The only thing more endearing about chicken and waffles is chicken and waffle sliders. Especially when you have to coyly whisper a secret pass code to your server to acquire them. This week, I'm pleased to spill the syrup on a new off-menu brunch item at Rockit Burger Bar, Chicago Restaurant available September 7 through September 29 on Saturdays and Sundays all day long. All you gotta do is whisper "what the cluck?!" to your server (make sure and express the proper punctuation) and you'll be rewarded with a plate of three chicken and waffle sliders featuring buttermilk fried chicken, Belgian mini waffles, maple syrup, bacon aïoli, and tater tots. This is like the brunch equivalent of lifting a book on a bookcase into a secret passageway; a secret passageway lined with bacon aïoli.
Hutch, the new iteration of the former Socca space, debuts brunch service September 14. It's all about the homey comfort food at this Lakeview bistro, from croissant French toast and monkey bread to fried chicken with corn waffles and bourbon syrup. Meatier selections range from short rib frittata to chilaquiles, biscuits & gravy, and bone-in ham with eggs. Sure you could dive into bottomless mimosas, but Hutch gets crafty in the booze department with a.m. beverages such as the Starsky made with smoked jalapeño- and garlic-infused vodka, housemade BBQ bitters, and a bacon-sea salt rim. Come September 14, brunch will be served every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
A new brunch menu is also on deck at Stout Barrel House and Galley, served every Saturday and Sunday. The menu from Michael Matthew sports just about everything you could hope for in brunch fare, ranging from "rise & shine" items such as biscuits and gravy and breakfast pizzas to "buenos dias amigos" dishes like carnitas Benedict and breakfast tacos. Craving something sweet? "Sweet tooth cures" will satiate via red velvet waffles, Nutella and peanut butter pancakes, and banana beignets. Lunchier items go from Maine lobster rolls and sausage flatbreads to Caesar salads and open-faced grilled cheese. Of course, Stout sports plenty of brunchy beverages as well. There's a build-your-own Bloody Mary or michelada component, along with Bloody Mary flights. Mimosas come individually or in a shareable 750ml serving of cava with four juices. There are also designated "breakfast beers" and "craftails" such as an orange French toast shot and the Pineapple Recovery Punch made with Bacardi pineapple rum, pineapple juice, and coconut water served in a whole pineapple.
("What the cluck?!")