The shtickLincoln Park’s place to catch up over meat and Americanos.
The vibeThis urban-rustic Lincoln Park spot tends to be populated with twenty- and thirty-somethings, the kinds who roll in a bit on the later side and view weekly brunch as a social necessity. They sit on wooden benches beneath giant animal murals (an octopus, a pig, a kangaroo) and noisily catch up, lingering long after plates have been cleared. The only issue is that tables are pretty close together, so you may leave knowing a lot more than you planned to about your table neighbors. 7 out of 10
The drinksBe forewarned: If you need a bottomless coffee to make your brunch feel complete, this is not your place. Instead, you can get a perfectly pleasant Americano ($2.75) or latte ($3.75). The pungent Intelligentsia blends fare better than the wimpy Bloody Mary ($9), too watery to really make any kind of impression. 5 out of 10
The foodIf the porcine logo didn’t give it away, this place is all about the meat, so you’re best diving in on something that’s got some protein in it. Like, say, the egg-topped Southwestern skillet ($11) laced with piquant chorizo, potatoes, and pepper jack cheese, a nap-inducer if there ever was one. Their take on the all-consuming avocado toast ($10) trend stands out for its meaty-savory leanings (bacon AND jalapeno AND feta AND cilantro.) Sweets here are less successful—the bland jam-topped biscuits ($5) can’t compete in a city full of doughy standouts, and the PB & J pancakes could have used more of both PB and J. 7 out of 10
The serviceEfficient and no-nonsense (if a bit impersonal), but more than willing to let parties hang without any pressure. 8 out of 10
OverallIt does the trick if you’ve got a lively crew and are using your meal as an excuse to catch up. 7 out of 10