Chicago >Food & Dining > Ina's
1235 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060741.884088 -87.657735
M-Th 7-3 5-9, F 7-3 5-10, Sa 8-3 5-10, Su 8-2
Neighborhoods: Near West Side, West Side
Fantastic breakfast spot - vanilla bean waffles, whole wheat oatmeal pancakes, and steel cut oatmeal are all great.
Like your beloved bubbeh just waiting to feed you delicious sour cream coffee cake, vegetable hash, heavenly hots (pancakes), and other made from scratch favorites, Ina Pinkney reigns as the breakfast queen of Chicago.
INA WAS CRABBY AND MEAN - DON'T GO PARENTS – .DO NOT TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THIS PLACE! INA DOES NOT LIKE YOUR CHILD! SHE IS A HORRIBLE, JUDGEMENTAL WOMAN WHO FEELS IT'S OKAY TO SAY ANYTHING SHE WANTS TO ANYONE BECAUSE IT'S HER RESTAURANT. I am not sure if it's possible to give no stars, but I would if I could. I was at Ina's on Easter Sunday for brunch with my 3 year-old and my husband. We were told there was a 20 minute wait. I thought that my son could handle 20 minutes. We gave our name and went outside to enjoy the weather and walk around to kill some time. After walking around for 15 minutes, we went back inside to check our name - no movement. This was when my son spied 3 big cakes under glass on the counter in the waiting area. He pointed to the carrot cake and said, "I want that." Ina was standing behind the counter watching the exchange between my son and me. I was trying to talk him out of the cake and told him we would be sitting down soon and then he could eat a waffle. This went on for about 3 minutes. Ina watched us but did not make eye contact, nor did she offer us the plate of tiny coffee cake samples that was on the other side of the counter. Finally, it was clear that my son was not going to be disuaded. "Want that one. Want that one. Want that one." My son is Autistic and gets fixated or "stuck" on something and there is almost no way to unstick him without a violent tantrum. It may seem like I was indulging him by giving in and asking to BUY a piece of carrot cake, but sometimes I just can't take the screaming and biting and carrying on in public. I was exhausted and I was going to BUY him a piece of carrot cake for the sake of my own friggin sanity. I finally spoke to Ina, who had been giving my tiny, adorable but angerly pointing and whiny son the evil eye this whole time. I politely asked her if I could have a piece of carrot cake "To Go" for my son. She said, "He doesn't want that one. He won't like it. He should have this one," finally offering the plate of sample coffee cake pieces. I said, "No thanks. He wants the carrot cake." This whole time my son is pointing at the carrot and whining, "I want that one." Ina looked me right in the eye and said with a snarl, "I see who the boss is in YOUR family." Read: You are a horrible parent that cannot control her child, and your kid is a brat with no self control. I politely told her that he is Autistic and didn't understand her attempts to get him to eat the FREE cake. She never apologized. We paid $5.00 for the piece of carrot cake and left. I will NEVER EVER go back there again. She is a horrible woman who obviously thinks it is within her right in her establishment to insult people who just want to buy something. STAY AWAY Parents.
Don't Go For Dinner – I have been to Ina's for breakfast and lunch. I have never had any issues with the service or the food. I do take issue with the single dollar sign denoting a price point for this restaurant. I went for dinner last week to find that the average entree price for this "diner-like" restaurant was between $18-$20 dollars; I believe we had a grand total of 8 items to choose from on the menu The entree came with nothing, and there was no option for a less expensive sandwich--those were $16-$17 as well. Totally ridiculous. The food was no better than what I could have purchased at the prepared food section at Jewel.
Sweet Breakfast Spot – As a server in a very busy restaurant in Chicago, I whole-heartedly agree with Ina's cross attitude toward wandering children. Servers carry heavy plates and hot coffee. They do not need the extra obstacle of a small child wandering around the restaurant. It is for the safety of your children, people!!! And also the safety of the staff. Parents have a tendancy to become deaf toward their children. When a child cries and whines, no one wants to hear that while they're eating breakfast. TAKE YOUR CHILD OUT OF THE RESTAURANT! Parents! Be considerate of other diners! Sitting next to a table with a child ruins my meal. The mess on the floor, the high pitched cries, the large stroller next to your chair.
