New Years Eve on a Sunday. Why not go to brunch. It’s the perfect way to pre-game for New Year’s Eve, right? If you were out of town visiting family for a marathon perogi-making weekend in beautiful South Bend, Indiana, then you would be especially ready for a high gay holiday – New Year’s Eve drag brunch at Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club.
Setting the Scene
We walked into Kit Kat around noon on a frigid New Year’s Eve to a full house, with people waiting to be sat at the host stand (which was covered in dollar bills from the previous drag performance). As usual, we headed to the bar, where it is first come, first served seating, and found only a few seats unoccupied. The music was loud, and got louder for performances, and the crowd was definitely there to party. With the decadent décor, it felt like a night club atmosphere, only everyone was sitting drinking instead of dancing.
Amenities and Accessibility
The entire restaurant is accessible but the tables are very tightly spaced, with roomy single-user restrooms.
During the warmer months, Kit Kat has a beautiful sidewalk patio seating option, which provides a bit of relief from the loud music and party vibe, however, if you are there for a brunch show, you have to sit inside to witness the wonder.
Food and Drink
Kit Kat is usually open for their Divalicious Brunch on Sundays from 11:00am – 4:00pm. Since New Year’s Eve fell on Sunday, this was no different (although this year they were open on Monday for a New Year’s Day for brunch as well). The brunch deal is either the Prix Fixe Menu, which includes two courses of food (biscuits with honey butter plus an entreé choice) and Build Your Own mimosas, Bloody martinis, Bellinis, and Sangrias for $29.95, OR $14.95 for Build Your Own mimosas, Bloody martinis, Bellinis, and Sangrias with the purchase of any of the brunch menu items. These included salads, sandwiches, multiple egg offerings, and an assortment of the usual brunch-type items.
Although the menu didn’t give any clue as to how this may actually be presented, Becky decided on the crab cakes benedict, minus bacon crumbles, with the béarnaise sauce on the side, as it is one of her favorite brunch items. She assumed it might be accompanied with some kind of potato and served on toasted English muffins. When the food arrived, in a packed house, 20 minutes later, she was surprised to find that the food was all cold, including the poached eggs, and sadly, no English muffin.
As it was difficult for her to hide the feelings in her eyes, the bartender asked if the food was okay, and she couldn’t lie: it was cold. He promptly snuck under the service bar and came around to whisk it away for a re-fire, even though this is an experience that Becky loathes and almost never requests. He came back about five minutes later with eggs that had been freshly poached, but most certainly the same sad potatoes and crab cakes that had been reheated. Either way, the effort counted, and the food was at least edible upon its return. The cakes were a good size and, even if there was a little too much filler, they had a respectable amount of flavorful crab. The eggs round 2 were nicely poached and runny, but the potatoes were avoided completely. The item most missed was the expected crispy toasted English muffins that traditionally accompany most Benedicts. She would order differently next time, especially knowing the quality of the food that usually comes out of the kitchen.
Jodie ordered from the Prix Fixe menu with mimosas. She selected the steak skillet, cooked medium rare. While it was cooked all the way through and buried under a mountain of cheesy scrambled eggs, the meat was still tender and flavorful, and didn’t need any additional seasoning. The biscuit was also full of flavor, and the honey butter was a sweet counter to the savory meat. Like Becky, Jodie was not impressed with the potatoes. Advertised as a roasted potato hash, it was the same sad chunks that offended Becky’s plate. Perhaps other side options might serve this dish better.
AMAZING performances by the talented and renowned Madam X, whom Jodie first became aware of during the queen’s performances as Maleficent in MidTangent Productions’ Snow White and the Seven Drag Queens. She is the claimed as “mother” by many Chicago-area drag queens: an inspiration. See for yourselves.
Cute young boys abound (the staff) and were very attentive to keeping our glasses filled.
Many Happy Hour deals and special events every day.
Kit Kat bills itself as a supper club, and you should prepare yourself for that experience. It is perhaps a little fancier than our humble sweatpants normally encounter at brunch, but it certainly elevates itself with spectacular performances. On the whole, the service was attentive, the show was jaw-dropping, the drinks were overflowing, and the crowd was enthusiastic. That being said, the food was not the focus. We can’t help but wonder what the food experience would be like on a different, non-holiday brunch. The crowd that comes to Kit Kat for brunch is always in it for the show and the party, so maybe we need to lower our food standards or order differently if we are to return.
As a full experience, we rate Kit Kat’s Diva Brunch a respectable 7 out of 10 mimosas. The emphasis is on the performance experience, and not so much the food.
Pro Tips – Optimize Your Experience
- Make a reservation, even if you just plan to sit at the bar. It is always busy, especially during holidays and event weekends in Boystown.
- BRING YOUR DOLLARS. If you are there for brunch during a show, tip the queens. With multiple costume and song changes per performance, tip more than once. Chicago’s queens are some of the best in the nation, but it costs a lot of money to look this cheap.
- Do not, we repeat, DO. NOT. touch the drag queens. Hold out your dollars and let them come to you. This is a performance, not a petting zoo. We’re looking at you, bachelorette parties.