The Brunch Dish: Old Town Breakfast at Old Town Social

The Brunch Dish

Reviews of brunch dishes.


[Photograph: Anna Deem]

For all the fancy reinterpretations of brunch classics I have tried since the start of this column, sometimes it's nice to remember what prompted my love of that special time in-between breakfast and lunch. Old Town Social serves up a basic no-frills breakfast dish titled the Old Town Breakfast ($12), and it prompted me to remember this past weekend why the classics are just as important as their modern breakfast bedfellows.

With two poached eggs, a hash brown casserole, housemade sausage, and toast, the Old Town Breakfast is enough food to leave you feeling full, but not enough to make you want to sleep the day away. Although the poached eggs were served in an over-sized bowl that was several sizes too big, I solved the plating problem by placing them between the two pieces of toast and making a makeshift egg sandwich, with the runny yolk coating every inch of the crisp bread.

Although it looks substantial, the housemade sausage was a little dry. The real star however, was the hash brown casserole, which is even more delicious than it sounds. Gooey cheese melted on top of potatoes in casserole form? After trying this dish, I am now a firm believer that every morning should be started off with potatoes and melted cheese. Old Town Social may focus their menu around upscale items like the BLT Benedict or the croque-madame, but when it comes to brunch basics like the Old Town Breakfast, their execution is just as flawless.

Old Town Social

455 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610 (map)