In our post-Pride haze, we awoke Monday morning-ish and decided to head to our second brunch of the weekend at Hutch Bistro. Yeah, I don’t know what we were thinking either. Our zeal for delicious breakfast items overrides our poor judgment every time.
Setting the Scene
It was a bright, sunny, and cool day, with a few scattered remains of the Sunday’s Pride Parade festivities.
We arrived around 1, to a full patio, a steady dining room, and a quiet bar. We were greeted by Angela and a carafe of mimosas. The music was chill and at a tolerable level, the two TVs at the bar were showing ESPN. The decor is fun and tasteful without being overwhelming. They also have local art, and a beautifully rendered chalkboard wall advertising their weekly specials.
Amenities and Accessibility
The front entrance has a steep ramp and two doors, which can be tricky to navigate. There are two steps down to the patio, but it is accessible from the sidewalk. The bathrooms are adjacent to the dining room, with two stalls in the women’s room. There is a spacious handicap stall that should accommodate all needs. Again, any input from our readers is greatly appreciated!
Food and Drink
Their weekday brunch is a boon for service industry folks who work weekends but still need to enjoy their days off. From 10-3, they offer $1 mimosas, $7 carafes, and $5 Bloody Marys. While still a good deal, ($3.50 per mimosa, $14 per carafe, and $10 for a Bloody) the prices do jump on the weekend.
Becky decided to go off the grid of her usual favorites here and order the pulled pork and egg sandwich (no pork), but was quickly persuaded by Angela to try the bistro sandwich, even though croissants have only disappointed her in the past. Wow, what a difference a homemade, gouda swirled croissant makes! The sandwich usually comes with a fried egg, ham, and maple bacon aioli, which she held because of her lack of love for meat. Instead she added cheddar and onion, and chose the cheesy grits in place of the cheesy hash brown casserole.
The grits were cheesy as advertised and toothsome, the croissant was tender and luxurious, and the egg was perfectly fried, bursting at the touch of the knife. While not really a sandwich to pick up and eat, the croissant held together well and the juiciness of the egg enveloped the crispy and tender croissant. No complaints here – Becky ate the whole thing.
Jodie also swerved outside of her normal ordering lane and got the avocado chicken toast, which consisted of Sriracha pulled chicken, corn, red onion, cilantro on rustic bread, with a side of fresh fruit. The chicken was served cold on top of the toasted bread, which was unexpected. Also, there wasn’t much in the way of Sriracha flavor, but the cilantro and red onion compensated with fresh staccato pops of flavor. The avocado got a little lost in the creamy mix of the chicken salad. The stand out star of her meal was the fresh fruit. Jodie is always skeptical of fruit at restaurants, because it rarely is truly fresh. Perhaps it’s just because these fruits are in season, but the cantaloupe, strawberries, and honeydew melon were absurdly flavorful and worked well to offset the salty flavors of the sandwich.
Happy Hour! We decided to stick around after brunch for happy hour from 3-6pm in the bar area. In addition to half-price appetizers (Jodie recommends the ribs and the lobster nachos), drink specials are $1 champagne, $2 well drinks, $3 drafts, $4 wine, and $5 craft cocktails. Maura creates a warm and friendly environment with all of her many regulars. We’ve struck up many a fun and helpful conversation thanks to her.
We give Hutch a well-deserved 9 out of 10. Every meal and drink we’ve had here has exceeded our expectations. Even trying something new did not disappoint, but surprised and delighted us. It always feels good when being adventurous pays off. The food is high-quality, thoughtfully prepared, and comes out quickly. They know how to do brunch and do it well, for which we are grateful. Aside from the food, we think this is the best brunch deal for you dollar that we’ve yet encountered in the city.
Pro Tips – Optimize Your Experience
- Brunch is available every day of the week from 10am to 3pm. Hit up brunch during the week to avoid weekend crowds, especially during Cubs games and event days.
- Come in for Happy Hour in the bar area from 3-6pm. Our bae-tender Maura slings drink deals, half-price appetizers, a healthy dose of sass, and occasionally their house-made spicy tequila. She is, in our humble opinion, one of Chicago’s finest bartenders and best human beings.
- Get outside of your typical ordering comfort zone. Nothing on the menu here has ever disappointed us.
- Bring friends or make them at the bar. The city can seem like a cold, impersonal place, but even Chiberia cracks under the warm friendliness of the patrons and staff. If you’re new to Chicago, swing by for a drink and make some connections.