Deep-Fried French Toast with Foie Gras at The Publican in Chicago


[Photograph: Michael Nagrant]

Last month I wrote about the custard cotton candy–like interior of the best French toast ever at Chicago's new breakfast spot Jam.

Well, call me fickle, but I've fallen in love with a new piece of brioche: the deep-fried French toast served at The Publican for brunch. I mean, yeah, they had me at deep-fried, but then they went and topped the whole thing with silver dollar–sized slices of foie gras torchon, drizzled it with fresh strawberry preserves, and girded the toast with house-made fennel and orange rind–stuffed sausage links.

The heat of the toast melts the butterlike foie so you basically get a rich, creamy strawberry river infused with foie gras fat that also picks up a snow of powdered sugar and pools on the plate. Once the toast was gone, and much to the chagrin of my wife, I started spoon the foiesugarberry residue off the plate with my finger, I was so smitten.

The deep-frying of the toast made it a little dense, and so in a perfect world, I'd probably mix the custard cotton candy–like textured Jam brioche with the Publican toppings and sausage. But when you can also order cider vinegar-splashed spicy pork rinds and French fries fried in beef suet and pork lard (the best in Chicago right now) along with your breakfast, really, what's to complain about?

The Publican

845 W Fulton Market, Chicago IL 60607 (map) 312-733-9555;