When friends come to visit, brunch is a mandatory activity. As a Bitch Who Brunches, it’s a time to show off my Chicago food expertise and the perfect opportunity to drink and catch up with my houseguests. So when my friend Allison and her boyfriend Keith came to visit, I studied Instagram, Yelp, and the BWB archives for the perfect spot.
I landed on Shore Club, a beachfront restaurant that could accommodate a group. Another college friend, Mary, was in town and my boyfriend Cam put our number at five. Shore Club is a seasonal restaurant with a tent-like structure, outdoor cabanas, and lawn games. Inside the restaurant, guests are treated to sweeping views of Lake Michigan. Ubering to this location can be tricky since you get dropped off on the side of a Lake Shore Drive on-ramp. I recommend putting in the physical location instead of the restaurant name.
I made a reservation, but it turned out to be unnecessary because when we arrived, the restaurant was a ghost town. This makes sense since it was a chilly, rainy morning. We decided to sit inside and to save a cabana for another occasion.
We got water and coffee to start with, but Mary and I wanted to take things up a notch with some brunch cocktails. Shore Club does not offer bottomless drinks and the cocktails are a little steep at $14 for the traditional brunch choices. But I’ve been on a Bellini kick since ordering a delicious one at SX Sky Bar and couldn’t resist. Mary got a mimosa. Neither drink was anything to write home about, but in general, it’s hard to go wrong with ordering either of these libations with your meal.
The group studied the menu and agreed to try different things, making it a race to try to get the best brunch item. Keith called dibs on the lobster Benedict, which had grilled ciabatta and lemon caper hollandaise. It was gorgeously plated, but the lobster lacked flavor. It was a lackluster dish, which is disappointing to have a bad seafood experience at a restaurant named Shore Club.
Mary got the Monte Cristo, which was thick cut French toast, Swiss cheese, bacon, scotch syrup, and the cutest mini jar of raspberry jam you ever did see. Unfortunately, she reported back it was “fine,” which is not the glowing review that you want to hear when you enthusiastically drag everyone to brunch with you.
The chilaquiles called to Allison, who is a big supporter of runny eggs and salsa verde. This dish was a massive bowl of shredded salsa verde chicken, cheese, radishes, grilled corn, sour cream, and cilantro. Continuing the string of disappointment, the fried egg did not run and was overcooked. The rest of the meal was again, a mediocre “fine,” and she did not finish it.
Cam ordered the blackened wahoo tacos and had more success with his fish than Keith’s lobster. The tacos were small but flavorful, packing a punch with avocado crema, mango, and grilled corn slaw and salsa verde. He finished his whole meal and was still hungry, so if you’re opting for the tacos, definitely plan on an appetizer or dessert.
Compared to Cam’s tiny plate, my meal shocked the table. I got the shore club, a behemoth turkey sandwich that came on a cutting board with a steak knife rammed through three layers of turkey, bacon, avocado spread, tomato jam, thick challah bread and topped with a sunny-side up egg. It is the largest sandwich I’ve ever seen, and absolutely beautiful. I had no idea how to eat it but I’m happy to report my egg did run. The tomato jam was overpowering and sickly sweet so I ended up leaving that half of the sandwich behind, but I would not have had room for it anyway.
Only Cam finished his entire meal, and only due to the size of the tacos. We were let down by what we got for the price of the meal. It was disappointing to have my recommendation be a flop, but the lakeside dining was a great backdrop to catch up with friends.
The Bitches say: one Champagne flute.
Stop by Shore Club for drinks, but skip the brunch. The food and prices are shore-ly not worth the price.
Shore Club serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.