Bottomless brunch followed by a beach day is a perfect way to spend a Saturday, if you ask me. When I received an email from Benchmark inviting me in to check out their bottomless brunch buffet, I instantly knew I would try to schedule before a planned beach day with my best friend Charlotte and our friend Julia, who was in town.
Benchmark is a popular restaurant in Old Town, known for being a great spot to grab drinks and dance with friends on the weekend. I have been to Benchmark several times before for drinks with co-workers and friends. Evenings at Benchmark provide for good music courtesy of the DJ and strong cocktails.
Truth be told, I had brunched at Benchmark before. Not too long ago, I had come in on my own to check it out, but my camera had died, so I was unable to blog about my experience. Probably for the best seeing my last experience was not the most pleasant. I caught the restaurant on what I like to call an “off day”; forgivable, but disappointing nonetheless.
Thankfully, I can report my brunching experience this time was different. Since visiting Benchmark last time for brunch, they have completely revamped the brunch menu. I remember on my first visit, the brunch menu was so limited. The food itself was not bad, but there was not a variety of offerings. Never fun for a gal who likes to be tempted with menu items.
Benchmark just debuted a new unlimited brunch buffet with bottomless mimosas…SCORE! We arrived at the restaurant and opted to sit upstairs on the open retractable rooftop. As we walked in the restaurant, we could see the various brunch stations set up to the right; I was excited.
We knew we wanted to take advantage of the unlimited bottomless mimosas, but after ordering our first round, I glanced over at the table next to us and noticed long, stick-like things the whole group was drinking from. Curious, I asked our server, who informed us that they were the restaurant’s “adult popsicles” made-in house. I wanted to try one and she told us about the different flavor offerings that were made with fresh fruit. Chris and I had her surprise us.
She came out with two pops, a mango one and a pineapple one. They were both delicious. Flavored Red Bull is served at Benchmark and apparently it is what is used in the pops, (along with some various liquors, of course) and apparently they are the only people who can get ahold of these flavors exclusively for this purpose… pretty cool.
On to the piece de resistance, the buffet. The buffet was awesome. Not overwhelming in options, but it provided a good variety. They had a carving station, and hot bar with bacon, macaroni and cheese, ham, and carved smoked brisket; yum.
The main table had some cold salad items, fresh fruit, sushi, as well as some Old Bay shrimp (my favorite!) They also had a build your own omelette station and waffle station, both with all of the works.
The Bloody bar was fantastic. So good, it was enough to have me order a Bloody for myself—don’t judge me! Fried chicken bits, bacon, two different types of Bloody mixes, mini chicken and cheeseburger sliders—this bloody bar was aplenty.
We headed back to our table with a little bit of everything, and dove in. You certainly get your money’s worth with the buffet. All of the food is really delicious, and you will definitely go back for seconds. If you are in the mood for a boozy brunch, (well because, why not?) then I definitely recommend opting for the bottomless mimosa option. Downstairs at the bar they have fruit and juice offerings to mix in with your champagne to change it up.
Honestly, I had a really great time at Benchmark for this brunch and will definitely be back again. My husband and I enjoyed getting a little tipsy with some awesome adult beverage options, while watching various Olympics games on the many TVs they have. It was a relaxed and fun atmosphere, with loads of people brunching and drinking and enjoying themselves. Chris and I were there for almost two hours!
Another fun fact is that the same manager was there from my first time in. It took me a moment but I remembered him, and to no surprise, he remembered me. I told him how impressed I was with the brunch and how much I had enjoyed myself. I truly did have a much different experience this time in.
A trip to the dessert bar for Doughnut Vault donuts was our final venture to the buffet. Difficult, because we were stuffed, but well worth it for obvious reasons! They had an assortment of flavors and you don’t have to wait in any ridiculous lines for these bad boys. It was the cherry on top of brunch.
The Bitches say: B+ This new brunch buffet has stepped up Benchmark’s brunch game immensely and is definitely worth checking out. Looking for a boozy brunch, but the day party spots aren’t your scene? Benchmark is just what the doctor ordered.
1510 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610
Benchmark serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.