Sure, we’ve been to the mandatory South Loop brunch joints. There’s Bongo Room and its epic waits without anything to imbibe upon. Yolk on Michigan Ave.? Same story. And while the kitschy, historic White Palace has a lively ambiance and massive portions, there’s nary a bloody to be found. Notice a theme?
You’re probably saying “You’ve forgotten Eleven City Diner.” Of course. They make an impressive bloody, which we LOVE and will come back to at a later date.
We visited City Tavern for our official maiden voyage into South Loop bloody mary territory. We actually brunched here a few months ago, so if there was a blog version of a #latergram, this would be it.
City Tavern is a relatively new addition to the stretch of Michigan Ave. just south of Roosevelt (SoRo, anyone?). Taking inspiration from 18th century taverns, it’s “a meeting place for poets, artists, government officials and the common man.” And the decor is dark and cozy, as evident in the wood carved bar.
Local is the focus of the menu. So it’s no surprise their bloody tasted very fresh.
According to our server, it sounds as if there isn’t a standard housemade bloody mix, rather it’s left to the impetus of the bartender on duty. The day we visited, the Housemade Bloody Mary was vegan with roasted tomato juice, celery and horseradish. It came accompanied with a Left Hand Milk Stout beer back. The Housemade Bloody Mary was incredibly tasty with noticably fresh ingredients and an impeccable balance in spice. However, there was nothing that particularly stood out as special or unique.
The same goes for the food. The most noteworthy food ordered was the deviled farm egg, at the recommendation of Yelp reviewers. It comes dressed with Asian flair with smoked salmon, tobiko roe and chive aïoli for $2 each (half, not whole egg.)
The entrees were good but not particularly remarkable. The poached eggs on portabella sat atop sourdough baguette with spinach, bell pepper and a sherry sauce. It was good, but slightly on the bland side.
The pork belly benedict with its maple-dijon hollandaise and homemade biscuits was comfort food that complemented the cozy ambience. It seemed like something Grandma would make if she was hip enough to embrace the pork belly trend.
The highlight of the brunch was also the fact that a good pal and her happy little dude to join us. Cutest brunch date hands down.
Housemade Bloody Mary: Our rating (scale of 1–5)
One of the two Bloody Best gals live in the South Loop, so we’d be interested on checking out City Tavern again as an evening drinking establishment. Especially in these cold winter months, it seems like a cozy, ideal place to belly up to the bar. Can anyone vouch?