Team Miss Fats hasn’t spent much time in Pilsen, so they were excited to venture into this neighborhood to get their brunch on. (Though they fully recognize this brunch is a NOT a representation of Pilsen’s excellent Mexican restaurants. THEY WILL BE BACK FOR MEXICAN BREAKFAST. DO NOT WORRY.) Nightwood has been at the top of their lists for a while, but is way far out of their price range. But per Miss Fats’ style, brunch is always an option.
And what could make Miss Fats more excited? Surprises. Nightwood does not have a set menu and changes their options every week, so they only had a vague idea of what they were in for. Look at the super cute hand written menus:
Miss Fats thought listing just “fried skin” (what animal? who cares.) as an ingredient was pretty dope. Game on, Nightwood.
Bacon butterscotch donut
J: Having had an extremely unpleasant experience with the Maple Bacon Manhattan at The Southern, Miss Fats avoids bacon in places where bacon shouldn’t go. Actually, Miss Fats generally never eats bacon, and doesn’t understand why it’s such a thing. (Go ahead, lose all respect for Miss Fats as a person right now. Go ahead!!! She’s used to it.) This wasn’t half bad though. Except when her “better half” dropped the last bite on the floor. Doof.
M: Miss Fats is just going to say it: this is the best donut in Chicago. (Maybe even one of the best things in the city.) Hands down. Fuck. No words. SALT. SWEET. CRISPY. SOFT. Miss Fats isn’t even sure how to go about describing this incredible treat. It was literally the most heavenly contrast between the soft, fluffy cake center and crisp tender outside that was smothered in butterscotch glaze. Don’t even get her started on the crispy bacon goodness. BEST. This is the stuff of dreams. Which turned into a nightmare when she dropped the last bite:
THE SADDEST PICTURE YOU WILL EVER SEE.
Chocolate cherry cashew donut
J: This was a pretty great donut. There wasn’t really a detectable cherry flavor, it was more like the very very distant memory of a chocolate-covered cherry. Both of the donuts came with three tiny donut babies. Free baby donuts! Miss Fats really likes when food comes with extra food, like how when you order a Bloody Mary you get a free surprise snack. Sometimes it’s celery, sometimes it’s cheese-stuffed olives, you never know! Sometimes you order a donut and you get donut babies! The only bad part about the choco donut is when Miss Fats dropped one of the cinnamon-sugar babies on the floor. Doof. (see above if you want to cry again.)
M: Again: donut bliss. Miss Fats is such a huge fan of donuts she’s not sure this is even a fair subject to discuss. And what’s basically the only thing Miss Fats loves more than fried dough? CHOCOLATE. So obviously she was all over this shit. Usually chocolate donuts are a little too sweet with their glaze, but this shit was filled with the tastiest, perfectly salted ganache. She agrees with the other Miss Fats, however. No cherry. She wishes they had just omitted the flavor from the description or thrown a heaping spoonful of tart cherry preserves right on top.
Hello! I am cherry sales-kitten and I can help!
Wood-grilled Butcher + Larder Polish sausage, sauerkraut, neon relish, peppers & onions, runny egg
M: This was Nightwood’s cracked out version of a polish sausage complete with Chicago’s token neon green relish. Miss Fats seriously struggled to get this monster into her mouth, but once she did, she was all about it. The sausage was so tasty: perfectly tender and full of porky flavor that wasn’t over powered by spices (sausage often has too much fennel seed for Miss Fats). Obviously this paired well with the sauerkraut and runny egg: two ingredients that cannot fail.
J: What M actually said about this dish was, “I’M INTO YOU,” while pointing at it with her fork. Miss Fats forgot the sausage came with all that sauerkrauty gloop. Not a huge fan. It overwhelmed all the other flavors. Stupid bossy sauerkraut. But look at that eggsplosion! Best!
Bagel sandwich – Rushing Water’s smoked trout cream cheese, slaw, bacon, an over-easy egg and tots
M: This was a very tasty bagel sandwich. The crispy bagel (Miss Fats needs to eat more bagels) and crunchy bacon were paired with mustardy sauciness and (always appreciated) runny egg. Despite fully enjoying this dish, Miss Fats is disappointed to report the lack of smoked trout flavor. She is ALWAYS excited about the prospect of smoked trout (there may not be a better smoked fish) and could not wait to get her salty-fishy cream cheese on. However the shmear fell short: little-to-no fish flavor. Still a damn good sandwich, but she was all excited about that trout! Guess Miss Fats’ fish luck ran out.
