Thursday, October 13, 2011

Old Town Social

Location: 455 W. North Avenue
Cost: About $12 per person

My sister and Noam came in town from Baltimore for a few weeks over the high holidays. The weekend in between they spent a bunch of time downtown planning wedding stuff with my parents. It was made relatively clear that there were already enough opinions in play and that I might want to sit this planning session out. They finished everything up by mid day and wanted to meet up for lunch somewhere. The Illini game had just started, and they were in the Old Town area. I wanted to find a place with good food where we could watch the game and thought Old Town Social fit the necessary criteria.

If you've been to Old Town Social it was probably for some late night drinks and not for brunch. They put up a bunch more bar tables, and they have a handful of large booths. There are a ton of TVs which makes it a great place for watching football or premier league soccer. You don't need a reservation.

Our table had it's own big screen TV, and our service was a team effort. Everyone was very helpful. The food took a little while, but they were apologetic. My family thought it was too loud, but they were just being too curmudgeony. The cost is fair in that it seems like every brunch will run you a little north of $10 these days. The portions were huge too which made the value worthwhile.

The Food
They have a good selection of drinks, and Lisa and Noam went for Bloody Marys. They came with cured meat, cheese, stuffed pepper, and okra for a garnish. It wasn't near the one at Glenn's Diner, but it was still a solid breakfast cocktail.

 The Bloody Mary

For our meals Mom got the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque, Dad got the Breakfast Platter and some Chicken Liver Mousse, Noam got the Eggs Florentine, Lisa got the Pastrami Hash, and I got the Sausage and Waffles. The chicken liver was a nice starter. It was smooth, rich, and topped with a spicy giardinera. The grilled cheese was pretty straight forward, and I thought the bisque was a luke warm. Luckily it was low on the salt which won my mom over. Both the florentine and the hash were pleasant alterations on rather common breakfast dishes. I wasn't particularly impressed with the hollandaise on the florentine or the potatoes in the hash though. The sausages on my plate were gigantic, and the waffles had bacon mixed into the batter. It was well varied texturally and excessively savory. Plus, it was the most oversized dish on the menu.

The Sausage and Waffles

The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque

The Breakfast Platter

The Eggs Florentine

The Pastrami Hash

The Chicken Liver Mousse

Now I know what you're all thinking, "Jeff, Why would you go eat at Old Town Social? The only thing that place is good for is watching Schneider rock out to Party in the USA." Typically, I don't like the food that bars in my area put out for a "hangover" brunch so to speak, but Old Town Social is an exception. They serve up a quality selection of breakfast items with dishes heavy on the meat being their specialty. It's a great place to watch a game too. I'm giving them 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Old Town Social on Urbanspoon


  1. It was made relatively clear that there were already enough opinions in play and that I might want to sit this planning session out.

    Since when has that ever stopped you? Lol. Great review