My affinity for brunching began when I was living in New York. If I had the rare treat of a Sunday morning off from work, there was no question what the plans of the day included because they always, without question, included brunch. I’m not talking about some fancy meal between breakfast and lunch – this is New York and clearly these meals don’t come cheap. Usually before venturing out, my roommate and I would bounce ideas off each other from our rooms as we lay in bed, texting names of restaurants with food + drink deals we’d found via Yelp. Or, if we didn’t feel like typing we’d just call out to each other, screaming hoarsely from one room to the next.
“This place has an unlimited bloody deal for $20, brunch included.”
And just like that, I began to love brunch. Whether I associated that in-between meal as time spent catching up with friends or with exploring the crowded streets of Manhattan and BK with hundreds of other hungry New Yorkers on a Sunday morning, brunch kind of became my thing. Plus, I can never get enough pancakes.
So, a few weeks ago when I had out-of-town company (one of which was a friend visiting from New York) I knew I had to take the girls out and show them how Chicago did brunch. It was a breezy Saturday morning and I had been invited to Public House in River North to test out their new brunch menu. PH is definitely a bar, but the food is actually really awesome. My first experience there was a friend’s birthday celebration on a late Saturday night. It was crowded, people were dancing, lights were flashing, music was pounding and never once did it cross my mind that this place would be somewhere I’d want to eat. Clearly, I needed to go back and not on a weekend night. Luckily, this invite for brunch was the perfect opportunity to taste-test my way through one fabulous menu.
Over a leisurely few hours, my fellow brunchers and I indulged in a few omelettes, crispy and thin hash browns, blueberry doughnut fried french toast, spicy bloody marys with all the fixins, and a finger lickin’ insane skillet with potatoes, peppers, a poached egg & sausage. The service was perfect, friendly and non-intrustive and had we not made plans to explore later, we probably could have stayed all day. That, to me, is a huge characteristic of a great restaurant. Location wise, PH is right in the heart of River North and I was pleased to see an eclectic crowd that Saturday morning. Throughout the bar & restaurant were young kids watching the game, families, couples,groups of friends, etc. Again, great indication of a popular restaurant clearly doing something right.
Additionally, PH has a fabulous social media presence and as someone who works in content marketing + is a bigtime foodie, those kind of things (tweets, RTs, favorites, big following) are a big deal.
Overall, I’m really glad I got to experience brunch at PH. It’s always been a fun destination for downtown eats and a drink (or two) so I’m glad to have found it’s also a great new spot for brunch!
Address: 400 N. State St
Phone #: (312) 265 – 1240
Brunch hours: Sat & Sun, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.