Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Wild Brunch

“The King” French toast, available only at Rockit Bar & Grill.
(Photo: Rockit Bar & Grill)

Music is the key at these Sunday brunch spots where the eats deliciously match the beats:

At Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W. Hubbard St., 312-645-6000), you’ll get classic acoustic rock by some local artists playing everything from the Rolling Stones, Beatles and early Sheryl Crow. You’ll definitely want to pair that with their newest brunch offering—The King—an ultimate French toast dish that’s the perfect tribute to Elvis. You’ll want a little less conversation at the table as you dig into decadent bites of the thick-cut French toast swirling with a peanut butter reduction, freshly sliced bananas, whipped cream and toasted peanuts. That’s $12, and do yourself a favor and pair it with the Mimosa Kit, which comes with a bottle of bubbly as well as a selection of freshly squeezed juices like mango, orange and pineapple. Get that for $30 or go all out with a premium bottle of Champagne for $50. 11am-4pm.

Cuatro’s (2030 S. Wabash Ave., 312-842-8856) sexy Bossa Nova Brunch is probably the hottest thing going on in the South Loop on Sundays. Latin band Bossa Tres spills the sounds as customers nosh on South American favorites like the coconut-milk pancakes studded with fresh pineapple, mango and toasted pecans for $7 or the slow-roasted pork empanadas for $8. Indulge in the Forbidden Fruit Sangria, which is infused with a dozen tropical fruits, for $10, to wash it all down. 10am-3pm.

And it’s time to get the blues at Junior’s Sports Lounge (724 W. Maxwell St., 312-421-2277), starting Sunday, March 30 and throughout the summer. Two Maxwell Street institutions—Fruteland Jackson and Fernando Jones—kick off the series throughout March. I’ve seen Fernando play before and he does it all—with the harmonica, vocals and guitar. He’s also good about getting the crowd involved, so don’t be surprised when he pulls you onstage to play the harmonica with him! Junior’s serves an all-American brunch to go with the blues, including a breakfast burrito, make-your-own omelet station and a build-your-own-breakfast sandwich station. Prices are only $7-$8. 12:30-2:30pm.

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