Being a brunching Bitch is awesome. One of the most obvious perks is receiving invitions to dine at a variety of amazing restaurants that I may otherwise of not know about! On a fall weekend in late October, I had the privilege of being invited to brunch at Replay Andersonville, just a few shorts weeks after its initial opening.
Fall in Chicago is wonderful: the leaves are changing colors, people are out and active, and all of the Chicago neighborhoods suddenly become “cuter” in my opinion. This Fall in Chicago has been especially wonderful, because for the first time in a long time the Chicago Cubs made it to the championship series! The city was buzzing with excitement!
Venturing a little north of the city up to Andersonville was a delight on this particular Sunday. Allison and I were invited by Rachel, who is part of the wonderful Ro Bro PR team that represents Replay,, and we both jumped at the chance. On this occasion, we were lucky that Rachel joined us for brunch. As avid brunchers, we brunch quite a lot— often with the same people. My new husband, for example, goes to brunch with me nearly every week. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great — I love dining with him— but he isn’t exactly a Bitch. A little girl time over mimosas and eggs Benny is what I crave.
That’s why it is especially fun when we get to brunch with other people who love brunch as much as we do. And Rachel was no exception. When I arrived to the restaurant, Rachel and Allison informed me they had been there no longer than five minutes. But the cocktails were already on the table! Okay, I am in!
First, let me say that yes the Cubs were in the playoffs and yes, football was on T.V., but this place was packed! And, not just sports bar packed. It was a good mix of jersey-clad bar patrons, as well as group gatherings of well-dressed brunchers. The restaurant has a fantastic, fun atmosphere, the space is filled with arcade games and bright artwork. The lively groups of people fit perfectly with the vibe of the restaurant. While the T.V.s had games on and people were chatting, it was loud, but not obnoxious. I would rather join the bunch of people enjoying themselves, than be the one table in a quiet restaurant having a great time. After us each ordering a round of stiff-yet-delicious cocktails (a second round for Allison and Rachel!) we were greeted by Executive Chef Steve Farbstein, who came bearing some of the restaurant’s delicious gazpacho. He was a delight and the gazpacho was delicious. Gazpacho can be a tough dish to execute well, especially on a brunch menu at an arcade bar. But it was delicious, and demonstrated the passion for food and the knowledge that the team at Replay brings to the table. It honestly was so nice to interact with people who clearly love their jobs and love the food even more.
After downing our gazpachos, we promptly ordered our entrees. Since we were having a late brunch, and the brunch menu is more than just breakfast items, I opted for a salad. I was t-minus three weeks until my wedding and pancakes just weren’t in the cards for me, sadly. Also, the lime-grilled shrimp salad sounded incredible, so it was an easy decision.
Allison opted for… wait for it… the lobster eggs Benny. No surprise there, as she loves a good lobster eggs Benedict, and I have yet to see her brunch somewhere and pass when the dish is available.. I fully support her love affair, because she always lets me have a bite. Rachel followed my lime-and-shrimp lead, and selected the shrimp tacos with guacamole.
Our food arrived quickly—a good move as our jealousy was growing as we witnessed the food being delivered around us to other tables.My salad was a fairly generous portion, but I was ready to accept the challenge after I considered all of the calories I was saving having ordered this dish. My salad was perfect; light and tangy with a bit of crunch. The shrimp was perfectly cooked and the perfect size to pop in my mouth with each bite.
Allison dove right into her lobster eggs benny and instantly I knew it was a good lobster eggs benny, coming from the expression on the expert’s face. She quickly let me have a bite and I was grateful. It was really good. The Hollandaise was tangy and thick, and perfectly creamy. Rachel thoroughly enjoyed her tacos as well.
It is abnormal for us to dine somewhere and not have something sweet for brunch to compliment savory, but at Replay I am so glad we made the decision to go with our hearts (and bellies!). Replay is well known for lunch and dinner items, and I think it was perfect we decided to try some of the items that showcase what dining there for other meals might be like. This is a chef-driven menu that is executed well.
Replay has received praise from all around Chicago, and I am happy to jump on that bandwagon. Andersonville has a variety of trendy brunch places worth trying and with the addition of Replay, Andersonville has just become exponentially better. It’s a fun spot perfect for dining at any time for any reason. The staff is great, and really knows how to make guests feel welcomed and appreciated.
The Bitches say: A. Replay Andersonville is here to stay. It is a great brunch spot, but also a perfect all-around spot for any meal. It’s a fun place to take friends for some good fun, and good food in a vibrant, entertaining atmosphere
5358 N. Clark St.