I was never really a coffee guy, never really got it, but then five years ago I met a girl and everything changed. Isn’t that the way it always is? Or is it just Me? Not the coffee thing, but the girl thing — anyway, I’ll save that one for the book.
All my restaurants have what I think is the best coffee in the city, sourced, roasted, and grounded by Ezra Braves from Ezra’s Pound. It is deep, dark, bitter, and utterly delicious. However, coffee used to be just a restaurant thing for me. I would drink an Americano in the am followed by an Americano sometime soon after, and then an espresso around four or five to get me through service. But then that girl introduced me to an Allonge, essentially a reallllllly long espresso shot. Best worst thing that ever happened to me. See, the longer you pull an espresso the more caffeine you are getting from it. I became crazy. Then I stopped. Not coffee, but girls.
My partner recently asked me to write this letter to my friends about brunch. Brunch to me, and to many of you, means coffee.
Very recently I bought an E61. I was tired of waiting so long after I woke up to have a coffee. Best decision I ever made in a long life of bad decisions.
My top six brunch dishes in the city:
1. Rose and Sons
Named after Pierre le Brun, a long-time regular, and a beautiful person. The PLB is essentially a grilled cheese on Silversteins double caraway rye bread, griddled in butter, and then sandwiched with house-made Dr. Pepper bacon, kabano sausage, fried egg, sour pickles, and served with sour cherry jam. Pierre loves it. His wife hates me for it.
2. Big Crow
Verscht on Toast
Salami of the Jews made locally by the eponymous Chicago 58 salami company. Verscht was always my go-to Algonquin park meal. I grill it here over charcoal and wood and splooge it all over with pimento cheese, pickled chili peppers, and a fried egg on top. Let’s talk about pimento cheese for a sec. It really is god’s gift to the world of cheese. The Lee Brothers said it best in the NYT. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017354-the-lee-brothers-pimento-cheese
3. Fat Pasha
Named after our chef, Kevin, this thing is crazy good. Kev grills an onion bun and covers it with an all-beef chili seasoned from the Middle East. Melted smoked mozzarella over the whole thing and fried egg to top it off. This, with a side of Pasha hummus, falafel balls, and some chopped liver is enough for at least one person. I was a very fat kid.
4. Schmaltz Appetizing
Kivas bagels are the key here—the best bagel in the city hands down. Hand rolled and delivered to us twice daily starting at 7am for maximum freshness. Jews love a good brunch. I can’t ever, ever remember a time in my life where we did not have bagels, lox, and cream cheese Sunday mornings thanks to my Zaidy Simon Gottlieb—alav hashalom. Simon would bring Gryfe bagels to our house every Sunday morning, still hot from the bakery in a brown paper bag. Sweet Jesus, were they good. Just like that with some butter was the best. I was a very fat kid. Schmaltz caters the “beginning and the end”.
5. Rose and Sons Swan
Pig Cheek Pizza with Delicata Squash and Sage Pesto
Definitely my new favorite of the whole bunch. The dough is focaccia-based so its oily and awesome, the cheeks are braised in apple cider, the squash is pureed with roast garlic and a little cream, the pesto is pesto is pesto, which is its own goodness, and an egg on top makes it good for brunch or anytime of the day, just so you know.
6. Bar Begonia
Ham, Butter, Bread
Looking forward to opening in December.
Ohh, and Allen’s on the danforth for:
Steak and Eggs
See you Saturday and then on Sunday.
All my love
PS. All content was written by Anthony Rose
PSS. Call Desiree at 647-342-0356 if you want to arrange a holiday party or come to one of our places for New Years Eve.
PSS. I had to include this picture because Sandy is so damn cute (Sandy is our Exec Chef)