Weekend Food Bites – Brunch Edition
Brunch is such an interesting phenomenon. This heavenly meal which combines breakfast and lunch certainly is not popular everywhere and is even difficult to find in certain places. There are few things as perfect for a Sunday afternoon than sitting around the table with great company, good coffee, and a satisfying selection of sweet or savory breakfast and lunch options.
Did you know it is impossible to find a brunch place in Cleveland? It’s sad when your options are the local Denny’s and Bob Evans (which I do appreciate on occasion for the fabulous people watching at 2:00 am in the suburbs).
Luckily, Chicago is not one of those places and the brunch options are plentiful. Here is a look into a few of the places I’ve been indulging in during the most comforting meal of the week.
Bull & Bear – Bull & Bear is a stock market themed bar in River North. I have lived in River North for almost 2 years and have only stepped foot in Bull & Bear for the first time a few weeks ago. I have heard great things about it, such as the tables with the self-pouring taps but for some reason, have just never made it.
A good friend had a 25% off coupon that was set to expire so we thought it would be the perfect excuse to eat some brunch and watch the Michigan/MSU basketball game. We didn’t have a reservation but it was surprisingly empty for 12:00 pm on a Sunday so we were able to nab one of those cool booths. The booths were comfortable and we had three televisions conveniently located for our viewing pleasure.
Everything sounded great on the menu but I was particularly intrigued by the homemade POPTARTS! Shut up, who makes their own poptarts? I’ve never seen them on a menu before. The sweet poptart that day was coconut raisin and I made the executive decision that we had to try them.
The poptarts did not disappoint. These weren’t your typical store bought fruit flavored pastry. The dough was fluffy and very filo dough-like. The filling wasn’t overly sweet and the raisins added a nice bite. Everyone loved them. I’d go back just for the poptarts.
I also ordered the crab cake benedict.
The dish was fine, definitely not anything special and I wouldn’t reorder it. The hollandaise had the consistency that I like and the flavors worked. My issue is that they barely gave me any. I love a good amount of the unhealthy sauce!
Feast – I’ve been to Feast a few times but always in their Bucktown location. This past Sunday afternoon was spent assisting one of my best guy friends with clothing shopping which left us wandering around the Mag Mile looking for an escape from the cold and some brunch. Unfortunately, this was poorly timed because it was 2:30 before we were serious about food. This left us minimal options since many kitchens were closed from brunch service. Luckily, Feast doesn’t close off their kitchen and we were soon warming ourselves with coffee and hot chocolate.
Feast is a cute spot and is wonderful during the summer months because both locations feature outdoor dining options. Although, the Feast in Bucktown has a better patio. On the flip side, Feast also has fireplaces to help you escape the cold during the winter (which lasts the other 8 months of the year)!
Unfortunately, we missed their brunch menu so we ordered off of the lunch menu. We had to make due.
I went for some coffee and the Chicken Tortilla Soup since I was still frozen.
The tortilla soup had a nice kick to it, the spice was strong enough to be maintained but not overbearing that I couldn’t enjoy the soup. The soup had large pieces of avocado, which of course I love and appreciated. The only downfall is that I felt the pieces of tortilla were the entire soup. The soup to tortilla ratio was skewed to where I felt like I was dipping my tortilla pieces into some broth versus soup with tortilla pieces in it.
Chicago Q – A large majority of my friends are consultants who travel 4 days a week. Recently, one good friend decided to leave Chicago temporarily (‘homelessness’ works when you are a consultant) and I went to a going away brunch for him at Chicago Q.
There were 10 of us and the restaurant was very accommodating given the reservation was originally for 8 and it was restaurant week. We were bombarded with menus: restaurant week offerings, brunch, and the regular menu. So many choices, how is a girl to decide?
My new brunch obsession (which I never get to eat since my boyfriend has specific views that you should just eat lunch if it’s that late in the day), is eggs benedict. I went with the smoked eggs benedict. Listen to this bad boy…
Honey butter cornbread topped with smoked chicken, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and served with home fries.
Eggs benedict on cornbread is the best idea I’ve eaten in awhile. I absolutely loved the dish and all the components worked so well with each other. The cornbread added a touch of sweetness, the chicken was smoky and tender, and the eggs/hollandaise sauce added the richness to make it the perfect brunch dish.
Hopefully you find this guide useful for deciding where to spend your next leisurely weekend morning (or more realistically, afternoon)!
Till next time, peace out food ninjas!