Spiro Tsaldaris--whose family used to own breakfast favorite Eppel's--is behind Taylor Street's new Stax Cafe, a higher-end concept for breakfast and lunch with offerings like brisket hash, falafel sliders, pineapple upside-down pancakes, and blue-corn-and-bacon waffles. Chef Chris Barron is in the kitchen, bringing to the table experience from Market and a couple of Jerry Kleiner's venues (Opera, Red Light). This corner spot done up in shades of cafe au lait has a white-tiled counter with a full view of the kitchen and a juice bar serving fresh orange, grapefruit, and apple juice, the last with a pineapple leaf stirrer. It'd be silly not to try the pancakes at a place called Stax; we went with white chocolate-raspberry and, no, there was no need for maple syrup. Eggs Sardou, artichoke cups filled with creamed spinach, poached eggs, and hollandaise, were on the bland side, but the Parma Prosciutto--polenta cakes with poached eggs, salty prosciutto, and Parmesan--was just heaven. The fried potatoes that accompany most egg dishes are beautifully done, perfectly crisped in oil for a guilty crunch. Lunch brings sandwiches, burgers--both a half-pound Angus and a turkey burger--and salads.
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