The Publican Chicago – Comfort Food Brunch and Booze
By Jessica Lewandowski
This Saturday, myself, my foodie sidekick, and Ari visited The Publican on Fulton Ave. in the River District of Chicago. Directly across the street from Publican Quality Meats (drool), The Publican features a more eclectic assortment of seafood, chicken, and other country-style, comfort food selections. Every table in the restaurant and patio was filled, and we were excited to dig into the Brunch menu.
We started with the best Sunday drink combo: coffee and liquor. Bottomless cups of coffee were poured, and we also had a Classic Mimosa and a Kentucky Ice – Whiskey, Bourbon Chai Tea, Angostura and Cream. If you really need a pick-me-up at brunch, definitely get the Kentucky Ice.
The Brunch menu at The Publican is concise, simple and easy for the diner to make a decision (because nobody is in the mood to make tough decisions on a Sunday). For sharing, we ordered the Chicken Liver Pate with Strawberry Jam and Sourdough Toast. We loved the toast because it had such a smoky, grilled flavor. We also were served a complimentary Sticky Bun as well as a Waffle with Honey Butter and Raspberry Jam. What a sweet start to the afternoon!
After some munching, our entrees arrived: French Toast with Stone Fruit, Pecan Granola and a side of Breakfast Sausage, the Porchetta Sandwich, and the Jonah Crab Scramble. The French Toast was very thick, but the breakfast sausage stole the show on this plate (which isn’t surprising, since Publican Quality Meats is part of the business, here). The Crab Scramble was a heaping plateful of egg with strong flavors of Dill and Flaked Crab. The Porchetta Sandwich had to be my favorite; the Mustard, Dill, and Pimento Cheese all contributed memorable flavors. A runny Egg on top simply sealed the deal.
Our brunch was super filling, so we opted out of any more drinks and sweets. Never fear, though! There’s plenty more to indulge in on The Publican brunch menu for libations and pastries.
We really had an excellent afternoon at The Publican. Even though the restaurant was packed, our service was timely. Refills of coffee and water were constant, and we enjoyed every bite of food. I personally fell madly in love with the district. The neighborhood is urban and friendly, and every corner has a restaurant iconic to the Chicago food scene. This is easily a restaurant we could return to.
The Publican is open Monday-Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday), and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.