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Theory Brunch

Several weeks ago, the kind people at Theory invited myself and the other Chicago Bitches in for a Sunday brunch. The girls and I were excited and jumped at the invitation

On a rainy Sunday morning, the three of us gathered at the River North establishment eager for the meal ahead. As we sat down, we all admitted to one another that none of us have ever tried anything from the Theory menu. Instead, we had all visited for other reasons. Most of those reasons ending with great memories from nights out with friends.

I have always thought of Theory as a staple bar in River North, but as soon as we were seated and greeted by our server, I was delighted to discover that they have an excellent and very large menu as well.

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Before digging into the food portion of the menu we ordered bottomless mimosas. The weather outside was less than inspiring so we decided to settle into brunch and find some liquid inspiration instead. After beverages were taken care of we began to work on the menu. Our server kindly let us know that the majority of items are available in half orders, perfect for group sharing and allowed us to try a few more items than we would have otherwise.

We decided to start our brunch with the Breakfast Nacho Bites, made on individual homemade tortilla chips with scrambled egg, homemade guacamole, jalapeno, sausage and topped with cheddar cheese.

This dish was excellent and the perfect start to our meal. What I particularly loved about this item was that each nacho was individually prepared. I tend to find nachos to be very messy and unappealing after a few bites, but the way these were prepared allowed us to enjoy every single bite.

After finishing our nachos, we really started to do some serious business. Ordering the Fried Chicken, From the Border, the Boneless Wings, the Hole in One Burger and last but not least, the Totchos. It’s a good thing we’re all professional eaters and were also pretty full of mimosas because we sure had our work cut out for us.

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All of our food arrived at the table at once, which was perfect as we were sharing so we each began to sample. The Totchos were hot on my list to try first as our server couldn’t say enough about them.

Made with tater tots, homemade queso, jalapeno, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, homemade guacamole and sour cream, this tower of tater tots was everything I didn’t know I’ve ever wanted. The tater tots were an excellent replacement to traditional tortilla chips. I felt like I was eating a loaded baked potato with all of the right toppings, but the crispness of the tater tots added the right amount of crunch.

Next up, I went for the Fried Chicken. We opted for the honey butter chicken, topped with an over-easy egg, cheddar cheese, served with a homemade biscuit. I tend tend to be quite picky with fried chicken as it’s not all good, but I liked Theory’s dish a lot. It was nice and moist, and filled with flavor. The biscuit was a tad on the dry-side, but the over easy egg helped to correct that.

Now let’s move along to the From the Border. This was my least favorite dish from our meal as I had a hard time figuring out what it exactly it was going for. Made with a jalapeno cheddar biscuit, scrambled eggs, chorizo, queso, bacon all served opened faced, this dish felt lost to me. There were many flavors going on throughout but nothing that stood out in particular.

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Almost there but not done just yet! Now come the Boneless Wings, which we ordered a half order of with the BBQ and another of the Buffalo sauce. I was very pleased to find that Theory had boneless wings on the menu as I am not a fan of traditional wings. The only hang-up with boneless is that they are typically drier. However, these were not and the sauces were delicious. They were nice and tender and perfectly moist, complimented by ranch and blue cheese dipping sauces.

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Last, but certainly not least, the Hole in One Burger, just in time for National Burger Day! Prepared with an over easy egg, avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, all on a brioche bun. This burger was delicious and I was excited to see it prepared on a brioche bun, my favorite.

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I cannot say anything bad about this burger and I was not surprised as it also came highly recommended by our server. Anytime there’s an avocado, bacon and an egg on a burger it can be pretty much guaranteed that I will enjoy it. I am looking forward to going back to Theory to try one of the other four burgers they have on the menu.

Uh oh. I almost forgot, we also ordered dessert. And of course, we had to try both of the desserts on the menu because it wouldn’t have been fair to leave one out.

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The Nutella Poppers and the Chocolate Chip Cookie were both incredible. Granted I have no idea how I fit either in my belly, but I managed. The Nutella Poppers are made with fried dough, topped with powdered sugar, filled with a Nutella and served along side of a raspberry dipping sauce.

Oh boy was that dipping sauce good. The poppers were nice and hot, with the gooey Nutella spilling out, but paired with the chilled raspberry dipping sauce, they were the perfect compliment!

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And the Chocolate Chip Cookie, baked and served in a large cast iron skillet, topped with two giant scoops of vanilla ice cream. There’s not much more to say than “yum”! In my opinion you can never go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream. It’s the most perfectly simple dessert.

The Bitches Say: B+. We enjoyed our brunch at Theory, sampling many items from their expansive menu, while enjoying excellent service.

Theory Chicago
9 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Theory serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday, starting at 11AM.

Julie Strand

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