Late this fall, I had the pleasure of being asked to come sample the new Irish brunch menu at a well known Irish pub up north, Mrs. Murphy and Sons. I was hesitant; “What exactly is an Irish brunch?”, I asked myself. Come to find out, it was so much more than I had expected or anticipated.
When I thought of an Irish brunch, my mind went immediately to an Irish delicacy called black pudding, a type of blood sausage that I must admit, I am not particularly fond of. Ireland gives to the world so many great things: Guiness, Irish Whiskey, green pastures, shamrocks, and St. Patrick’s day (also known as my favorite Chicago holiday). Thankfully, they are not solely responsible for my disdain for blood sausage; it is actually a really popular dish in Europe, so I am just unpopular.
Entering the restaurant, my sister, Ashley, and I came upon a cute little Irish general store inside of the restaurant. Curious, she and I stepped inside and found authentic Irish Artisanal cheese, Irish butter, jams, chocolates, and other gourmet grocery items with a hint of Irish flavour. It was a really unique and culturally intriguing aspect of the restaurant.
The restaurant is just what you would expect:, a pub—but a really cute one, at that. We went on a chilly Sunday, and, of course, football was on, so the bar was quite packed. Stone walls and a lit fireplace added to the ambience. We requested a window seat in the main dining area, which was lovely. The space has large open windows that let sunlight flood in and warm us up.
We were hungry and anxious to eat, so this is where I must digress, I found the service to be terribly slow. I don’t think they anticipated the bar being full so early. It appeared that they really only had one server who also happened to be tending to the bar, so it must be said that this was a longer brunch than most. When we finally were greeted, the server was flustered but extremely nice. She informed us that the chef wanted to send out some plates from the new brunch menu, so to hang tight and they would be out shortly. She took our drink orders thankfully; a bloody Mary for me and a Bloody Orange press for my sister.
Our drinks were delivered and shortly after came our first round of food. The waitress brought us two new brunch items, sticky bun French toast and the chicken and waffles.
Everything looked and smelled really good, we were anxious to dig in!
Both dishes were really delicious. The sticky bun French toast was a step up from both a sticky bun and French toast; it didn’t taste exactly like either, but a combination of the two that was perfect. The chicken and waffles were equally delicious. The chicken was perfectly crisp and the waffle was good; sweet and buttery.
Just as I was beginning to feel quite satiated, they brought out two additional brunch dishes; this time, the Irish Eggs Benedict, and the chicken and waffles sandwich. Woah. While I was excited at the prospect of trying a savory dish, the Irish Eggs Benedict took me by surprise due to its size. It was a lot of food!
The Benedict was good, but I could only stomach a few bites, being so full from the previous dishes. It was the same with the chicken and waffle sandwich. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it tasted exactly like the previous chicken and waffles entree we had just finished. They just put the chicken in between two waffles with a little cheese. While it was really good, I felt like I was eating the same dish twice.
After we finished our meal, we were greeted by a manager, who wanted to show us the rest of the space on the way out. She took us upstairs to where they have an event space, and it was remarkable. I honestly felt like I had been transported to a pub in Ireland. The wooden bar had actually been imported from Ireland, only further adding to the Irish ambiance and authenticity.
Overall, Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish bistro delivered a really yummy brunch. I could have done without the repetition of dishes and would have loved the opportunity to select some other items on the menu instead, but for the most part it was a really great brunch.
The Bitches Say: B-. While we liked some of the food food, we were less than inspired by other dishes. The service was a little slow, but eventually everyone came together to deliver a great meal. That said, if you’re in the Lakeview/Lincoln Square area and craving a breakfast stout with brunch, definitely check this place out.
Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro
3905 N. Lincoln Ave.