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Hottest New Brunch in Chicago

Brunch is a booming business in Chicago, with new restaurants and menus emerging seemingly every week. Especially lately, the city has seen a surge in reputable brunches debut, each offering a stylistic and innovative approach to the weekend pastime. From internationally inspired dim sum to morning fare rooted in culinary traditions of France and Spain, […]

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May 24, 2018 11:51 PM
The Perfect Day of Eating in Chicago’s West Loop

In Chicago, dining and drinking is a full-fledged tourist attraction in and of itself,  Eating in Chicago’s West Loop Right up there with other world-famous institutions like the Bean, the Willis Tower and Navy Pier. Eating in Chicago’s West Loop Considering this, strategy is important when planning out a day of dining in the big city, as coordinated […]

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May 19, 2018 02:41 AM
Cinco de Mayo Guide, 2018 to Dining and Drinking

Cinco de Mayo: Where to dine and drink on Mexican cuisine and cocktails for May 5. One of the liveliest and most colorful food- and drink-filled holidays of the year is almost here, and all over Chicago, restaurants and bars are gearing up to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. From cocktail specials to full-blown parties, here’s where […]

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May 09, 2018 04:21 AM

Brunch Bites: Valois and The Duck Inn

In this week's batch of brunch bites, an ode to Valois' classic steak and eggs and The Duck Inn debuts brunch service. 

 

Valois
Valois



On a rapidly gentrifying street in Hyde Park, Valois stands strong. The casual, decades-old cafeteria is still hotter than ever, even when faced with the hyper popularity of froufrou brunches. A recent visit to this south side institution prompted an homage to one of the greatest old-school eateries in the city, one that just so happens to hold its own with breakfast and brunch fare that is second to none. The timeworn cafeteria still bustles with hungry diners and draws a line out the door on most mornings. A large part of the reason locals line up en masse is for the no-frills, Obama-endorsed comfort food. That's right, there's a whole section of the menu devoted to President Obama's favorites, as he regularly visits the restaurant on trips to Chicago. One such favorite is the steak and eggs, a proper ode to the meaty form featuring a gigantic and succulent strip of steak cooked to order and served with eggs and potatoes. It's unabashedly greasy, excessive, and indulgent, seamlessly covering the gamut of Midwestern meat and potatoes norms. This is what cafeteria fare is all about, cooked up by a gruff and fast-paced service staff and delivered swiftly for half the cost of most overwrought brunch plates around town. For when that nostalgic steak and eggs craving hits, Valois is where it's at. 

Now on to something more modern: The Duck Inn in Bridgeport has joined the city's ever-expanding brunch fray. True to form for chef Kevin Hickey, the weekend menu showcases his proclivity for New American cuisine, offering reimagined interpretations of classic brunch flavors in exciting new ways. Examples include a sweet corn funnel cake with blueberries; Maryland crab crepes with Calabrian chile hollandaise; duck confit hash with a duck egg and Wisconsin cheese Mornay; and chai bread pudding French toast with English treacle. To drink, beverage director goes beyond the Bloody with standouts like a boozy Vietnamese coffee, seasonal fruit mimosas, and house bottled brunch sodas. Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: New CityBridgeport

A favorite spot of Pres. Barack Obama's, this venerable cafeteria has been a Hyde Park standby since William Valois opened it in 1921. Its slogan is "See your food," and...

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