Proxi, located in the heart of the West Loop, with its sleek black brick exterior and floor-to-ceiling windows, looks unassuming surrounded by larger industrial buildings. However, once you step inside you are greeted with a gorgeous and welcoming interior that screams mid-century class with a few industrial accents, setting the stage for the rest of your delectable meal.
This is to be expected from Andrew Zimmerman, the Chef/Partner at both Proxi, and the nationally acclaimed Sepia, a Michelin Star restaurant located right next door. Proxi claims to offer a brunch consisting of a variety of bold dishes and drinks influenced by cuisines from around the world, and honestly, they deliver on this promise. Every dish that we tried was unique and delicious in its own way, truly a worldly and culinary experience for your taste buds.
Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and was happy to give us recommendations and explain some of the meals to us. He suggested that we try their elote fritters, which turned out to be an amazing recommendation. We were all too eager to express our love for these deep-fried golden goddesses. The fritters are Proxi’s simple yet delicious take on the classic Mexican street corn dish. They take fresh corn, toss it in a seasoned tempura batter, deep fry them and top it with a creamy homemade mayonnaise sauce that finished off the dish perfectly. The sweet and salty fritters literally melted in our mouths, making them a wonderful start to our brunch.
The kimchi fried rice with pork jerky, my personal favorite, was a well-balanced mix of flavors. The tangy kimchi wasn’t too overpowering and paired well with the sweet and smoky pork jerky, which was amazing and bursting with flavor. The creamy duck egg helped to balance out the slightly spicy kick of the dish and to top it all off the rice was crispy and fried to perfection.
Next up was the braised chickpea curry. This dish was a surprising hit. They took a basic curry to the next level with the perfect blend of spices. The rich house yogurt was drizzled on top sparingly, but it melted into the dish giving it a creamy and velvety texture. The chickpeas were perfectly tender and tasted amazing mixed with the poached egg and scooped up with the homemade puri, a traditional deep-fried Indian bread.
Following that we dug into the griddled corn bread, which was Proxi’s twist on eggs Benedict. Served on sweet cornbread slices instead of an English muffin, this dish was rich, sweet, savory, and completely original. The cornbread was moist and flavorful making it a solid, tasty base to this dish. The eggs were poached to perfection and topped with a smoky paprika Hollandaise that was divine. The Tasso ham was thinly sliced and slightly crispy adding a salty and savory component to the dish. This was a big hit at our table. The dish was served with a side of herb roasted red potatoes that were soft on the inside with a crispy outer shell, they were great for dipping in the extra Hollandaise sauce.
Then there was the Cemita “Milanesa,” basically a fancy Mexican torta. The sandwich featured a breaded and fried pork tenderloin loaded with an abundance of condiments including sweet red pepper jam, tangy Oaxaca cheese, black salsa made with roasted and blackened peppers (to create its rich dark color and smoky flavor,) and avocado. We chose to add a fried egg on top of ours. Bitches pro tip: Always opt to add a fried egg on top of anything whenever you’re given the chance. All of this yummy goodness was packed between two toasty sesame buns, to round out this monster of a sandwich.
The flavors texture and ingredients were all on point, however, the one area where this dish was lacking was in the final execution of eating the sandwich. It was definitely a knife-and-fork kind of sandwich, with all the toppings weighing it down. It made it hard to pick up and eat, especially with the pork tenderloin wanting to slip out of the bun on every bite. If you’re up for a messy experience or don’t care to cut up your sandwich, then you probably wouldn’t mind, as the flavors and uniqueness of the dish can definitely outweigh the minor difficulty of eating it.
Finally, we devoured the Old Fashioned, a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. While very simple, this dish was still a fantastic choice. The homemade sourdough was crispy and slathered with butter and the smoky bacon was cooked to a mouthwatering crunchy texture just between crispy and chewy. This dish is great for someone who is looking for a smaller meal or isn’t as adventurous with their food choices.
The Bitches say: five Champagne flutes. This truly was a culinary trip around the world with unique and bold flavors that set them apart from many other standard brunch restaurants. The classic mid-century design added a stylish flair to the space that made you feel like you were dining in luxury, with deliciously prepared and plated food, all at a reasonable price.
Proxi serves Brunch Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.