The Publican

I was due to meet Danilo and Jenny in Chicago on the short weekend I had there. Thanks to Jenny we decided to have lunch at the Publican. They also invited Matt along who happened to be in town. Let me emphasise that this is a good thing. It’s a nice bustling place and one where you definitely have to book in advance. Or plan to wait for a long time.

Jenny and Matt below.

We tried far too much for a brunch, starting with one of their sticky pecan rolls. Topped with nuts, thankfully not too excessively sweet (at least compared to their Cinnabon brethren) yet surprisingly filling.

The pork rinds had been recommended, dusted with a slightly picante (calling it spicy is not quite fair) dusting of spices and a cone of chips that were supposed to accompany the chicken fried chicken.

Highlight of all the sides was the recommended maple glazed bacon. I’m not normally a fan of thick cut bacon – it turns out to be to excessively fatty to a point it dominates the smoky and salty flavours that make it a wonder to behold. And besides, if something is going to be so fatty, it’s best that it crisps up from that benefit. There’s a good reason people who like fried chicken expect a crispy crust.

I opted for a bit more of a twist on a classic, the eggs benedict. The eggs, poached in red wine and served with prosciutto and toasted bread. I appreciated the attempt at something different, but the red wine flavouring kind of dominated the rest of the dish.

The toast wasn’t quite toasted enough or maybe they really should have chosen a sourdough instead of plain bread because I think what the dish lacked was a contrast of flavours. That perfect maple glazed bacon, crispy on the outside, would have made the perfect accompaniment but instead everything seemed a little bit soft. Picture of an overcooked egg.

Other people ordered interesting dishes including a massive weisswurst (white sausage) that came poaching in a big copper pot.

Matt was brave enough to order the artery clogging chicken fried steak with two fried eggs.

And Danilo opted for a more sensibly portioned Ploughman’s platter.

Name: The Publican
Found at: 837 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

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