Mystery Diner in La Salle: Launch Kitchen offers twists on classic brunch dishes

Outdoor seating adds to restaurant’s experience

The breakfast pizza at Launch Kitchen is loaded with toppings, including sausage gravy, two different cheeses, pico and a cilantro lime sour cream.

Who doesn’t love a good brunch?

For all you brunch lovers out there, the Illinois Valley has a new place to satisfy your craving. It’s Launch Kitchen at 328 Third St. in La Salle.

But Launch Kitchen doesn’t offer traditional brunch.

Instead, it puts its own twist on brunch favorites, including biscuits and gravy, omelettes, chicken and waffles, avocado toast, and breakfast pizza, among other items.

On a recent Sunday, I decided to check out Launch Kitchen with my spouse and another couple.

Since it was a gorgeous spring morning, we opted to sit outside in their outdoor area, whose artificial turf provided a nice, relaxed atmosphere perfect for enjoying a long meal and catching up with friends.

We started off with some cocktails.

Launch Kitchen features a variety of cocktails for brunch, including a blueberry mojito.

Launch Kitchen offers classic brunch cocktails, including bloody marys, mimosas and Irish coffee along with other mixed drinks.

One member of the party picked the bloody mary, a good deal at $10, considering it came with an 8-ounce Miller High Life sidecar. Another member of our party tried the blueberry mojito ($12).

Launch Kitchen serves traditional brunch cocktails, including a Bloody Mary with a Miller High Life sidecar.

As an appetizer at Launch, they bring cinnamon rolls to the table. The aroma alone is worth it, and the taste was just as good.

Launch Kitchen brings cinnamon rolls to the table as an appetizer.

Of course, eating a delicious cinnamon roll gives you less room for whatever you order, but we all managed.

After much deliberation, both before I arrived at Launch and while sitting at the table, I decided to go with corned beef hash ($14).

The corned beef hash at Launch Kitchen features a paprika garlic aioli.

I had never had corned beef hash, but I love corned beef, and Launch’s take on it sounded amazing on the menu.

It did not disappoint.

Of course, it had the traditional ingredients of corned beef, potatoes and onions, but Launch really brought the flavor with its paprika garlic aioli.

My spouse went with the breakfast pizza ($15).

This was no ordinary one. It had so many toppings, you couldn’t see the crust, and there was no way you’re picking this thing up and taking a bite like a traditional slice of pizza.

It was topped with sausage gravy, queso and smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, over-easy eggs, lettuce, pico, scallions, Tajin – which is a spice that includes chili peppers, lime and salt and is featured in several Launch dishes – and a cilantro lime sour cream.

Another member of our party ordered the biscuits and gravy ($12). While the menu makes it sound like traditional biscuits and gravy, be aware that it isn’t.

The biscuits and gravy at Launch Kitchen are served with a red gravy and chorizo.

The gravy is red and seems to be made with chorizo instead of traditional breakfast sausage, so it has some kick.

She said the biscuit was one of the best she’s had in the area, with a crispy outside and a nice rise to it.

The final member of our party had the eggs Benedict ($12), which was the most traditionally prepared of the dishes on the table, with the only change being over-easy eggs instead of poached.

The eggs benedict at Launch Kitchen are served with over easy eggs instead of the traditional poached.

From our experience at Launch Kitchen, you’re going to get a delicious, unique spin on classic dishes, and you’re going to walk away full.

I’m excited to go back for more brunch, and to try the lunch and dinner menus.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a different restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: Launch Kitchen

WHERE: 328 Third St., La Salle

PHONE: 815-202-3149

INFORMATION: Facebook at