As previously mentioned, my time in Chicago didn’t wind to a close on Sunday as Melissa’s wedding was that evening. And that, my friends, means that Laura had to take me to brunch. Oh the horror.
Turns out she’s got pretty fantastic taste in brunch…The Dawson, in the West Loop, was a positively idyllic spot to enjoy the mid-70’s sunny day. Their outdoor patio was enclosed and protected from some of the street noise, featured a giant outdoor fireplace and porticos for shade, and teemed with pretty people drinking pretty drinks and eating pretty delicious food.
The giant outdoor bar didn't hurt either!
Naturally we had to start with drinks. Laura picked a frozen Mai Tai...
...and I went with a Capri Sun to start, a super-refreshing concoction of passionfruit, gin, green tea, strawberry, and prosecco. The only thing it was missing was the foil pouch.
Later, I picked the Mellow Yellow...two kinds of rum, banana vanilla bean liqueur, lime, and Triple Sec. It came with a tiny umbrella, and my day was made. (Drew later wore the tiny umbrella around as a boutonniere of sorts all day...it matched his purple shirt perfectly and couldn't have been more Pride-appropriate!)
We started off with two sinful appetizers...a caramelized banana-pecan monkey bread, and a bacon flight. That's right, a BACON FLIGHT.
Featuring four types of bacon...blackstrap molasses, allspice jowl, Hungarian-style, and maple-glazed...we housed the entire board's worth of meat in near-silence, totally overcome. Each of us preferred a different type: Drew favored the Hungarian-style's thick cut, I loved the savory, crackly allspice jowl, and Laura could've eaten an entire blackstrap molasses cut on her own. The monkey bread made the perfect sweet, doughy counterpart to the savory bacon.
We probably would've been fine without entrees, but that didn't stop us from indulging in andouille sausage breakfast sandwiches or, for Drew, classic steak and eggs. The sandwiches were spicy and cheesy in exactly the right proportion. The only drawback was that with the bacon and monkey bread taking up so much gastronomic real estate, I couldn't even come close to finishing.
Best part of brunch, though? Getting to share it with this girl...also please note Drew's clever framing of the Willis Tower in the background! THAT'S SO CHICAGO.
We followed up brunch with a little (a lot) more day-drinking: headed to the Fulton Market District!
We entertained the notion of hitting up the RM Champagne House...
...but faced with a dearth of outdoor seating, we headed across the street to The Allis at Soho House, where I drank a "Daisy Buchanan" and sought my Gatsby to no avail.
All cocktailed out, we headed back to Haymarket to chase our sweet drinks with some beer. Laura and Drew indulged in a cuddle while I people-watched to my heart's content...Chicago's finest were out in full force celebrating Pride and enjoying the sunshine!
Drew and Laura made pretty great hosts, and I'm already looking forward to another stop in the Windy City. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Laura's for dog-walking and wedding prepping. More to come...