Neighborhood: Lakeview (Sorry!!!)
Special Guest: Mari
This is the MOST Portlandia-brunch-episode brunch we have ever had. (So much plaid!)
We were very lucky to have Mari of Revolution Brunch with us for a few weeks because she was home for winter break, and as a goodbye before she went back to school of course we had to go to another brewpub. After getting a parking spot right across from the place despite the crazy snow that was taking up much of the prime parking in Chicago, we walked into sparsely filled bar. We got there a little after it opened at 11, and even when we left a few hours later it was still not full, though the space is small. As we entered we noticed an abundance of plaid and even a couple beards, which can be hard to come by in Lakeview, so we were pleased. B.R.E.A.M.* team, baby.
As mentioned, the space is pretty small but they can fit quite a few tables in there so don’t expect a long brunch wait a la Bongo Room (the night crowd is probably a different story). It was dark in a good way, and since they brew their beer here you could see the huge vats where it was being made, which was cool. Also of note, since we seem to comment about this on NJB quite a bit, the bathrooms! McD got a huge ass beer and therefore was a frequent flier of the lady’s room, and she says they were very clean and new and nice. The walls were wallpapered with diagrams & charts of the beer making process – Howe approves.
McD: I had the Batch 001, which is Dryhop’s first ever brew. I really really enjoyed this beer, and I normally strongly dislike beers with a lot of hops. I got the bigger oz size option, which ended up looking extremely large in a tall skinny mug. It provided me with a nice cool refreshing 15 minute tipsy, and lots of bathroom breaks. [Howe and B note: She looked like this.]
B: Shark Verusus Hipster Beer— hoppy, wheat IPA, not too bad
Venus in Furs— sogewd
Howe: Venus in Furs— the table decided that this was the best beer ordered. DryHop was not joking when they said it brings yeast “to the party” a MUST try. This is what we came for.
Santo Meets Zeppelin— dark, tasty, but it’s no Venus.
Mari: OJ & Dayquil (sick)
Apparently the chef here loves pig so the brunch menu is very bacon-centric, which we ain’t complaining about. The menu is also pretty small, which I always think is a good thing because decisions are hard, especially big life decisions like what to have for brunch.
B: The Nudist on Strike (not sure why that is the name) Omelette with mushrooms, fennel, and swiss. It was pretty delicious even though I had to eat half of it with no ketchup or hot sauce because our waitress never returned to our table. Also, halfway through I remembered that I’m not really into fennel, but it is an interesting texture change for an omelette so I get where Dryhop is coming from. It came with potatoes, which were in between potatoes au gratin and breakfast potatoes and were cheesy and delicious.
McD: I got Poutine, the only thing on the menu without a fun name. NJB considers ourselves poutine connoisseurs when we’re not brunching–shoutout to the poutine at Bad Apple you da best. This particular poutine came with cheddar cheese, sausage gravy, and bacon. It was appreciated by my stomach and taste buds (especially since this was the first time I went to brunch without eating something beforehand [see Frasca post for previous mention of complete lack of self control when it comes to food]) but we all agreed it was lacking in the gravy department, and isn’t that what poutine is all about? It basically tasted like cheese fries. For some bacony cheese fries they were very good, but for the poutine I was expecting?- they were meh.
Howe: ordered the Captain’s French Toast knowing this probably was not going to go well. Who is this “Captain” you might ask. Well… you happen to know him pretty well because its Captain Crunch. That’s right… this dish is white bread covered in pulverized CAP’N CRUNCH. So the very foundation of this dish is flawed, but I gave it a chance because of the toppings. The menu promised “Liquid Cheesecake, Blueberries, and warm Bourbon Maple Syrup” and I had a real taste for fruit! When the dish arrived, there we’re like LESS THAN 10 BERRIES. And it was all so overly/artificially sweet I could not finish. It was underwhelming and a way basic basic brunch. Naturally I ordered another beer to resolve this issue.
Mari: So I had “Hank’s Plate” and Hank must be boring cause it was just eggs, bacon, and a biscuit. Maybe Hank will read your blog and strike up a counter argument, but watever cause the food was eh. I got the eggs scrambled, they were your stereotypical scrambled eggs. The bacon was “hickory smoked, with a brown sugar black pepper glaze” and I might have been having an off day because I surprisingly didn’t like it. The biscuit was the best part. I asked for no gravy…they gave me gravy…but it was for the best. It was pretty good. Next trip – 4 biscuits and 4 beers. But i just checked the lunch menu and the lunch menu looks good too (holla at the skillet mac n cheese).
We had a perfectly lolzy brunch, reminiscing about our drunk New Year’s antics, watching people try to parallel park outside in the snow, and smiling at a young child who came in with her parents for a burger. Dryhop: it’s for all ages!
We would definitely come back here for the beers, maybe at night because Yelp says the night scene is bumpin. We all enjoyed the brews we ordered, (and we all tried each other’s beers as well because it is our beer-loving tradition). Service was fine when we first got there, but then it kind of went downhill and we had to wait quite a bit to get ketchup, order more beers, and get the check, even though, as already mentioned, it was not very crowded. The food was very average… but you can’t expect every brewery to get it right.
Intelligentsia – We planned on walking here (down the street) after brunch to sober up a bit. That SO did not happen because the place was PACKED with 100000 people acting like they were working on a Sunday… when we could see that erryone was on twitter. Ugh. After waiting in a giant line we ordered our drinks to go and got the eff out of there. Again- so Portlandia.
After coffee we did some light shopping on Broadway. Okay okay, we just went into Gap. B got this $7 jean jacket and McD could not hide her jealousy. She’s still not over it. Gap witnessed some serious intensity in the sale section that day…
*Beards Rule Everything Around Me