Tag Archives: chicago

The “We don’t have baby daddies” Fathers Day Brunch

Yes, we took a week off. There were too many things going on last weekend with my family coming into the city for the afternoon and Meghan being back home with family. In honor of it being Father’s Day, and to go along with our first (undocumented) brunch called “We aren’t Mothers” Mothers Day Brunch, we have dubbed this week, the “We don’t have baby daddies” Fathers Day Brunch.

On our walk to The Southern we passed a young couple walking back from the farmers market with all their fresh fruits and veggies in hand. The best part about seeing this and remembering the farmers market is super close to us? As soon as we passed the couple me and Meghan turn to each other and in unison squealed with delight “the farmers market!” Our brunch was off to a magnificent start.

The Southern is great place for when you want some awesome down-home-southern-cooking. Oh my goodness. I felt like I was transported right to Savannah, GA eating that food. They like their chicken fried and butter ever present, but what good southern cooking doesn’t? I really recommend it if you are ever in the mood for some really great southern fare.

Now, I am a cheese lover. And I have been wanting to try The Southern for quite some time now due to their world famous Mac and Cheese. (They also have a mobile Mac and Cheese Truck!) Living so close the truck tends to not make stops around us, but we always get teased because they park the truck on random side streets in the area. I decided it had to be done, and we had to have brunch here! And thank goodness the weather held up and didn’t rain all weekend so we were able to enjoy the wonderful weather on their pretty awesome patio.

The only miss-step of the day was probably first round of drinks. Belvedere Vodka was there promoting their new Bloody Mary flavored vodka and so Meghan and Josh both ordered them. Why not?! It’s brunch! Except they were not that good. The little taste I had tasted exactly like what it was, flavored vodka with tomato juice. It tasted like a watered down bloody rather than an awesome one. My mimosa was ok, nothing too spectacular. But on to the food!

Here’s what we ordered:

Myself — Spiced Doughnuts

Meghan — Southern M’am

Josh — Chicken and Biscuts

& we got the Sunday Mac and Cheese of course!

When my doughnuts arrived they were still super hot and were actually gooey in the middle! You are served 5 decent sized doughnut balls with a coffee glaze and fresh fruit. I don’t like coffee at all, but I was 100% happy with Chef Cary Taylor’s choice! The fruit served this Sunday was blueberries and strawberries – my favorite!  **side note – I feel really lame using so many ! but they are extremely necessary to express my love for the food I ate!**

The Sunday Mac and Cheese came with sausage and scrambled eggs. I do not eat pig, but I put that fact aside because I HAD TO TRY THE MAC AND CHEESE. It was totally worth it and while I ate around the sausage, I barely tasted it. Meghan and Josh both said the sausage was great, but I’ll take them for their word on that one.

The cutest moment of the day came when a dad and his (8-9-10?) year old daughter came and sat down next to us for a fathers day brunch. She was just so happy to be out with her dad by themselves, and he looked like the proudest papa ever! My favorite part was when the girl saw the french toast and shared my same enthusiasm for the dish. Adorable!

Next week … my best friends (Company of Thieves) are opening for Hall and Oates at Ravinia so we are hopefully going to run to the farmers market and make our own brunch here before! I can’t wait!



Week 2 at The Bristol

For week 2 of our budding brunch club, Bre let me indulge my curiosity and select The Bristol (on Damen, between Shakespeare and Webster).  I have had dinner and cocktails there in the past and have been blown away by not only their product, but also by their impeccable service staff’s knowledge and friendliness.  The decor is a relaxed Chicago loft style that, although casual, does set a well thought out tone for the food and drink contained in the space; unpretentious and unassuming.  Being in the industry ourselves, brunch ends up being around 1 p.m., so there was no wait to get a table; we sat in a quiet corner (which still felt the breeze from the open front windows) and dove into the menu.

Of course you can’t have brunch without at least a little bit of booze, but The Bristol has taken it to the next level! (of course they did, it is The Bristol after all!)  The second I read the words “bacon manhattan” I got a little tingly in that place that awakens my inner fat kid.  I know a manhattan isn’t many people’s idea of a light brunchy cocktail, but if you don’t have any plans involving operating heavy machinery for the rest of the day, I encourage you to try it!  It is made with bacon infused Dewers, maple syrup, and garnished with a slice of candied bacon.  While I was sipping on my whiskey, Bre and Josh kicked it off with The Bristol Bellini (their seasonal fruit was rhubarb).  After seeing and hearing how pleased they were, I gathered all my fortitude and what was left of my sobriety (an easy feat considering I did not have much left of either after that manhattan) and ordered one for myself.  I must say it was a very welcome and much needed departure from the generic mimosa you would receive at other brunches.

On to the food!  This was one of the most agonizing decisions I made in my entire week!  Whenever there is a benedict option, my impulse is to got for it, especially when a mustard hollandaise is involved as it was here.  But I resisted… The biscuits and gravy also caught my eye, because again they are a classic and I would love to experience how The Bristol turns them out, but since Josh got them I’ll leave the commentary to him (but I will say they looked FABULOUS!)  Next began the battle between the hangover breakfast and the braised pork chilaquiles… in a last second, game time decision I ordered the chilaquiles.  As amazing as I’m sure the hangover breakfast is, I was ecstatic about my choice.  I did however sub a poached egg for the fried one that comes with it (there’s something about the silky yolk that runs out of a perfectly poached egg and onto everything on the plate that gets me).  The chilaquiles came out in a small cast iron skillet still sizzling, teeming with rustic simple flavors that paired well with my pork centric cocktail.  And just as with pork and booze, I don’t consider brunch complete without hot sauce (with the exception, of course, of sweeter fare).  The green sauce provided on the table took my entree to the next level, it not only added some heat, but also seemed to develop the existing flavors without overwhelming them.  I’m sorry to say that I do not have any photos of my entree because I dove in right away and only came up for air, alcohol, and to express my elation…

All in all I must say that The Bristol has blown my mind yet again!  Chef Chris Pandel has somehow had a dialogue with my inner fat kid and taken notes on exactly what my perfect brunch scenario is and elevated it beyond my wildest dreams!  I can’t wait to return when the seasonal menu shifts.  This will not be the last you hear of The Bristol on this blog.