Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Wild Brunch

The decadent dessert cart at David Burke's Primehouse is part of their new American Dim Sum. (Photo: David Burke's Primehouse)

In the spirit of Mardi Gras season, The Wild Brunch takes a look at some very tempting treats you don’t want to miss. This Sunday, David Burke’s Primehouse debuts an American-style dim sum with contemporary twists; Hyde Park fave C’est Si Bon pays tribute to Louisiana cuisine with some hearty dishes; and Vee Vee’s in Rogers Park offers an authentic African feast. The one thing in common? All buffets! Get on it!

C'est Si Bon (5225 S. Harper Ave., 773-363-4123). For less than 20 bucks, you can load up on this homestyle breakfast buffet with items like the Cajun fried chicken with a hot Belgian waffle; smothered pork chops served with a choice of Cajun hash browns or rice; or the New Orleans-style French toast stuffed with spicy sausage. One Mimosa included; nonalcoholic beverages unlimited.

David Burke’s Primehouse (616 N. Rush St., 312-660-6000). Former Park Avenue CafĂ© chef David Burke passes the torch for contemporary American dim sum to his executive chef, Rick Gresh, at the sweet James Hotel eatery. Servers swing by the tables with custom-designed carts filled with a staggering amount of goodies. My faves?! The comfort food cart for the Kobe beef mini corn dogs, mac ‘n’ cheese with ham hocks and the Southern fried chicken drumstick with cole slaw. Oh, and the “Brunch & Crunch” cart for the chocolate and hazelnut stuffed French toast and the almond pancakes with passion fruit butter. And, mmmmm, how can I forget the “Asian Goodies” cart for the lobster, short rib and veggie dumplings and the “Sweet Treats” cart rolling through with the infamous cheesecake lollipops, dessert shooters and baby sundaes. And finally, for an extra $7 you must order the flight of classic brunch cocktails: Salty Dog (grapefruit juice and vodka), Mimosa and a bloody Mary. American dim sum is $35 per person.

Vee Vee’s (6232 N. Broadway, 773 465-2424). Specializing in West African and Jamaican cuisine, this no-frills North Side spot hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet every Sunday for $9.99. Just some of the hearty dishes on the menu include red beans and rice with jerk chicken; Jollof rice (steamed rice cooked in blended tomatoes, onions and red bell peppers with your choice of meat); and the Vee Vee's Special, which is a traditional soup infused with dried fish, ground shrimp, ugu, ukazi spices and stockfish. One of the most popular desserts is the Chin Chin, mini donut-like treats made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and nutmeg that’s rolled out, cut into cubes and fried to a golden brown.

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