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Best Restaurants for Boozy Brunch in Chicago

Best Restaurants for Boozy Brunch in Chicago . Boozy Brunch? What is brunch without a little booze? And this being winter (albeit a warmer than usual one), a little booze is always a welcome distraction from the season. When it comes to imbibing at brunch, you could stick with the coffee and orange juice route, […]

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Feb 20, 2017 08:31 PM
Weekly Planner: Brunch at Publican Anker, Midday Dining at Animale

Weekly Planner: Brunch at Publican Anker, Midday Dining at Animale, Sunday Lasagna at Roots Handmade Pizza and More. . Weekly Planner: Brunch at Publican Anker . Midday Dining at Animale While one restaurant rolls out brunch, another adds lunch. Bucktown’s beloved Animale has added weekday daytime service to its repertoire, featuring an array of panini, […]

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Feb 19, 2017 09:35 AM
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House Turns 20

A Gold Coast legend Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House celebrates a milestone with a throwback. . . Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House Turns 20 this year. One of the OGs of the Gold Coast’s dining scene, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House is celebrating a particularly commemorative occasion with its 20th anniversary this […]

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Feb 17, 2017 05:25 AM

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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