Monday, July 25, 2011

Dunlay's on the Square

Sometimes a good place is found serendipitously. I had known about Dunlay's on the Square for years but with higher profile places, including one of my favorites, on the square as well, I didn't really pay attention to it. The story by how we came about trying Dunlay's on the Square is actually kind of humorous. I am someone that likes to get his friends and family to try something new and I knew that a couple of friends of mine had never been to Hot Doug's so we planned for a visit. Unfortunately, it had been blisteringly hot all week and was forecast to be hot on the day we were to go as well. Standing in line outside in the heat did not sound like a pleasurable experience so we changed plans. We were planning on going to Longman & Eagle, a Michelin starred bar/restaurant on the north side of Logan Square but found a sign saying that they would not be serving brunch that morning due to unforeseen circumstances. Quick thinking brought me to Lula Cafe, normally my goto place but I hadn't been sure due to the heat. It had rained heavily in the early morning so the temperature had come down so I thought Lula was a safe bet. They were given a Bib Gourmand by Michelin so the food is pretty good. We got there and found them closed as well because the 3 1/2 inches of rain had flooded their basement. I was stuck for a moment but remembered that Dunlay's on the Square was right around the corner from Lula. While I didn't know a lot about them, I did know that they had a big patio in front which indicated to me that they were pretty popular at times and did some pretty good business so we tried it out. The restaurant has a big glass front wall, high ceilings and a tin roof (painted brown). There is also art for sale on the walls. There is a bar area on the left side of the restaurant, the tables are in the center, and a row of booths, where we sat, that are slightly elevated. A look at the menu showed that we had made a good choice. Dunlay's on the Square is owned by the same group that owns Dunlay's on Clark, Smoke Daddy's, and D.O.C. Wine Bar. I had been to Smoke Daddy's and had heard good things about D.O.C. Wine Bar so I was confident that we would be satisfied.I started out with a Bloody Mary which was a meal in and of itself. A typical Bloody Mary has vodka, tomato juice, worcestershire sauce, and occasionally some hot sauce. In addition to this, the Bloody Mary itself had a splash of Guinness, a loaded garnish skewer (a full dill pickle spear, a slice of red bell pepper, a fresh mozzarella ball, prosciutto, and the ubiquitous olive), and was served with a 7 oz bottle of Miller High Life. It was a good start and my breakfast was a good continuation. I ordered a breakfast burrito which turned out to be very different from other breakfast burritos that I had had. Most breakfast burritos will have scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, and cheese, which this did as well, but the meat that is normally used is chorizo. This used pulled pork which shouldn't be a surprise, because this restaurant is associated with a barbecue place, and the burrito was grilled. I was given some salsa verde on the side and I ordered a side of fresh fruit as well.

Overall, the food was good, the service was friendly, and it turned out to be a good choice. It provides me with one more choice of places to go when I go out on the Square.

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