J: The fish luck didn’t run out! We just transferred some of it for ultra convenient parking spaces and ice cream luck. The bagel sammy was better than the sausage, but Miss Fats had to remove some of the bacon, because you just shouldn’t do surf n turf n egg like this. TOO MANY ANIMALS. It was too much!!! Miss Fats got spoiled with the ginorm serving of smoked fish they received at Jam, so the cream cheese did seem lackluster in comparison. None of this really matters though, because have a look at these breakfast potatoes….
M: Ok these tater tots deserve a post all in their own. Miss Fats could probably spend a full twenty minutes describing these to you. Supposedly tater tots are a “food trend” now, but team Miss Fats has been munching on these suckers since birth. Well maybe not these gourmet tots. Nightwood’s tater tots were perfectly soft and tender inside and crazy crunchy deliciousness on the outside. BALANCE. (Insert nonsense food talk about texture.) This shit celebrated that potato. Though Miss Fats will continue to order tater tots whenever she enters a bar, she will always remember just how good a tot can be. And then probably run home and make a rez for brunch at Nightwood.
J: New plan is to contact chefs from Nightwood, Little Goat, and Jam, and have them make a mashed potato out of the Jam potatoes, then apply a Nightwood crispy filter and tempura fry them like Little Goat. It would be the best. The. Best. Ever. These were so so so so so ridiculously crispy. Each entree came with three of these golf-ball sized tater gems, but Miss Fats would have happily eaten a pile of these on their own, maybe with some different dipping sauces. #dreams
Oh yeah, and the fine staff at Nightwood kept our coffee cups FULL. So they get 10/10 coffee points from Miss Fats. Which is important. Coffee points are better than brownie points.
Miss Fats wanted to take a nap after this, but instead WAS AWESOME AND WENT ON MORE ADVENTURES.
Cut to Andersonville. (Don’t ask why we made this jump. Just know that some serious appetite was created in the process. Aka sitting in traffic listening to Top 40 and wishing we were at the Chinese New Year parade.)
George’s – A new instant favorite for Miss Fats! George’s offers more options and amazing flavors than anywhere else around, with super cute chalkboard drawings & vintage photos with funny captions. And a photo of a raccoon eating ice cream with a bear or something. Yes please.
How Miss Fats felt after they conquered George’s.
coconut, birthday cake, horchata ice cream
J: This was a greedy combination of three flavors. Miss Fats could not decide between these three, pistachio nut, “Kitty Kitty Bang Bang” (a cheesecake ice cream with raspberry ripple, Oreo and chocolate chunks), and a raspberry soy ice cream that looked pretty darn yums. Unfortch, George’s doesn’t offer a size option for “Insane Gluttonous Food Bloggers Who Think They Can Justify Eating ALL The Ice Cream Because They’re Going To Write About It Later,” so Miss Fats had to choose.
The coconut would have been great on its own, as would the horchata, they were both subtle, rich, and got lost in the birthday cake wonderfulness. Miss Fats is a big fan of super tacky ‘party cake’ flavored ice cream, this was just like, THAT, but made out of REAL food ingredients. And had windex-blue swirlies in it! George’s horchata flavor was maybe a little bit too subtle for us, the cinnamon rice-milk gelato at Cafe Spiaggia really hit a better balance with their spices. Overall, Miss Fats found everything they tried at George’s to be better than Baume & Brix’s Fish Cream. SHOCKING!
1 scoop Heaps of Love: oreos, pecans, caramel, chocolate ripple, cookie dough in vanilla ice cream; 1 scoop Yippie Skippie: peanut butter cups, caramel ripple, and more crack Miss Fats cannot remember; topped with hot fudge and peanut butter
M: Miss Fats fears she may have just given you a sugar attack just by listing those ingredients. This was literally the most indulgent chocolate-cookie-peanut butter-caramel crazy time that Miss Fats has ever had. It was someone gave her free reign and asked her to list all her favorite sweet treats and shoved them into a sundae. She’d like to think that her six year old self dreamed this one up, but let’s get real: this is pure adult Miss Fats. Not even child Miss Fats would have even gone this far. And boy was that good. While picking flavors Miss Fats was faced with her usual crisis: top with hot fudge or peanut butter?? She asked the kind woman at George’s which to do, and she made the reasonable rec to go with fudge… and THEN TOPPED IT WITH BOTH. WIN. It was like every spoon full was a new treat: Miss Fats spent most bites exclaiming what new discovery she’d made. This sundae is purely for chocoholic professionals. Beware of choco-salty-sweet flavor explosion.
Hey, it also turns out it was the one month anniversary of Miss Fats! Four weeks ago Miss Fats was enjoying/taking unprofessional photos of some sundaes on a Sunday… and Sunday Sundaes was born. Miss Fats didn’t realize this till they were deep in the middle of today’s ice cream divertissement and had a bit of deja vu. Yay Team Miss Fats!!!