Brunch Bites: Chicago Restaurants Links Taproom and Rodan

In this week's batch of brunch bites, Links Taproom and Rodan give Wicker Park two new brunch options.

Links TapRoom
(Brunch at Links TapRoom. Photo: Links TapRoom)

You no longer need to wait till 5:00 p.m. for sausage fests at Links Taproom, now serving brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Wicker Park's latest beer-and-sausage bar, Links features the encased handiwork of Big Onion Tavern Group's consulting chef Joe Pierro and Big Fork Brands' Lance Avery. The brunch fare is just as sausage-y as the dinnertime options, including bacon and cheddar biscuits with rosemary-Italian sausage gravy, breakfast sandwiches laden with sausage, eggs, and beer cheese, and a poutine-like medley of fries, sausage gravy, eggs, and pickled jalapeños. There's also something called "Fat Man in a Bath Tub," a sort of oddball corndog assembly wherein sliced breakfast sausages are fried in waffle batter and served with maple syrup. Eat too much of these and you'll wind up like the title.

Things are about to get musical at Rodan, Wicker Park's quintessential (and only) Asian gastropub. The bar/restaurant has been serving brunch for some time, but this weekend marks the debut of acoustic brunch. Anthony Bagnara of Chicago's Makeshift Prodigy alt-rock band provides the tunes, playing pared down versions of his own music as well as hits from the likes of Damien Rice, Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, Coldplay, and Radiohead. It's like an intimate concert every Sunday! With contemporary Asian brunch! Win-win. While your ears feast on Bagnara's musical stylings, stick your mouth on fried chicken and waffles and Pinoy breakfasts, a Filipino feast brimming with garlic fried rice, fried eggs, and optional add-ons like pork sausage, sweet chili chicken breast, sweet cured pork, and hanger steak.

- Matt Kirouac