A dreary morning in Chicago…unfortunately, with the imminent season change, more and more mornings are going to look like this one. But, deary days are all the more reason to get four of your best friends together and brunch at a Chicago staple, Hash House A Go Go.
Hash House A Go Go was founded in San Diego in 2000, but came to Chicago in 2012 and has become a go-to brunch spot for locals and tourists alike. I had passed this place many times while walking in the Gold Coast and it is always packed. So I figured, it must be great! Right? Since the restaurant is always overflowing with people, I knew my friends and I had to get there early if we wanted a chance to eat. Luckily, we arrived around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and they were able to seat us almost immediately. Had we arrived later, I’m sure it would have been a different story.
The whole restaurant has an industrial feel—with metal tables and chairs and garage doors that open to the outside in summer and to the nice patio when it’s warm outside. Looking around the restaurant, I was immediately struck by the amount of food on each table. No joke: these plates of food could feed small countries. But, as I always say:to thoroughly enjoy the food, one must have a drink.
The restaurant’s Bloody Mary list is extensive and so my friends, Britt and Lauren, both got Bloody Marys. Lauren got the Hash House A Go Go Bloody Mary. It had jalapeno stuffed olives, pickled green beans and had a nice, spicy kick to it!
Britt had the BLT Mary, which is an actual meal, with bread, bacon, and tomato so you can make yourself a sandwich to dip into the drink. However, it tasted similarly to Lauren’s Bloody Mary, but cost several dollars more. My advice: skip the kitschy gimmick and get the classic.
Jennie, Ashley, and I decided to try some of their many mimosas. I tried the St. Mimosa, which is a delightful twist on classic. It has St. Germain, grapefruit juice and champagne. Delicious! Ashley had the Aloha mimosa, which is a tropical twist on the mimosa, and Jennie had the classic orange juice with champagne. All were wonderful!
Most people have heard the saying “sharing is caring”, but ‘sharing’ is the only way one will ever finish a meal here. The portions are gigantic! Our waitress, Brittany, warned us that the servings were huge. She even proudly exclaimed that the pancakes were sixteen inches in diameter. Such a bold statement like that had to be proven, so I ordered the banana pancakes with brown sugar.
Brittany was not kidding. These pancakes are enormous and impossible to consume in one sitting. They were delicious and fluffy with lots of banana and brown sugar. But nothing I hadn’t seen before, except for it’s size. Lauren tried the garden scambler which had mushrooms, spinach and broccoli with potatoes on the side and a biscuit. Lauren said it was good, but it wasn’t like she hadn’t seen something like this before. Out of the entire meal, she did say the potatoes stole the show.
Ashley decided she wanted to try the chicken and waffles, which she absolutely loved. Of course, she instagrammed a photo of the dish to express her delight with her decision. The waffles had bacon in them and it came with fried leeks, which was a surprise, but ultimately pulled the dish together.
Hash House A Go Go has been featured on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel and Britt saw that the Andy Sage Fried Chicken Benedict was one of the dishes featured on the show.
Therefore, a new challenge was created: Britt Vs. Food. When the Eggs Benedict arrived, it delicious but overwhelming. The chicken was spicy but perfectly cooked, fresh tomatoes and baby spinach made it taste fresh but there was simply so much food that it was too much. Even after she conceded and couldn’t eat anymore, she asked us “does it even look like I ate anything?!”. And frankly, it hadn’t.
Our triathlon training friend Jennie opted for a healthier entree, the oatmeal. Out of all the meals on our table, the oatmeal seemed to be the most reasonably portioned, but it was still a heck of a lot of oatmeal. It included a banana, raisins, and small cups of brown sugar and milk on the side so you could make it your own way. She liked it a lot!
The Bitches say: B. The food was good but the portions were outrageous and sometimes more isn’t always better—sometimes it’s just more.
Hash House A Go Go
1212 N State Parkway
Hash House A Go Go serves brunch all day, every day of the week.