Nobody puts the Bongo Room in a corner. Chocolate Tower French toast? Deconstructed lobster roll benedict? And need we mention not one but three locations in iconic Chicago neighborhoods? In spite of sounding like a place where Matthew McConaughey would spend a well-deserved day off,* BR has become a Chicago staple. Same with Yolk, Kanela, Over Easy, and several other classics serving everyone’s favorite hybrid meal seven days a week.
That being said, there are times when a bruncher needs to branch out. So, without further ado, some unexpected options for getting Sunday Funday started off right.
Chicago q. The quaint exterior suggests a sophisticated little bistro; the elegant, cavernous interior suggests Scarlet O’Hara has finally tapped latent entrepreneurial impulses and turned Tara into a thriving barbeque brasserie. Even those who have swung by for the pulled pork shoulder and bruleed mac and cheese, though, may be unaware that Chef Lee Ann Whippen is, well, whippin’ (#sorrynotsorry) up a mouth-watering brunch as well. Carrot cake pancakes with bourbon glaze and American Kobe beef brisket eggs benedict are a few of the true-blue Southern-inspired dishes that give new meaning to the phrase “breakfast of champions.”
Bonus: The homemade potato and pickle chips that go down on the table gratis as soon as you sit down. When we asked what the potato chips were seasoned with, the answer was “crack” – which I’m not entirely sure was a joke.
Insider’s note: Try and get a seat in Redding’s section. He’s one of those servers who says “I’ll be taking care of you” – and actually means it.
1160 N. Dearborn St. Brunch starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Dawson. Have you heard the one about an American, an Irishman, and a Serbian who walk into a bar? What about the one where they start one? That doesn’t finish with a punch line so much as a fairy-tale ending, and it’s called the Dawson, a cocktail-centric bistro expertly helmed by the triumvirate of Shaun King, Billy Lawless, and Branco Palikuca. Just as swoon-worthy as the craft libations is the brunch menu: French toast stuffed with banana, nutella and whipped ricotta, a French omelette bursting with fresh veggies and brie…four kinds of bacon. Good luck choosing, friends. Good luck choosing.
Bonus: Unlike the cursory bloody-or-mimosa offering of some places, the Dawson’s full offering of cocktail masterpieces is on for brunch. Bonus indeed.
730 W. Grand Ave. Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m Saturday and Sunday.
Table, Donkey and Stick. It has gotten to the point where it’s nearly impossible to find un-niched niches in Chicago. Design-your-own-ice-cream? Done. Poutine, the whole poutine and nothing but poutine? Nailed it. Korean street food, ceviche bars, artisanal cream puffs, an authentic Costa Rican cantina? Here and here and here and here, kids. So where in the world is a restauranteur left to go? How about the remote peaks of the Alps? Professed to be modeled after traditional “berghaus[es] or auberge[s] de montagne,” Table, Donkey and Stick is truly for the adventurous. The dinner menu features game, locally-sourced vegetables and cheeses; the nod to authentic Alpine cuisine stretches to the morning menu as well. No eggs benedict or French toast here: instead, you can choose from pretzel bread pudding (with cherry jam, lemon curd, and candied pecans) and duck sausage biscuits and gravy, among other offerings. Let’s just say it’s worth the, ahem, trek.
Insider’s note: The name of the restaurant comes from a lesser-known Grimm Brother’s fairy tale. Check it out here (sadly, it does not include a link to order your own gold-shitting donkey).
2728 W. Armitage Ave. Brunch from 10-2 on Saturday and Sunday.
So go ahead and shake up the usual wake’n’bake this weekend. It’ll be a great time.
Perhaps, dare we say, the time of your life.
*or at least old Matthew McConaughey. Who is this new guy anyway?