Thursday, April 11, 2013

So Very, Very Hot Right Now

Maple slab bacon at Tavernita brunch (Photo: Tavernita)

With marriage equality a heated issue in the media today, our LGBT friends and family need our support more than ever.

I'm not going to get all preachy, but one chef is giving us the opportunity to celebrate our differences with a brunchy good time this weekend.

Eggs Benedict with ham, brioche and Hollandaise sauce at Tavernita (Photo: Tavernita)

Tavernita's Ryan Poli has gathered a few of his social butter-fly friends for the inaugural Bacon & H.A.M. brunch, which happens noon-3pm April 14. This should be quite the lively scene with former Eater Chicago editor Ari Bendersky, news maven Kelli Zink, former Time Out Chicago editor Kevin Aeh and others in the house. For $18.95, guests get a four-course sharing menu, plus one cocktail. DJ Megan Taylor spins contemporary hits. Expect positive vibes as folks show their support for Chicago's vibrant LGBT community.

Belly Fries photo via Thrillist Chicago

Portage Park newcomer Leadbelly serves up offbeat burgers and fries. We're going a little nuts over the hand-cut crispy Belly Fries, which are smothered in diced pork belly, onion straws and Carolina mustard sauce. Another intriguing item is The Titanic, a burger that serves up to five people and is shaped like a 14-inch pizza. It comes with two pounds of beef and up to four toppings. You have to order it 24 hours in advance.

Ham and Cheese French Toast at Sola (Photo: Sola)

I so wish it would get warm already! That's because it's time to head up to the lovely North Center neighborhood and indulge in Sola's enticing new brunch menu on the fabulous patio. There's a Wasabi Bloody Mary that comes with a wasabi pea rim, shrimp and pickled asparagus, but you'll find the dishes even more intriguing. Two that have caught my eye are the Short Rib Benedict with eggs, cheddar biscuits, pesto and Hollandaise as well as Ham & Cheese French Toast topped with mustard honey and plum-ginger preserves.

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