If you live in the Midwest, and happen to be in Eau Claire for a day or two, The Informalist is a definite must. If you’ve followed me for any number of time, you know that I love myself a good breakfast. The Informalist is a newer restaurant that’s connected to The Lismore Hotel downtown. I have some weird bias that I am not a fan of going to restaurants connected to hotels because they suck, to be honest, or tend to be pretty spendy. The informatlist is different though. Walking in you don’t feel out of place if you are dressed up, but you also won’t feel out of place dressing casual. It’s a place you could eat at for a business meeting, but also bring your family. I’m a sucker for cute dishes, and the mugs they serve your coffee in are just adorable.
What I really want to talk about though is the food. Being that I try to eat a pretty clean diet, I was very happy with the menu. They offer a good selection of gluten free and vegetarian option (which I also learned is going to continue to grow, yay!), but also, every thing is locally sourced. Talk about a win. They also do not cook with vegetable oils, or other unhealthy fats, which made me extremely happy to hear. Oils are what tend to make us feel bad after we are done eating at a restaurant, along with the oversized potions. Which brings me to another point, portion size. Everything came out very well presented. My dish was just the perfect amount of food. I came in hungry, and left content, not stuffed. I was lucky enough to try two other dishes, along with the one I personally ordered while I was there; both of those were slightly heavier dishes. The breakfast burger was very bread heavy. I did not try the bread, but the bacon on the burger was to die for. I’m not much of a bacon person, but this stuff was a bacon lover’s dream. I also tried the huevos rancheros, but being that I love nachos, there was no doubt that I wasn’t going to like this at least a little bit. I personally wouldn’t want the potatoes, but the meat, beans, and sour cream mixed perfectly, with the corn tortillas, which are made in house, gave it a perfect crunch. The dish I ordered though was the pork belly. I had never had pork belly before, but had always wanted to try it. The meat practically melted in your mouth, and I loved the slight char on the leeks. The squash confit had a very unique taste, but I really enjoyed it.
Overall the service was great, the coffee was great, and the food was great. It’s in a price range that anyone can afford, especially when you think about the source, and quality of the food, which are two of the most important features when I’m looking for somewhere to eat. I’m glad I have somewhere like this to eat, just minutes away from where I live.