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Pearl’s Southern Comfort, Chicago

9 Oct

I‘ve been to Pearl’s Southern Comfort in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood three times now – the food is delicious, there are good beer and cocktail options, the service is friendly and attentive, and I like the ambiance. Pearl’s also has a rooftop deck that opened this past summer that serves up drinks and bar bites. Pearl’s is busy, but I’ve never had to wait for a table. Plus. the bar has a couple of good screens for watching the Cubs game.

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We love the boudin balls,  delicate fried dough balls filled with sausage and a bit of rice.

Pearls Southern Comfort - Boudin balls

The catfish bites are lightly battered pieces of flaky fish.

Fried catfish bites

The gumbo is so flavorful, packed with dark meat chicken, sausage, and okra. (This photo was taken after we had already devoured half the bowl!)

Gumbo

Hubby ordered the shrimp po’boy. The fries were extra crispy.

Shrimp po'boy

I had the blackened catfish which was nicely done. It was served with collard greens, and the only disappointment of the night – the mac n’ cheese. Which, unfortunately, was a huge disappointment. I ordered the catfish partially because it came with a side of mac. However, this was probably the worst restaurant mac n’ cheese I’ve ever tasted. It kind of made me wonder whether the restaurant had run out of real cheese, and came up with this Kraft dinner / cheese whiz concoction instead. It tasted so bad, I couldn’t eat more than one spoonful of the mess.

Blackened catfish

Luckily, the fantastic banana bread pudding redeemed the night. This gigantic dessert was epic. Don’t attempt to finish this on your own, this is a dessert meant for sharing. It’s soft, sweet bread layered with banana and served on a plate drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce. There were hints of rum in there as well.

Banana bread pudding

 

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The Final Word: Overall, Pearl’s severs up excellent Southern food, and it’s a great place for a date or dinner with friends. The only thing I’d wish they’d change is the mac n’ cheese. 

Info: Pearl’s Southern Comfort, 5352 N. Broadway Street, Chicago, IL 60640 USA

Pearl's Southern Comfort Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Battle of the Brunches, Part I: Big Jones, Chicago

16 Aug

Andersonville is home to so many great restaurants offering weekend brunch. Where to begin? My husband and I tried two different places, on two consecutive weekends. This is Big Jones versus Bongo Room, head to head! Let’s check out Big Jones first.

Our meal kicked off with some complimentary beignets. They were okay – just fried dough really, a bit bready. The powdered sugar helped make them tastier.

Beignets

Complimentary beignets

Hubby ordered the Bayou Teche, a very flavourful  omelette with meaty crawfish, cream cheese, and andouille sausage. Both our entrees came with a choice of grits or hashed potatoes (which we picked, they were crispy just how we like them.)

Bayou Teche

Bayou Teche

 

I ordered the Eggs New Orleans – Crab cakes stuffed in a popover (reminded me of Yorkshire pudding), topped with perfectly poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. This was honestly the best interpretation of a crab cake benny I’ve ever had.

Eggs New Orleans

Eggs New Orleans

We both liked our entrees so much, we came back a second time and ordered the exact same thing!

Big Jones has a good selection of loose-leaf teas, served in a beautiful glass pot:

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Bloody Mary Jones

Hubby got the Bloody Mary Jones. On a separate visit, I tried the Morning Dove brunch cocktail – the fresh grapefruit juice pulled me in. It was okay, but nothing spectacular. The Intelligensia coffee however, is spectacular, so I’ll stick to coffee in the future.

We shared the buckwheat banana pancakes at the end of our meal. We asked our server to make sure the pancakes arrived after our savory plates were done, and he happily obliged. The pancakes were fluffy and delish, served with crunchy pecans and caramel sauce.

Buckwheat banana pancakes

Buckwheat banana pancakes

Everything about this meal was fantastic – the food, the atmosphere and the service. I would recommend making reservations however – on our second visit, we were treated like second-class patrons since we had not made a reservation. What was supposed to be a 10 minute wait for a table turned into a 35 minute wait, and left a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe this is an opening for another restaurant to  stake claim as Andersonville’s top brunch spot?…

Info: Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640 USA

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