Have you ever craved a vegan omelet, a milkshake or cheese fries at 2 AM? I know I have. The next time you are looking for a place that will suite everyone’s food preferences, Pick Me Up Café in Lakeview offers a variety of meals for vegetarians and vegans as well as meat-lovers and stays open 24 hours.
Not only does ’50s vintage-style café offer the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent menu options, the decor lends itself to a fun dining environment. With excellent service and prices that will leave you wanting more, everything on the menu is under $10 and served in huge portions. The two best times to eat at Pick Me Up? A late morning brunch or a late-night snack that won’t leave you feeling guilty in the morning.
Pick Me Up Cafe is known for its build-your-own omelet option, which might not sound earth shattering, but it is when the toppings include feta cheese, goat cheese, eggplant, avocado — even tofu. Another popular dish is the eggs benedict, which you can order vegetarian or vegan, with tofu instead of eggs.
In addition to these choices, there are several other specialty omelets, which you’ll recognize by their unique acronym-based names on the menu, such as GORP (goat cheese, onion, red pepper), CAB (cheese, avocado, bacon) and STOMP (spinach, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, provolone). My personal favorite is the GORP, because I enjoyed the tangy taste of goat cheese in the omelet but you can’t go wrong with any of the above.
If you are in Lakeview late at night instead of in the morning, Pick Me Up still has plenty of choices, but be sure to leave your calorie counter at home. I would consider the cheese fries one of the best snacks on the menu. They are perfectly seasoned, a bit spicy and come with ranch for dipping sauce. If you’re dairy-free, order the fries with vegan cheese if you want to. Lighter snack options include the hummus platter and the vegan macaroni and cheese.
Finally, you really can’t leave Pick Me Up without ordering a milkshake, a perfect companion to any of the dishes no matter what the time of day. These shakes are also great for sharing. Shakes come in four different flavors, including Four Berries. You can add peanut butter, Butterfinger, Oreos and malt to any shake if you want to get creative. My favorite? A classic chocolate shake with added Oreos for a twist.
Pick Me Up Café, 3408 North Clark Street. For more information call 773-248-6613.
Sarah Amundsen is a senior at Loyola University Chicago, where she is pursuing studiesin in public relations and marketing. In her spare time, she is interested in running, fashion and eating her way through Chicago’s many great restaurants.