Since my brunch at Avli Taverna, I’ve had a constant craving for another fresh, Mediterranean brunch. My friend and reliable brunch companion Maggie is a big fan of The Gundis Kurdish Kitchen. We had been there for dinner before, but I was thrilled to have an opportunity to check out their brunch.
The restaurant claims the title of Chicago’s first Kurdish restaurant. It opened in 2017 and serves authentic Kurdish food, reflecting meals made in Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. When I went for dinner, I got a shrimp pasta dish that I haven’t stopped raving about.
Maggie and I went during Saturday breakfast. While The Gundis doesn’t have a patio, the sun-drenched dining room allowed us to enjoy the summery day with the comfort of A/C. It was busy, but the dining room is spacious and never feels overcrowded.
Maggie raved about the Kurdish coffee and promptly ordered one. It is much smaller than what I was expecting for a usual morning roast. It is also the most precious cup that you ever saw. Though I’m not usually a coffee drinker, I tried a sip and was pleased with the pistachio flavor and lack of bitterness.
I ordered a white sangria as a brunch cocktail. It came with suspended pomegranate seeds, but had strong hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, adding depth to the flavor and making it less fruity.
Accompanied by an aficionado of The Gundis, I put my faith in Maggie’s ordering ability. She selected the Kurdish breakfast. This meal is made for two (with the ability to add a third for $12 a person). Definitely bring your appetite if you’re ordering this. It comes with bread, feta, fresh mozzarella, Kashar cheese, three house jams, honey, butter, sesame butter, black and green olives, fries, cucumbers, tomatoes, fried cheese rolls, and bottomless Kurdish tea.
Then you also get a large egg scramble, made with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and your choice of protein. We got the soujouk, a spicy beef option. The scramble was massive. I rarely spring for egg dishes at brunch because I make a lot of eggs at home. But you can’t go wrong with this scramble. The eggs were not overly dry or undercooked. The soujouk did have a kick of heat. If you’re not a fan, I’d opt for one of the other proteins.
Our tiny table for two was jam packed with plates and delicious snacks. I loved the DIY nature of this meal, and how it allowed for endless grazing. You can dip and spread your bread, or make tiny sandwiches with the cheeses and jams. The olives were tasty and a nice salty offset to the sweeter jams. The Gundish also includes a dish specifically for your olive pits, so you don’t have to worry about where to put them.
I barely got to the potato wedges because of all of the other tasty parts of the meal. They were nicely salted and seasoned, but there were better sides and I was okay leaving them behind.
But with a table full of food, my favorite thing was – surprisingly – the tea! It was warm, sweet, and energizing, with no bitterness. I had three glasses and felt awake and ready to tackle the rest of the day, which never happens after a long, leisurely brunch.
The Bitches Say: Three Champagne Flutes.
The Gundis is the perfect brunch date location. Lean in close over a shared breakfast and enjoy a slow-paced meal for two.
The Gundis serves brunch from 9 a.m. to 2:30 daily, except for Tuesday.