Wednesday, September 25, 2013

brunch with the experts

Remember that time I dragged Derrick an hour and a half out to Nowhere, Illinois, went "Augustus Gloop in a chocolate factory" nuts on Bloody Marys, then fell asleep at 3PM on the bus home?  Well, it turns out that I'm not the only one in Chicago who goes crazy about her brunch time beverages.

Even though Amber and Elaine, the ladies behind the Bloody Best, probably aren't embarrassing themselves on public transportation, they do share my unjustifiable passion for Bloody Marys.  

A few weeks ago, I guest posted on their blog about the Bloody Mary extravaganza that I witnessed. In return, they have a little treat to share with the tea drinking readers of Not Before my Tea.  

Even if you're not from Chicago, take note: if ever you find yourself the newest resident of my guest room (i.e. an air mattress halfway in my kitchen), you'll be sure to visit a few of these places.

You can drop some serious cash eating in this city. We know. Our blog Bloody Best is basically our excuse to go to brunch every weekend possible. An omelet here, a few Bloody Marys there. It’s a good investment in our books, but that shiz adds up. 

The good news? With a little cleverness, you can eat well and imbibe without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips and reco's to help you brunch on the cheap.

Bloody's from Rockit Bar and Grill (below)
Let’s be real. Booze is what drives up the cost on most restaurant bills. Scoping out BYOB spots can be a way to save some serious dough. Many joints have OJ or Bloody Mary mixers on hand. All you have to do is bring your own sparkling wine or liquor of choice to these places and beyond:

Fries, cheese and gravy—guilty pleasures taste even better all in one dish. We’re dying to try this poutine establishment, where you can enjoy a Bloody Mary or screwdriver with Chef Tom’s famous mixers. Just bring your own Svedka, Grey Goose, Dark Eyes, whatever. 939 N. Orleans St. 


You won’t leave hungry at any of Yolk’s various locations. Hearty portions (more than just eggs) are the name of the game. Wash yours down with a mimosa or screwdriver made with fresh squeezed orange or orange-strawberry juice. All you have to do is bring your own bubbly or vodka. Various locations

Like all good things, finding a good brunch deal is easy if you know where to look. And it’s sure as hell more satisfying than browsing the clearance rack at Marshalls. Here are a handful of good deals to whet your appetite:

(pictured above)

The food isn’t necessarily a steal, but it ain’t too pricey either. Plus, you can snack on the more than 30 garnishes that come on the amazing, gourmet Bloody Mary bar. An absolute deal considering it’s made with Absolut Peppar and only $5. 22 W. Hubbard

Venture to Zapatista where each dish on the brunch menu, like huevos rancheros and breakfast tacos, is only $8. Bonus: snag the house Bloody with a beer back for $5. 1307 S. Wabash

What this Wicker Park mainstay lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in great, affordable brunch. Slurp down a $5 Bloody or mimosa and get a hearty portion of no-nonsense staples like 2 eggs and meat platter with hashbrowns and toast for just $6 or egg muffin with cheese and bacon (including OJ or coffee) for $4. 2011 W. Division St. 

If you plan to have more than one or two brunch cocktails (as we sometimes do), a bottomless deal may be a way to keep the cash in your wallet. It’s like getting two, err, three for the price of one. 

Enjoy the bottomless mimosa, Bloody Mary and champagne specials while you nom on dishes like biscuits and gravy, pork belly and eggs and watercress bella omelet . Refills are just $2 after you’re done eating. So why not make an afternoon of it? 1904 W. North Ave. 

At this Lincoln Park watering hole, $28 gets you bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, Miller Lite or Coors Light plus an entree. Perfect vibe for the sports lover as well. 1983 N. Clybourn

Happy brunching to all our new friends out there! May the deals and Bloody Marys be with you. Feel free to brunch and drink along with us at Cheers! 

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