Why do we keep coming back to Clarke's? Two words. Skillet Eggs. Picture a flotilla of diced potatoes and onion, crisped on one or two sides, studded with bacon, sausage, portobellos, salsa, or chicken; lavished with your choice among seven or eight cheeses, including some positively odd ones; and perched thereon, two impeccably poached eggs, yolky in the middle, firm outside. Or have 'em fried, scrambled, basted, flat: any way you care to approach your daily egg. Now imagine it's two in the morning. Yeah, it hits the spot. I don't think we've ever actually had a bad meal from Clarke's expansive menu, which is why the sometimes inattentive service is so heartbreaking. Any time of the day or night, you too can have your Kung Fu chicken (chicken with homemade teryaki sauce on a hot flatbread served with bunny food garnishes and fries), your baked apple pancake, your gooey patty melt on white or your mixing-bowl-sized honey mustard chicken salad. The pancakes, a side-dish option just like the crisp potatoes or thick-cut fries, are some of the best anywhere, always hot and fluffy with a malty sweetness. Soups, which rotate weekdays, include a stellar cream of field mushroom (Tuesday). Also neat: big wheels of fresh lemon in your table's water carafe will make you forget you're drinking Lake Michigan. This food is passably cheap and really good.
There are metered spaces nearby, but odds of finding parking are not terribly good. Clarke's is very convenient to the Lincoln Avenue bus line, the Halsted bus line, and the Fullerton Avenue CTA station, so getting there is never a problem.