Building ‘Batter’ breakfasts
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent December 28, 2012 3:28PM
From left: Owners of the Batter and Berries restaurant are Craig Richardson, of Gary; chef Derek Rylon, of Chicago; and Craig’s wife, Dr. Tanya Reeves-Richardson, also of Chicago. The eatery is in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. | Photo provided
IF YOU GO
◆ Batter and Berries
◆ 2748 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
◆ Open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
◆ More information: (773) 248-7710 or find it on Facebook.
Updated: February 1, 2013 6:10AM
At Batter and Berries restaurant in Chicago, breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it is the main attraction.
The restaurant is owned by Craig Richardson of Gary, his wife, Dr. Tanya Reeves-Richardson of Chicago and her childhood friend Derek Rylon, the restaurant’s chef, also of Chicago.
Batter and Berries opened in May and is known for its weekly French toast specials.
Rylon creates a different flavored French toast each week. He has made 32 types of the popular menu item including sweet potato, pumpkin and holiday-themed flavors like gingerbread, chocolate rum toast and peppermint Schnapps.
“I like to challenge myself in the kitchen. I have about 100 flavors in mind,” Rylon said.
Other popular menu items include a seafood omelet made with fresh crab or lobster, and a unique twist to chicken and waffles.
“I cook a boneless chicken breast, dice it and put it in the waffle batter, Rylon said. “When you take a bite of the waffle you get the pieces of chicken.”
Ernita Cooper, of Gary, became a fan in September.
“By the end of summer I was hooked on the French toast specials. I could not miss out on the sweet potato French toast, and it’s great that it’s black-owned and even better that there’s a hometown connection,” she said.
Batter and Berries was inspired by the Richardsons, who married in 2000 and have four children.
Craig, a 1984 West Side High School graduate and an alumnus of Ball State University’s College of Business, is a former State Farm Insurance underwriter and agency specialist.
He and Tanya dated for two years. “She was a medical resident and her schedule was crazy, the only time we had together was mornings and we’d meet for breakfast.”
Tanya comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her uncle, the late Freddie Luster, was founder of Luster Hair Care Products. Clintex Laboratories is also part of the family business.
Tanya is a family physician, but she always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur as well.
“Since I was a child my goal was to be a doctor and a businesswoman. I believe in empowering and enlightening people to be successful in life,” she said.
Her friendship with Rylon is solid and trusting.
“Derek has 20 years of experience as a chef and is always pushing the limits. Our goal is to make Batter and Berries the number one restaurant in Chicago and beyond,” she said.