Northwest Side Review: Tre Kronor
By Amelia Levin in Food on Apr 10, 2007 5:15PM
Your day will brighten at Tre Kronor. Well, at least ours did.
Enter the bright, white and yellow exterior with European-style front windows, and you’ll feel like you’re walking into someone’s home. Well you are, sort of. The charming, breakfast-lunch-dinner café nestled on the outskirts of Albany Park appears to have once been a two-story house, and it's a family-owned affair at that. Even the upstairs restroom has a shower/tub, with a cute shower curtain and bathroom accessories, of course.
Owners Larry Anderson and Patty Rasmussen hail from Swedish and Norwegian descent, respectively. This is apparent by the Swedish/Norwegian flag color scheme throughout the interior — blue tablecloths cover the two- and four-top tables, flanked by walls with bright yellow coloring on top, red on the bottom, and pure white crown molding with decorative, literally crown, details (Tre Kronor translation = three crowns). We’re not big fans of the word “cute” to describe things, but with one of the walls featuring a mural of frolicking trolls and a wooden, pine-laced “roof” hovering over the server’s nook, it’s hard not to use our favorite word, albeit in a very good way.
The Swedish/Norwegian influences also make their way into the menu, naturally, with food choices that scream fresh, homemade, and authentic. We came in for the raved-about brunch, and now we’re a part of that fan club (note: we came in at like 2 p.m. so we didn’t have to wait — beware the crowds at earlier times). A big winner: the Stockholm omelet with light and fluffy eggs folded perfectly over nutty and buttery, caraway- havarti cheese, speckled with falukow, a semi-sweet, peppery pork-beef sausage similar to summer sausage or salami. Slap a little bit on some limpa toast — a Swedish rye — and you’ll be in heaven. Kronor’s house specialty, the Swedish pancakes with imported lingonberries, was another winner — no nonsense, no grease, thin and fluffy flapjacks topped with tart and sweet berries that don’t need no maple syrup, although you get some on request. And here was a sweet topper — these dishes are all under 10 bucks. Actually, 8 bucks to be exact.
If the food isn’t enough to make you happy, at least the cheery staff will. Everyone is just plain nice, very a la Scandinavia. Plus, being a smallish dining room, servers are always within eyesight and very attentive. (Frequent coffee refills during brunch for this Chicagoist writer can be a make-or-breaker).
We’ll be back to try the Norwegian salmon omelet, the Belgian waffles with whipped cream, and Danish pastries. We’ll also be back for dinner, when lights dim, table candles come out, and a menu changes up frequently with more sausages, meatballs and gravy, and other homemade-cookin’ choices.
On second thought, maybe we’ll just hang out at Kronor all day.
Tre Kronor is located at 3258 W. Foster Ave., 773-267-9888. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.