It is also nerve-racking as a server to have someone come into a restaurant and sit for hours on end. I can imagine people sitting there at the height of breakfast or lunch oblivious to the long line of people waiting to enjoy their meal. If you're done eating, get up and leave! Go to the coffee shop down the block or your home or a mall or anywhere. A server makes money (not much) by waiting on people. When you sit for a long time, you cheat that server out of money and the owner out of sales.
My boyfriend and I will definitely be back to Ina's. The fresh squeezed OJ was refreshing. The oatmeal pancakes with bananas was like banana bread - no syrup required. And our service was great. Ina, we don't have children and we don't like to sit too long. We will be back.
Terrible glutten free meal – The restaurant was hotter than heck. Stuffy beyond imaginable. Buy a fan!!!The gluted free fried chicken batter was inedible. The server forgot to bring BBQ sauce with brisket order. When mentioning this to Ina when leaving the restaurant, she said you should have said something. i did not think it was my place to get up and look for my server who never once asked how our meal was. She is not a nice woman. The mashed potatoes were worse than KFC!!!!!!Ina's is a no no.
A Ruler Across The Knuckles – Rated R. Not kid or parent friendly at all. We had a similar experience to the reviewer who talked about Ina's requirements for child behavior (and by the date of that review we were just a few days apart.) A manager cited us for sitting at the bar with our 15 month old (apparently against the law which is understandable.) But this was only when we were being seated and after we had sat there for 15 minutes without comment from the bartender or anyone else. We would have been happy to wait elsewhere. As we finished our ok but nothing special breakfast, we let our child walk about a little. Big mistake; a different staffer scolded us again and when we had the nerve to say something to Ina herself, she jumped out of her seat and began shouting at us, following us back to our table while lecturing us about child safety. When we said we'd tell others about our experience she said "GOOD! If they're like you I don't want them here!" So there you have it. From the owners mouth.
Worst experience ever – Ina's is definitely not a child friendly restaurant. From the moment we entered, Ina herself had the nerve to tell our child to sit down and behave himself without any cause. If that was not bad enough, periodically, Ina, or someone else on her staff, would come to our table to make sure that both of my children were behaving themselves, even the 19 month old who was just waiting for his milk to arrive. If you are looking for someone to discipline your child when there is no cause, Ina will be more than happy to do it for the cost of a meal.
Very good day starter – Friendly staff quick to get the coffee flowing. Tasty, imaginative meal (e.g., vegetable hash, and I ordered a generous side of chorizo). The coffee cake was very, very good. The only drawback was the bacon--for some reason, both of the bacon eaters commented they were let down by the thin taste. I splurge on Boar's Head once in a while and thought the bacon would be great, but was not. Will encourage others to take the hike over the river to Ina's.
Wonderful! – Despite the negative reviews, my husband and I decided to give Inas a try. We went there for breakfast on Memorial Day. Upon entering the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by Ina herself and then promptly seated. The food was outstanding and the wait staff was very friendly and attentive. We will definitely be back!
Absolutely Fabulous – We have been there several times and have never had a problem with service. If anything I thought they were very friendly, including Ina herself. Everything is fresh here, and I love the free parking.
Rude is an understatement – I and a friend eagerly anticipated our first visit to Ina's based on rave reviews about the food. Perhaps the food is good. The experience however was seriously tarnished by the unnecessarily unpleasant and arrogant attitude of the inept hostess. I was aware that there would be a wait, especially on a weekend morning. However, when I asked how long the wait would be, the hostess rolled her eyes as if my question were inpertinent. Her tone of voice conveyed exasperation. In the most curt manner, she told me that we would be seated as soon as possible, and it should be clear to me that there were many other guest ahead of me and I would simply have to wait my turn. I should have left. It was not possible for me to enjoy the food due to the hostess' nasty demeanor.
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