The Tofu Sweet Potato Hash at the Flying Saucer
Holding down the southeast corner of Humboldt Park is the Flying Saucer—a comfortable from-scratch take on the everyman's breakfast diner, with just the right amount of quirk.
The website says the place has been feeding "vegans, vegetarians & meat eaters since 2000"—so that's all of us. And there truly is something on the menu to please anyone, from your go-to egg sandwich and French toast to more creative breakfast fare, like a giant Cuban bean-stuffed breakfast burrito and something called the trucker bowl, which has already gotten the praise it's due.
In the tofu sweet potato hash ($10.75 with two eggs your way, toast, and choice of home fries, mixed greens, or spiced apples), the usual hash proportions of fillings and potato have been inverted, making it more of a sautéed Tuscan kale salad. In a world populated with plenty of piles of greasy potatoes, this stands out.
It's a fairly straight-faced preparation, with hunks of sautéed springy tofu, al dente sweet potato, and the kale eventually getting slicked in my two poached eggs' worth of yolk (and some added salt and hot sauce, which I recommend). On the side, the spiced apples are gratifyingly simple and warming, adding a slightly sweet balance to the greens.
Don't forget that there are two things you'll need before you cozy up in this little corner spot: cash and, if you'd like, your own breakfast booze.