Live country music, fried chicken, an American flag made out of cheap beer cans: Bub City feels as if it was plucked off of Nashville’s popular Broadway Street and placed in Chicago’s vibrant River North neighborhood. I love all things country so the dim lighting, wood paneled walls and neon signs make Bub City my kind of place. I’ve enjoyed Bub City numerous times for its strong drinks and phenomenal BBQ platters but had never been for brunch—until now.
Just like you wouldn’t enter Nashville’s Honkey Tonk Central without cowboy boots, you shouldn’t brunch at Bub City without indulging in the Bloody Mary bar. From mini grilled cheese sandwiches to fresh oysters and shrimp, it is by far one of the most elaborate displays I’ve seen. Of course, you must top of your beautiful Bloody creation with a fun patriotic display!
The brunch menu hosts all of the South’s famous fixin’s. Entire sections are devoted to Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwiches and BBQ Meats. True to form, we ordered the Fried Chicken & Waffle. The crispy fried chicken atop a run of the mill waffle was a bit of a disappointment in that there wasn’t anything that set it apart from other restaurants. Even the Jalapeño-honey jam and homemade country gravy on the side couldn’t save this dish from its basic-ness. A Southern joint like Bub City should own this recipe!
Not to fret, as the Bacon & Sweet Corn Waffle did not disappoint. The sweet corn waffle tasted of authentic southern cornbread with a buttermilk tang and fresh kernels of corn baked in throughout. The fluffy waffle was topped with creamy honey butter and crisp strips of black pepper bacon. A light drizzle of maple syrup and dusting of powdered sugar brought this sweet and salty dish together perfectly.
While we gals enjoyed our giant waffles, the boys at brunch indulged in Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwiches topped with Bub City’s homemade BBQ sauces. The sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit was soaked in homemade gravy, topped with Memphis Spicy sauce, and piled high in flavor. Sans eggs, the Crispy Fried Chicken Biscuit topped with American cheese, B&B pickles and mayonnaise was more of a lunch item, but nonetheless delicious. The Buttermilk Biscuits at Bub City are crumbly, dense, and moist—everything to love about southern cooking.
Although the sauce choices at Bub City are numerous, the sides at brunch are not. None of our dishes were accompanied by grits, potatoes, hashbrowns, or any of our favorite brunch carbs. Prepare to pay extra for sides like a Texas hot link, bacon mac & cheese, spoon bread, and more.
We ordered the Pulled Pork and Pimento Cheese Hashbrowns as a side to share at the table. The menu hosts quite a few skillet hash brown dishes with the option to top with a fried egg. The skillet was a bit small for a full meal so I suggest sharing like we did. The extra dish turned out to be the table standout. The creamy yet spicy pimento cheese was mixed in with crisp hash browns and plenty of pulled pork to go around. Topped with diced red peppers and even more pimento cheese, this hot skillet is a must-order.
At about noon, a country cover band took the stage in the middle of the restaurant. The cover songs were some of our favorite hits and a great addition to our southern brunch. ‘Murica!
The Bitches Say: B-. An inviting, casual country atmosphere that’s great for its Bloody Mary bar, live music and southern style brunch menu.
435 N. Clark Street
(312) 610 – 4200
Bub City is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m.