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Weekly Planner: Brunch News Edition

Brunch News Edition Lowcountry Adds Brunch Fasten those bibs, because brunch is served at Lowcountry. The South Loop outpost of the boil-in-a-bag seafood concept, which specializes in Cajun-style shellfish, has added weekend brunch to its popular portfolio. A slight departure from its usual eat-with-your-hands bag-centric menu, the brunch offerings span a spectrum of Southern comforts, from […]

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Jun 18, 2018 09:51 PM
Best Restaurants in Boystown

With June being Pride Month, there’s no better time of year to spend dining and drinking in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. The vibrant Lakeview area enclave is best known perhaps for its clubs, drag brunches and rainbow pylons, but the neighborhood is becoming a serious dining destination in its own right, thanks to restaurants like these: […]

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Jun 11, 2018 10:32 PM
Weekly Planner: Taco Joint’s Specials and ROOF on theWit’s Movie Series

Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy hour is the happiest of all when you’re surrounded by bowling alleys, bocce courts, karaoke rooms and dart boards. The West Loop’s brand new Punch Bowl Social, a behemoth dining and gaming complex out of Denver, has jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, […]

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Jun 05, 2018 06:53 PM

Griddle Goes Gluten-Free for Brunch at Big Jones

Gluten-free is much more than a buzzword at Big Jones, where executive chef/owner Paul Fehribach has gradually altered his brunch menu so that all griddled items are sans gluten. The reasoning was not to cash in on Chicago restaurants rising gluten-free market, but to create some consistent recipes that aligned with historical Southern food traditions. And as a bonus, they happen to be gluten-free. Win-win situation. Now brunchers at Big Jones can partake in gluten-free pancakes, French toast, and corn cakes, items typically taboo for those with gluten allergies. 

It all started with pancakes. Big Jones switched their pancakes a few weeks ago to 100% certified organic, whole heritage grain flours, and by the luck of the flour gods they happened to be gluten-free! Whodathunk. The current iteration is blueberry pancakes made with peelcorn oat flour. Fehribach decided to keep the momentum going, exploring more historical recipes to experiment further with gluten-free cookery. His next target was the French toast, which has long been made with milled wheat Sally Lunn bread and therefore not gluten-free. He found a recipe for hominy bread in The Receipts of Harriot Pinckney Horry, something he wanted to try out due to hominy's affinity for late summer stone fruits and grapes. He found that cooked hominy lent a pleasantly spongy texture to the bread, making for sublime French toast, especially when adorned with roasted Italian plums, summer savory, whipped crème fraîche, and granola.

The French toast joins the pancakes and corn cakes on the gluten-free griddle as the latest brunch item. As Fehribach explains, the overall intent is not to cash in on the gluten-free spotlight, but to highlight ancient heirloom grains, which dovetail with Big Jones' culinary philosophies.

Hominy bread French toast
(Hominy bread French toast. Photo: Big Jones)

Neighborhoods: Andersonville

Coastal Southern cuisine gets an update in Andersonville with potato-herb croquettes and sweet-tea infused pork chops, plus a focus on locally grown, sustainably-farmed food. Big Jones' recipes: Reezy-peezy Southern-style pickles...

Cream-puff Buckwheat-cakes_0 Boucherie-halved Guinea-truffles-2

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