us!

1222 Washington Court
Wilmette, Il. 60091

Heavenly Hearth Bread Company
1101 Central Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 853-0200

Metropolis Coffee Company
1039 West Granville Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660-2152
(773) 764-0400
www. metropolis coffee.com
Our coffee aesthetic is rooted in the belief that great coffee comes from a line of respect beginning with the farmers and their respect for their land. We, in turn, respect the farmers by paying fair prices for their harvest, and respect our customers by taking great care in the roasting and brewing our coffees, and in blending our teas. Respect is at the core of our coffee philosophy, and taste is paramount. .

Photos:  Barbara Keer

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