Saturday, August 6, 2016

Whisk - Brunch

While Parks and Recreation character, Ron Swanson, is a manly man who loves whiskey, grilling, and breakfast foods, he is not a character around which I would build a real life restaurant that serves brunch and burgers.  Having said that, that is exactly what the restaurant Whisk, in Ukranian village has done.  The small restaurant is a temple to Ron Swanson with paintings and other images covering the two long walls of the restaurant.  The front wall is the windows at the front and the back is the kitchen.  At the front of the dining room, there is counter seating on one side and banquette seating on the other.  In the back, there are booths on the counter side and a bar (that does not serve alcohol) on the other.  The tin roof is painted brown and the floor is hardwood.  There is a patio for dining behind the building that you have to leave the restaurant and go through an alley at the side to get to.  This is where we sat.  The furniture on the patio were the standard metal four tops with a large umbrella.  It wasn't uncomfortable as such, but between the size of the plates and the condiment and napkin rack (made of wood), the table should have been a little larger or the plates a little smaller because my plate almost hung halfway off of the table.
The brunch menu was enormous divided into Savory, Sweet, Omelettes, Sandwiches, Salads, Hashes, and Benedicts (along with the standard brunch sides).  To make the choices a little easier, house favorites were indicated with a fork printed next to them.  There were many things on the menu that caught my eye, but what I decided to go with was the Pulled Pork Benedict (a menu item that was not marked with a fork, but still damn good).  It included the standard Eggs Benedict Stuff, a Poached Egg on an English Muffin topped with Hollandaise Sauce, but it also included House Braised Pulled Pork and the Hollandaise Sauce was Chipotle Seasoned and topped with Queso Fresco.  The English muffin was fresh, the egg was cooked well enough that it held together well without becoming rubbery as an overpoached egg will, the pulled pork was tender and flavorful and the spicysmokiness of the Hollandaise went well with it.  It was served with House Potatoes, which were well seasoned, also with a little bit of a spicy bite, and were nice and crispy.  I was a little disappointed that there was nothing on the menu that was really shareable, but I did order a side of bacon on the side, which was nice and crispy and did get shared a little.

I really enjoyed Whisk, the food was great and even with the oddness of being a Ron Swanson themed restaurant, it did look good and was friendly (not something that I would expect from Ron Swanson).  The BYOB is also a little out of the Ron Swanson character, although I'm not sure that shots of whiskey would sell well for brunch.  I will definitely return and I am interested in their new sister restaurant in Logan Square. 

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