The shtick: Craft cocktails and Bayou classics.
The vibe: Keep in mind that Analogue, regardless of how flaky its biscuits may be, fancies itself a drinking spot first, eatery second. It’s got all the hallmarks of the neo-dive bar: exposed brick walls, pressed tin ceiling, black leather banquettes, and lots of skinny tattooed dudes staffing the place. So it feels kind of weird to be in there during the daytime, with winter sun streaming through the big front windows—maybe that’s why the place was empty even at prime brunching hours. The space looks sexy at night, but during the day, it feels a little bleary instead. 6 out of 10.
The food: Any of the space’s sins are forgiven, though, when you bite into a beignet ($5). Just about every table had a platter of the little fritters, dusted in powdered sugar and served piping-hot. Consider them, along with the super-buttery biscuits ($6), essential orders.
If you’re wondering why a craft-cocktail bar in the middle of Logan Square serves up serious Cajun fare, thank chef and New Orleans native Alfredo Nogueira. He does something special with the shrimp and grits ($15), laden with okra and juicy head-on Gulf prawns, as well as with his take on biscuits and gravy ($12)—biscuits with fried Slagel chicken, pickles, and andouille sausage gravy, served up like extravagant little sliders. This puts most bar food to shame. 9 out of 10.
The drinks: You would think that brunch in a bar would mean the drinks would be the highlight of the meal. But unfortunately, neither the not-tomatoey-enough Bloody Mary nor the too-sweet After the Gold Rush (a mix of bourbon, lemon, honey, and sparkling wine) were quite on the level of the food. Bonus points, though, for selecting the straight-from-NOLA Café du Monde as the chicory-laced coffee of choice. 6 out of 10.
The service: No real complaints here—the all-male, all-plaid-clad server crew was affable, and our food came out reasonably quickly. This is a low-key, low-pressure team, creating a relaxing meal. 8 out of 10.
Overall: If food’s your top priority, Analogue’s a fun surprise, and it’s somehow not being swarmed by starving Logan Squareites, so you can get a good meal without having to wait. 7 out of 10.
Analogue, 2523 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square
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