A typical day in the life of a brunching Bitch is pretty exciting, and every day is different than the one before. Whether it’s attending a foodie event and mingling with other foodies like ourselves, or brunching hard at a brunch spot and photographing the hell out of our food for a review later, it typically involves a lot of eating, Instagramming, and Snapchatting.
On this particular Sunday, it was an especially “Bitchy” brunching day. And by that I mean my fellow Bitches here in Chicago and I were running around town on assignment for some important Bitches Who Brunch duties. Co-Editor Allison, Social Bitch Amber, and I were coming up with our annual “Doughnut Day Chicago” guide for the following week, and were on a mission to photograph a doughnut from every fabulous doughnut spot in the city.
After dashing from place to place, illegally parking on Michigan Avenue, and running feverishly down many streets in Chicago, doughnuts and cameras in hand, we had worked up quite the appetite … despite the delicious doughnuts we had tried at places like Glazed and Infused, Stan’s, and Firecakes. Thankfully, the lovely folks at Shaw’s Crab House had invited us to brunch at their “Grand Crab Brunch,” and Amber I headed there once our doughnut duties were finished.
I was excited about brunch at Shaw’s. A Chicago staple, it is somewhere I hadn’t had the chance to go, but have been dying to visit since my move here three years ago. If you know anything about this D.C. native and Maryland crab lover, then you know I love crabs. And Shaw’s is one of the best spots in the city to go for crabs.
Shaw’s offers an extensive, all-you-can-eat buffet. Upon entering Shaw’s, this is completely evident; a 360 degree look around the room will present buffet stations set up all around.
We were escorted to our table, a lovely booth in the back, and I promptly ordered a mimosa from our server. He encouraged us to start venturing out and exploring the buffet as he prepared my drink.
At the front of the restaurant are the breakfast stations, the dessert table (more on that later), and hot seafood items, like lobster mac-n-cheese, fried shrimp, and crab cakes. In the adjacent, larger dining room, is the full buffet line. At the front are a variety of cold items; salads, cocktail shrimp, and an array of sushi! Then at the end of that line, there is a lovely gentleman ready to serve you up crab legs, and lobster bisque—my favorite!
Moving right along, at the far side of the large dining room is an omelet and waffle station. It was right by our table which was perfect. Amber and I didn’t waste any time, and each went our separate ways to tackle the buffet. We met back at our table, where I found my mimosa waiting for me.
Amber had gone for hot seafood items to start; lobster-mac and cheese, crab legs, and crab cakes. I had opted for cold salad bar options, including oysters and sushi. I especially loved the sushi. She absolutely loved the mac-n-cheese, and eventually went back for seconds.
Soon after we both went back for some hot breakfast items. I went for eggs Benedict, some sausage and bacon, and breakfast potatoes. Everything was really good. The eggs Benedict, considering they were made in batches, were presented neatly, and the eggs were poached perfectly.
Amber wasn’t lying about how delicious the lobster mac-n-cheese was. I finally got to taste it, and it was delicious. Rich and creamy, with large chunks of lobster, it’s what a seafood lover dreams of. Also in that dream? The fried shrimp, crab cakes and, of course, the crab legs and lobster bisque.
We decided to end our meal with some of the fresh made Belgian waffles, and they were also yummy. This was, obviously, before heading over to the dessert table on our way out. What a dessert table it was! Aside from decadent mini desserts, like cheesecakes, fruit cups, chocolate mouse, custards, and tarts galore, there was also cotton candy! All of the restaurant’s desserts are made in house by the pastry chef, and were equally as good as the rest of the menu.
Shaw’s was busy on that Sunday, filled with families anxious and ready to eat everything the buffet had to offer. This spot is a perfect place for a group gathering to celebrate something special. There was a time when the line was a little long, but for the most part, the line was consistent, the food was plentiful, and everything was hot. Also worth noting is the top notch service we received.
The brunch was perfect, and although on the pricier side, you definitely get your money’s worth. I only wished that Amber and I had not indulged so much on doughnuts beforehand. My recommendation is to come to Shaw’s hungry and prepare to leave full. There are plenty of options to satisfy every palate.
The Bitches Say: B+. For a brunch buffet, Shaw’s game is strong. This brunch is a seafood lover’s dream. We knock a half point off because if you aren’t into seafood, you are limited in options. Although it is a self-proclaimed “Grand Crab Brunch” at a crab house, we feel if you were there for a family function and did not eat seafood, then you might not find the hefty price tag to be worth it.
21 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611
Shaw’s Crab House serves weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.