It was a leisurely Friday, and I was walking around the Block Thirty Seven shops, chatting with my mom on the phone. We were talking about mundane things when I came across a store with adorable graphic tees, home goods, and stationery.
How cute, I thought, wasting time. Then something caught my eye. It was a mannequin donning a graphic tee with the phrase, “Brunch so hard, mimosa wanna find me.”
“Oh my God, Mom, I gotta go.” And hung up the phone.
I rushed into the pop up for The Trendy Sparrow, a Chicago lifestyle and fashion blog, and clothing brand created by Chicago local Lindzi Shanks. The Bitches stalk The Trendy Sparrow’s Instagram, so I was excited for this serendipitous moment.
After connecting with Lindzi at the shop, and subsequently sending copious amounts of emails, we all decided a business brunch was in order—what better way to plan future collaborations than over cocktails and French toast?
It just so happened that one of our friends and a total honorary Bitch, Rachel, had been wanting us to try the new brunch at Pastoral Appellation and is a big fan of The Trendy Sparrow as well. Coincidence or fate?
Alexis had a chance to go to the opening of Pastoral Appellation in November and raved about the meats, cheeses, and wine she sampled, so I knew the brunch was going to be excellent.
Pastoral Appellation is located in the quaint and quiet Andersonville neighborhood. Every time I venture up to Andersonville, I am stunned by how quickly the neighborhood keeps changing for the better. This summer, I vow to head there to browse the cute antique stores.
Once we all arrived, the four of us chatted about our websites—how Lindzi started The Trendy Sparrow clothing line, and everything in between. Lindzi is jovial and kind, with a Texas accent that charms. But when it comes to her business sense and willpower, she is a force to reckon with.
All that chatting made us parched, so we ordered coffees and cocktails. Rachel and I opted for the hot coffee, while Alexis ordered a cappuccino, and Lindzi ordered a latte. The coffee used at Appellation is called Counter Culture, and let me tell you, it was balanced, bold, and delicious. There were many refills on my end.
Cocktails were next. Rachel, Alexis, and I went for the standard Bloody Mary, while Lindzi, in the vein of, “brunch so hard, mimosa wanna find me,” stuck with the classic mimosa. I really liked the blend of spices in the Bloody Mary and Lindzi said that her mimosa was the perfect ratio of OJ and champagne—Appellation has won our Bitch-approval for cocktails!
For the table, we started with some appetizers. The two we chose to split were the ricotta fritters with grapefruit curd and the Arborio rice porridge with poached pears and honeycomb brittle. Both dishes are actually on the menu under sweet entrees for brunch, but the kitchen was kind enough to split the dishes for us.
The porridge arrived in tiny espresso cups—adorable! It was delicious, but what made it so great were the poached pears.
The ricotta fritters were like tiny doughnuts with grapefruit drizzled on top. The tart curd with the sweet fritter was great, but I preferred the porridge to the fritters, hands down.
On to entrees, Lindzi had been eyeing the cornmeal and sage pancakes with orange butter. The orange butter was the best part and tasted like a fresh bite of orange. The pancakes were made using cornmeal, which concerned Lindzi at first, but they tasted amazing. She loved the dish and would order it again.
I opted for the baked French toast with Clock Shadow Creamery goat cheese, cherry preserves, and ginger crème anglaise. While I enjoyed the cherries, the toast itself was not my favorite. It came in a cast-iron skillet, and the bread was a bit dry from the constant heat. I would probably opt for the pancakes next time—they looked delicious!
Rachel hemmed and hawed for a bit and decided on the frittata. The frittata had green onions and melted cheese with potatoes on the side. The potatoes were unbelievable, and I know first hand because I snagged one (or two) from her plate. The frittata was fluffy, and stuffed full of cheese and green onion making it hearty, while still being vegetarian.
Alexis ordered the continental breakfast with grits. The dish arrived on a slate with cheese, bread, butter, jam, and prosciutto. How can you go wrong? The grits on the side were cheesy and creamy—perfectly cooked, according to Alexis. I took her word for it, being that I’m not a big grits fan.
Pastoral’s new venture, Appellation, gives us all yet another reason to venture north to Andersonville to enjoy the meats, cheeses, wines, and delicious brunch.
The Bitches say: A. The ambiance, food, staff, and company are what made this spot great.
5212 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Pastoral Appellation serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.