Saturday, April 12, 2014

endgrain - Brunch

I choose the restaurants that I go to for a variety of reasons.  It is a very rare occurrence that I choose a restaurant that I have heard nothing about and am going in blind.  The restaurants that are close to me, I go to because they are close but other restaurants I will choose because when I read about them in a newspaper or blog they catch my interest, and when I do further research, looking at their website and/or Yelp, they hold my interest.  As far as my friends are concerned, I am generally the one that they will turn to for recommendations.  Occasionally though, I do get recommendations from them, which I am happy to take.  A friend last year notified me of this amazing place that she went to called endgrain and said that it needed to make my brunch list.  At the time, while I had heard of endgrain, it really wasn't on my radar.  With her glowing recommendation though, I decided that we would try it out.  Located in Roscoe Village, it's a little off the beaten path.  While it is on a main road, it is on a part of that road that is largely residential.  Because of this, the building and the restaurant itself are quite a bit smaller than a restaurant that you might encounter in one of the high traffic areas in the city.  There is a bar on one side of the dining room that runs the length of the dining room and a banquette on the other side.  Total seating might be 40.  The color scheme is brown and beige and there is a lot of wood used in the design.  There is also a stuffed boar's head and a deer head hanging on the wall in the back as well as several paintings hanging on the wall behind the banquette.  The ceiling is unfinished and the lighting is both natural and provided by hanging lights.  One of the first things that you may notice as you walk into the space is the doughnut rack at the front of the bar.  Their doughnuts and biscuits are what they are most well known for and it is how we started when we were seated.  There were about 10 different doughnuts and "dough-scuits" listed on the menu which changes daily.  Flavors included Charlie Brown which was Nutella and Peanut Butter, Bourbon Vanilla, and the one that I got, Bacon Butterscotch.  As far as doughnuts are concerned, it was a little on the denser side, although not as dense as a cake doughnut.  The doughnut itself tasted very good and the butterscotch icing just added to it.  It was sweet and buttery with a slightly salty finish with played very well with the bacon which was an abundant topping itself.  The bacon added some crunchy variety to the texture as well as having the salty and sweet flavor that played well with the butterscotch.

In addition to the doughnut, I decided to get a appetizer for the table.  On the menu, there was something listed as a Braised Pork Handpie with Soybean Sprout Kimchi, Scallions, and Radishes.  I was kind of expecting something similar to a Cornish Pasty.  This is not what I got and when I first looked at it, I wasn't sure how I was going to attack it.  It was ultimately a knife and fork thing and it was very good.  The crust was flaky and had a significant amount of black sesame.  The pork was very tender and flavorful.  The kimchi was sour and a little spicy although not as strong as kimchi made from cabbage.  There was a sauce that was spread over it that added some spice and tang, and the radishes and scallions provided a nice finish.

While there were many entrees listed, the raves I had heard, including those from my friend were about the biscuit sandwiches so that is the direction that I went.  I got a Fried Chicken Biscuit with Smoked Mashed Potatoes, Pork Gravy, and Greens.  It was served with House Made Potato Chips and Pickles.  The biscuit sandwich lived up to expectations.  It was, in fact, amazing.  The sandwich was large and if you were to attempt to eat it with your hands, it was definitely a two hand job.  While I did try to eat it with my hands, I decided that with the lightness and fluffiness of the biscuit and the weight of the fillings, it would be very easy to create a disaster.  The biscuit was one of the best that I have ever had.  It was light and fluffy and still moist.  I would have gladly eaten it by itself.  The chicken, which was lightly breaded and fried, was also moist, tender, and flavorful and was some very good chicken.  The mashed potatoes, gravy, and kale went well with the chicken and biscuit.  It was like a southern homestyle dinner in sandwich form.  The chips and pickles were also very good.
I definitely enjoyed brunch here, I will definitely have to return for more.     

No comments:

Post a Comment