Midwest Living Review
Lincoln Park's Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba puts Spain on the map of Chicagoland ethnic restaurants. The festive stucco hacienda -- decorated with colorful mosaic tiles and contemporary wall murals -- serves small plate tapas and paella platters, ideal for sharing and sampling the flavors of Spain. Open on weekdays for dinner and on weekends for brunch.Hot and cold tapas choices, averaging $5, are flavor-packed but not too exotic. Authentic ingredients are all recognizable, and when a regional specialty, such as piquillo peppers, Serrano ham and chorizo, is part of a dish, the taste, texture and spiciness is explained by the attentive server. Paella entrees with chicken, vegetables and seafood are priced per person, $9.95-$12.95. The menu is in English with Spanish translation as subtext. The children's menu has the standard kiddy food items, $4.95. But little ones will love the regular menu's bacon mac n' cheese tapa for the same price. The weekend brunch offers 18 breakfast tapas served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (reservations required). Standouts include sausage fried paella with poached egg, spinach and artichoke crepe, and the strawberry and cream panini. Gotta love the fruity sangria pitchers and brunch-only build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Concoct a 12 oz. drink with premium vodka, tomato juice (the gazpacho and torpedo juice combo is most delish) and accent with a shrimp, sausage and veggie spear garnish, $7.