I've been to Publican before but didn't feel like it lived up to all the hype. Their spicy pork rinds are famous, but I much prefer Chizakaya's puffed pork ears. But Yeena hadn't been yet so when we were thinking of some brunch options, we contemplated Publican for Sunday brunch. They only have brunch on Sundays and it's from 10 am to 2 pm.
I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to get reservations, but it wasn't too bad actually. Because of the communal seating, you can definitely fit a lot more people in there than you would expect.
We started off with some dishes to share, namely the banana bread and ricotta cheese and the maple syrup braised publican bacon that they are also notorious for.
The banana bread was toasted, placed on top of a mound of ricotta, drizzled with honey, walnuts and pieces of dried fruit. I need to make this at home, it was so simple, but just a great mixture of textures and flavors.
Now for the bacon, it's two thick slabs of bacon, caramelized with maple syrup. This just melted in your mouth, it was so good. We ended up ordering another order to share. :)
Yeena and I both ordered the shrimp with dirty rice, soft scrambled eggs and charred scallion vinaigrette. Not quite a breakfast or brunch type of menu item, but it totally satisfied my salty cravings.
Susan got the oyster omelette, which had fried oysters in it. I don't even know what else was in it, but it was awesome.
Caroline ordered the smoked artic char salad, which came with red onions, arugula and slices of pear. This one wasn't all that exciting.
I think Christina ordered the red wine poached eggs, which I forgot to take pictures of. It was also really yummy. Brunch was a lot more affordable and reasonable than their dinner selection and it's a great way to sample some of their dishes. I'm pretty sure the table next to us had an order of pork rinds so you can even try those for brunch if you so desire. I will definitely be back for those maple glazed bacon at some point. mmm.... yummy.
837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607