OK, guys and gals, get ready for my extensive brunch breakdown, but I promise it’s worth the read! This past weekend, Rhyme of Reason in Wicker Park debuted its new brunch, and the Chicago Bitches were invited to be some of the first to check it out. We even had a little fun taking over Rhyme or Reason’s Instagram account and sharing our brunching adventures all over social media—it’s what we do people!
If you haven’t heard about Rhyme or Reason yet, come out from under your rock and add this spot to your list of places to check out. Rhyme or Reason is a new, 70s-inspired, fun, funky, and soulful spot where you go to have a good time. The space itself is awesome: bright colors, fabulous decor, a huge circular bar, and my personal favorite, an open kitchen in the back.
On the weekends, this is a spot to come have a seriously fun brunch thanks to bottomless mimosas on the menu, of which we took full advantage. After hours, it becomes the place to come dance and drink libations with friends, thanks to the bar and lounge area, and the DJ booth, where only vinyl records are spun. That’s right, vinyl only—how fantastic.
The Bitches arrived at Rhyme or Reason on a rainy Saturday in full force, and ready to take over more than just the restaurant’s Instagram account. Armed with our cameras and iPhones, Allison and I, along with our new Baby Bitch Chelsea, and our Marketing Bitch Paige, were ready to brunch our little hearts out. Bottomless mimosas were in order; champagne flutes came served on a beautiful brass tray, with all of the fixings to make your own mimosa; orange, hibiscus, and grapefruit juices.
Now onto brunch; where to begin? I will preface by saying that the restaurant’s cutie pie owner Le’Qonnine Rice, and Chef Chris de la Cueva showcased almost all of the brunch offerings to us, and I will spare you the details on each item and highlight the most unique of the bunch. We started with a simple, yet delightful, yogurt parfait with strawberry jam and granola.
If looks could kill, the edamame toast would assassinate you in a heartbeat. This toast is not only beautifully presented, but if you are not an edamame person, fear not. This toast tastes just like avocado toast, thanks to the creamy texture, and the added richness of ricotta and two poached eggs on top. I could have eaten another if they had brought one, and for a social media maven like myself, this toast was a gift from the Instagram gods.
Our second dish was a favorite all around; the fried chicken and doughnuts. WOW. This dish was awesome; the chicken was fried perfectly, and the pool of syrup surrounding the doughnuts was an excellent sweet touch to the dish. Personally, I loved the fresno chilis on top for a little added heat, not to mention color.
Our third plate was a dish called the “Southern Bell Bottom Benedict,” with grilled ciabatta, topped with shaved tasso, fried green tomatoes, and a Creole Hollandaise. I am a fried green tomato-loving gal, but these just didn’t do it for me. I found the tomatoes to be a little too firm and I wanted a more crisp texture. The girls agreed; while savory, this dish wasn’t one of our favorites.
Up next were two Mexican-inspired egg dishes, both of which were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The first was the Afternoon Delight; scalloped breakfast potatoes, Chihuahua cheese sauce, pork carnitas, mole, pico de gallo, and fried eggs—we loved this dish.
That was, until, they brought out the second south-of-the-border breakfast item: the chilaquiles. We also ordered this dish with fried eggs, which came served atop house-fried tortilla chips, pulled rotisserie pork, grilled corn, black beans, salsa verde, cotija cheese, and crema. It was so beautiful and tasted even better than it looked. If you have read my reviews before, you might know that I am a huge chilaquiles gal, and this is a top contender for one of my favorites of the year.
While on the subject of Mexican-inspired dishes, I will mention something incredibly cool and unique that Rhyme or Reason does. During brunch, Rhyme or Reason plans to showcase and rotate in a chef from another Chicago restaurant every month, allowing them to prepare some of their own dishes, and showcase them on the menu—kind of a brunch cross-over of sorts. We absolutely loved this idea, and were so pleased when Ricardo Rodriguez from Son of a Butcher and WHISK came to our table and presented us with his own breakfast carnitas sopas.
He also brought us a divine chocolate mascarpone stuffed French toast with caramelized bourbon bananas. This was, simply put, amazing. The bananas were crispy and just popped in your mouth like little bits of sunshine. Very, very cool.
The last round of dishes came to our table courtesy of pastry chef extraordinaire, Maximilian Lucas. He brought out two of his specialties: banana bread, and sour cream coffee cake. While both were delicious, his signature coffee cake was our personal favorite—talk about a sweet finish to our meal!
Overall, our brunch experience was fantastic. While we were invited in to brunch and were showed the works, I firmly believe that the manner in which we were hosted is the same way the staff would treat any other guests that came through the doors. The staff is eager to talk about what makes the menu so special, and what makes Rhyme or Reason’s environment so unique, which is something we just absolutely loved. The team behind Rhyme or Reason displays passion in everything that they do.
The Bitches Say: A+. Rhyme or Reason is the place to be. Come with a fun group because this is a spunky spot to brunch and get funky with friends. The food is awesome, and the bottomless mimosas only sweeten the deal!
Rhyme or Reason
1938 W. Division
Rhyme or Reason serves weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.