Bunches o’ Brunches: AMK Kitchen Bar in Bucktown

AMK Chicago
Image: AMK Kitchen Bar
AMK Chicago
Image: AMK Kitchen Bar
AMK Chicago
Country Ham Sandwich

Welcome to Bunches o’ Brunches, a semi-weekly series featuring superior brunch and breakfast booze from new restaurants and menus throughout Chicago.

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Or, if you’re like me, where no one knows your name and everyone stays out of your business. It would also be helpful if such a place served distinctive comfort cooking. Food that could be enjoyed off the back porch of an old plantation in Tennessee with a glass of brown liquor on a warm spring day.

As it turns out, this place exists and they now serve brunch.

Brunch at AMK Kitchen

Good things happen when I walk into AMK Kitchen, Bucktown’s whiskey loving upscale American diner. I always leave pleasantly surprised. Since my opening night review of the restaurant last summer, I’ve returned for the familiar. That’s what AMK is all about, the familiar served with a shot of privilege. Like foie gras on a burger, or couture on a Kardashian, the entire menu is homey meets haute. The expected presented unexpectedly.

Their brunch though?

AMK Chicago
Rye or Die Bloody Mary
AMK Chicago
Chilaquiles and Huevos
AMK Chicago
Country Ham Sandwich

It all began with a Rye or Die Bloody Mary, boozed up with Templeton Rye infused into a rich house Bloody Mary mix. This is one of four Bloody Mary varieties offered and each is far from just a spicy V8. Full flavored, it was the perfect place to start.

I recommend ordering the Chilaquiles and Huevos as an appetizer to be shared. It looks fiery hot, but is barely spicy. It’s simple. Chips. Eggs. Cheese. Guac. Cream. Nothing original but good nonetheless. You won’t feel too annoyed if your tablemates have a little more than you because there are better things coming…

…like the Country Ham Sandwich. The name makes it sound like an item served off the interstate to laid over truckers — but this was the standout. Cheddar biscuits baked fresh, covered in a house sauce, topped with eggs, ham, and gravy. This is the one thing I’ll say you must order. At the time of our visit it wasn’t yet on the menu. Ask for it by name.

AMK Chicago
Chicken and Waffles

Finally, Chicken and Waffles. The presentation here is basic but the waffle, the foundation and often forgotten key element of this dish, is perfect. Only slightly sweet, it has a crispy outside and warm, soft inside. I’ve said before how I feel about AMK’s fried chicken. Nothing has changed. There are few spots in Chicago that prepare chicken this well, in my humble opinion.

Kari’s Recommendations

  • Drink: Rye or Die Bloody Mary
  • Start: Chilaquiles
  • Brunch: Country Ham Sandwich

Also …

Happy hour is served from 5p to 7p during the week. Specials include half off draft pours and pizza specials.

Service industry nights are Monday and Tuesday.

AMK Kitchen

1954 W. Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60622


Disclosure: As is common with restaurant reviews, meals were provided by AMK Kitchen.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, Kari Herrera, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of AMK Kitchen.

All images taken by Kari Herrera unless stated otherwise.