Welcome to Bunches o’ Brunches, a semi-weekly series featuring superior brunch and breakfast booze from new restaurants and menus throughout Chicago.
Paths are easy to follow when they’re laid clearly before you. No fork in the road. No roadblocks. Only the obvious. These are the roads that turn scholastic students into teachers and emotional Canadians with a knack for performance art into Drake. French-born chef Jovanis Bouargoub has no interest in such a path.
Armed with a hospitality degree from Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu, he started life in Chicago working as a real estate broker. In 2011, he opened Porkchop (West Loop) not with a menu of typical Parisian artillery but with barbecue. Barbecue — the most American, down-home-cooking you could possibly imagine. Even more unpredictable than his choice niche is the level of success he’s achieved pursuing it.
Bouargoub finds himself changing direction yet again with Chop, a casual steakhouse located at the Roosevelt Collection, next to Showplace ICON Theater in the South Loop.
I stopped in for brunch.
Brunch at Chop
Breakfast here is served until 4p. The Bloody Mary bar closes at noon, which seems way too early to me. Arriving after 1p, we went in the opposite direction with plummy, crisp cocktails. The All Fruits Ripe, mixed with fresh juice and spirits, was a pleasant, frothy surprise. It’s the type of drink you’d easily find yourself ordering too many of on a cruise ship. Not too sweet, but fruity enough for a warm day on the beach. The Aviator’s Punch, made with Aviation gin, violet flower liqueur, and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur was a refreshing citrus palate cleanser. Perfect for the meaty meal ahead.
I recommend the Jumbo Lump Crab appetizer, with which no sauce was needed (or offered). It is not the best lump crab dish in Chicago but it’s delicious. The seafood is chunky, warm, juicy. No complaints.
Your diet will hate you but you must try the Country Breakfast Sandwich, made with an 8 oz NY strip steak, bacon, parm cheese sauce, and eggs. Iconic diners aside, this is probably the best breakfast sandwich you’ll find in the South Loop. If you can’t handle the whole shebang, take half home and wake up the next day to an even better sandwich, marinated in rich flavors.
- Drink: All Fruits Ripe
- Start: Jumbo Lump Crab
- Brunch: Country Breakfast Sandwich
Chop is pretty serious about its seafood but does best with beef and pork. Consider skipping the Shrimp Po’boy which was only average.
1017 S. Delano Ct, Chicago, IL 60605
Disclosure: As is common with restaurant reviews, meals were provided by CHOP. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, Kari Herrera, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of CHOP.