Time for a little brunch and since The Monster has given a go to Bangers and Lace (hit) on one corner and Black Bull (miss) on the other it’s time to give Carriage House a go between them.
Right off the bat three things to say. Love the Southern-inflected menu. Love the warm and kind service. Love sitting outside.
Here is what The Monster orders:
Chicken & biscuit: fried chicken, buttermilk biscuit, pimento cheese & sausage gravy. This is decadent, rich and tasty. The biscuit and gravy overshadows the fried chicken here and one may feel like they are digging their own grave eating in gluttony this but it’s worth an order to share.
Fried green tomatoes: creamed sweet corn, pickled shrimp, smoked chili vinaigrette. Always love fried green tomatoes and this is a unique presentation. The shrimp are perfect as accouterment to dish, the layers of tang and heat to the smoked chili vinaigrette also nice. Sadly, the tomatoes get lost a bit in a batter that is too heavy. A little tweak and this would be killer.
Johnnycake: nectarine preserve, maple syrup. By this point it is probably more a mis-order than anything. After a ton of fried goodness and the buttermilk biscuits, a heavy cornmeal flatbread is just too much. It’s good but wasted on this guy at this moment.
Brunch board: smoked redfish salad, pimento cheese, deviled eggs, bagel, avocado, cream cheese, tomato and onion. The oft-disregarded stepchild to other items on a brunch buffet, in this rendition the brunch board is the best item on the menu. The Monster loves making little sandwiches of all the ingredients. It may not be the first place you look but it should 100% be on your order list.
Seasonal fruit: because nothing else ordered is even remotely healthy.
Sadly, there is no room for the shrimp and grits. Or the potato hash. Or the Pullman French toast with caramelized banana and sorghum whipped cream.
Next time Carriage House.
Why go? Brunch board wins in a surprise upset.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
1700 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622