When friends are in town, it calls for a good party brunch on Sunday. So when my sister’s best friends from D.C. were visiting coincidentally on our friend’s last week living in Chicago, we knew we had to have a Sunday Funday. And what Sunday Funday doesn’t start out with an awesome party brunch?
We decided to somewhere with a Bloody bar, and I knew Stout had to be our choice—the Bloody bar there is pretty insane and has all of the works—just what I wanted! There were six of us so we were escorted to a lovely booth on the far side of the restaurant. We could tell that we weren’t the only people who had this place in mind for a party brunch—the place was packed. Games were playing on the TVs and music was playing loudly, everyone was having a good time.
Right away we needed to start with some cocktails. It was a good balance of your normal breakfast cocktails around the table; a few mimosas, a few Bloody Marys and a few Irish coffees. I, of course, opted for a Bloody Mary, and I was presented with my own cup filled with vodka and ice, and was directed to the Bloody bar.
The Bloody bar had the works. First, there are three types of Bloody Mary mix to choose from, each one spicier than the next. Then you have loads of toppings and mixers to choose from to make your very own signature Bloody, from hot sauces to sliced vegetables, meats and cheese, and seasoned shrimp to garnish your beverage.
Upon returning to the table, I quickly realized that no one in my group had decided on their entrees, so with the server standing and waiting, I decided to order something for us to start. I opted for the red velvet waffles to share and everyone agreed—we were hungry and needed something to go with our libations.
The waffles come out quickly thereafter and were bright red, and fluffy, topped with fresh fruit and a cream cheese glaze that dripped all over the sides. All of us had ironically decided on savory dishes as our entrees, so everyone was anxious to dig into the sweet goodness of the waffles. The waffles were an instant crowd-pleaser. I must add that the portion size was more than generous; between six girls there were still a few bites left to nibble on throughout our meal.
For entrees, my sister decided on the chicken biscuit, a house-made biscuit with a fried chicken breast, topped with cheddar cheese and a honey buffalo sauce. It looked really yummy and she enjoyed it. It came with a side of breakfast potatoes. I had a bite of it, and I think if I were to come back again for brunch, I might choose that as my entree—it was good! She had to take half of the cheese off, it was too much for her, but the chicken and sauce were good she said.
Caroline is the healthiest one of the group, so she decided to go with something simple and lighter—the breakfast your way—with scrambled egg whites and wheat toast. Kendall also decided on the breakfast your way, and went with regular eggs scrambled and toast.
They both agreed that too many cocktails the previous night led them to decide on the simplest breakfast dish. I guess they just didn’t have the energy to make any decisions and just went with the easiest option. They both said it was good but, simple nonetheless. Both dishes came with sausage and breakfast potatoes, which Caroline said were just “okay.”
My friend Mary decided on the biscuits and gravy and loved it. She said the sausage gravy was perfect and both she and my sister were in love with the house-made biscuit. It was crunchy on the outside and flaky, but warm and fluffy on the the inside.
For my entree, I opted for the breakfast pizza at the recommendation of our server. It came with sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, sauteed spinach, roasted red peppers, and cheddar cheese. It came out looking beautiful, bright and colorful. I wish I could say the same for the way that it tasted, but I was underwhelmed. The eggs were barely lukewarm, and the sauteed spinach on the pizza was slimy, as were the roasted red peppers. It wasn’t pleasing to my palate, and I could only stomach a few bites before asking for a box. I took it home to my will-eat-anything “garbage disposal” of a husband.
Overall, Stout’s food is mediocre, but the atmosphere and the cocktails are what make this spot a good place for any party brunch with friends. I will come back again, I just won’t order the breakfast pizza!
The Bitches Say: C+. Stout is a solid place for a party brunch with friends on the weekend. An extensive beer and cocktail list makes it the perfect place for brunch-worthy libations, not to mention the awesome Bloody Mary bar. The food was just okay—the red velvet waffles were the one exception, which were divine.
Stout Barrel House & Galley
642 N Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Stout serves weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.