Brunching in Chicago is a weekend must, especially during spring and summer. I’ve been known to stay in on a Saturday night in order to prepare myself for the long afternoon of gossiping over Eggs Benedict and bottomless mimosas. Before heading to the NRA show this weekend, try something new at any of the great places the city has to offer. Some new and popular spots include:

The Publican – 837 W Fulton Market (312/733-9555)
The Dawson – 730 W Grand Ave (312/243-8955)
Bongo Room – 1470 N Milwaukee Ave (773/489-0690)
Side Door – 100 E Ontario St (312/787-6768)
Trenchermen – 2039 W North Ave (773/661-1540)

Highlight: The Dawson

The Dawson’s open-air building with very simple décor gives off much more of a modern luxurious vibe than you would expect, and the menu offered only enhances the experience. Since it was nearly 80 degrees in the city on Mother’s Day, we sat outside on their patio, which I am told will resemble somewhat of an outdoor conservatory come fall. 

I started with the BBQ Bloody Mary, with just a splash of house BBQ sauce mixed in with the tomato juice and Tito’s vodka. To add to the saltiness, we ordered a bacon flight for the table, which consisted of four styles of bacon offered on a wooden board. Blackstrap molasses, Allspice Jowl, Braised maple, and my personal favorite, Hungarian-style, each offered a unique hint to enhance the pork favorite.

The Biscuits & Tasso Gravy dish was served with a sunny side up duck egg, and was one of the better ways to incorporate mild spice into a dish. To offset all the savory dishes I had going on, the Cinnamon Bun made with a Templeton Rye schmear was a delightful ending.

The brunch menu has plenty to offer any savory enthusiast, for both healthy and it's-Sunday-so-I'm-taking-a-vacation-day-from-my-diet diets.

However you're spending your weekend and upcoming week at the NRA show, be sure to take a break and enjoy some of the tremendous places this city has to offer. For the love of food, isn't that why we're all here anyway?