Brunch is one of my hobbies. I just love brunch. I love everything about it: eggs, bacon, and mimosas — and that it all goes down before noon.

The brunch menu is available on Saturdays and Sundays at Homegrown, a farm-to-table restaurant in Urbana


Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This past Sunday, I took my family to brunch there. The restaurant is located at the University of Illinois Atkins Golf Club inside of the Stone Creek neighborhood. Parking was no issue as there were lots of spots.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Inside, we walked through a waiting area with U of I decor before reaching the host stand and dining rooms. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The restaurant is owned by Ryan and Abbie Rogers who also own The Wheelhouse in St. Joseph. Using the farmland within Stone Creek neighhorhood, the restaurant has its own garden that provides fresh ingredients for the kitchen. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

When we arrived, I asked if patio seating was available. The host said yes and sat us on the back patio overlooking the golf course. The patio was lovely, and my children enjoyed watching the golf carts whizzing by and seeing the golfers play. When it started to drizzle, we stayed dry under the covered patio — and so did our food.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My oldest ordered the kids' freshly squeezed orange juice ($4). It came in a tall glass, and it was delicious. Made with freshly squeezed Cara Cara navel oranges, it was fruity with no pulp and had a great sweetness. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I ordered a mimosa ($8), and my husband had a coffee ($3). Garnished with an orange slice, the mimosa was wonderfully bubbly, and I could taste the champagne. The cold bubbles paired well with the fresh orange juice for a solid brunch mimosa. The coffee was served hot but not overly hot, and it was drinkable from the first sip. The coffee had a smooth flavor that tasted great black.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

To start, we ordered a cinnamon roll ($7) to share, and it was brought to the table right away. Served in a hot mini cast iron dish, the cinnamon roll was warm and topped with a thick layer of icing. The cinnamon roll was a little dry and had a crumbly cake texture, and the swirled layers of the roll separated into easy bites. The melty icing was ridiculously yummy.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I ordered the eggs benedict ($12). Eggs benedict is easily my favorite brunch dish. Homegrown's eggs benedict came with hollandaise poured over two poached eggs atop sliced ham and halved English muffins with a pile of home fries on the each side of the plate.

One egg was perfect with a runny yolk and firm white, and the other was close to perfect: a soft boiled, gooey yolk that was still tasty albeit lacking the poached egg burst. Surprisingly, the ham was the star of Homegrown's benedict. The salty ham slices were thick with some fatty parts and some charred, and I was obsessed with the flavor. The flood of hollandaise was creamy and well seasoned with a little mustard sharpness that went with the buttery flavor. The runny yolk pooled in the hollandaise, and the soft muffin beneath sopped it all up. The seasoning on the breakfast potatoes was tasty, and I liked that the home fries had a soft potato middle.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My husband ordered the Nashville hot chicken and waffles ($16). Four triangles of Belgium waffles with three pieces of freshly fried boneless chicken strips on top were served with syrup and butter on the side. To me, when a menu says Nashville hot chicken, I imagine spicy, saucy fried chicken, and disappointingly, this was not that. There might have been some Nashville hot seasoning in the batter, but there was no sauce (even on the side!) and the heat was lacking — not exactly what we expected from the menu.

This was a typical chicken and waffles dish done very well, though. The chicken had a savory, salty flavor from the seasoned batter, and the meat itself tasted high quality. The flaky batter added a good crunch to the chicken and a nice flavor contrast to the sweet waffles. The Belgium waffles were good with deep waffle pockets that caught the syrup. Homegrown's syrup was real maple syrup, so it tasted amazing.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My kids both wanted the fruit bowl ($3 each). The fruit bowls were huge compared to what most restaurants serve, and we were all impressed. The fruit bowls had beautifully sliced watermelon, cantaloupe, sliced strawberries, and fresh blackberries. The cold fruit was delicious, and my kids were very happy with the variety.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My oldest ordered the cinnamon hot cakes ($5 for two). The pancakes were large with a great griddled top and a little dusting of powdered sugar. Syrup and butter were served on the side. These pancakes were really yummy, and the cinnamon flavor was just right. The hot cakes were fluffy and had a decadent buttery flavor even before adding the whipped butter.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My youngest's absolute favorite food is bacon, and thankfully, Homegrown's menu had bacon. He ordered a side of bacon ($4) to go with his fruit bowl.  The bacon was thick with a great porky, salty taste. Some parts of the bacon strips were super crunchy, and some were softer. My son loved the bacon so much that he ordered another round.

The wait for our meals was about 20 minutes, and the servers were attentive. The restaurant's ambiance feels like a campus building, perhaps because it is. The outdoor chairs even had a label reading, "Property of State of Illinois."

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Homegrown's menu has seven breakfast dishes, seven savory dishes, and eight al a carte options. The menu even offers a tofu scramble which has seasoned tofu, onions, peppers, garlic, and broccoli, a great option for vegans. Read the whole menu here.

Overall, I thought it was a pleasant brunch. I liked the mismatched pretty plates, and we really enjoyed the patio. The food was affordable, too, with pancakes costing $5 and eggs benedict on par with other benedicts in C-U at $12. The brunch food we tried was not creative, but the high quality of ingredients and execution was there.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

With a commitment to farm-to-table cuisine, Homegrown is a fine place for brunch — and it's a brunch kids will enjoy, too. Make your reservation here.

Homegrown
2600 S Stone Creek Blvd
Urbana
M-F 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sa+Su 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.