Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicago Q

Photo: Chicago Q Website

Lee Ann Whippen, Chef/Partner in one of Chicago’s best restaurants, owns a resume that would impress just about anyone. Not only is she a National BBQ Champion, she is also the only female Pitmaster out there in a long, growing list of men.

This is an at- home -feel restaurant with plenty of windows and tons of Southern charm. I sat in the front window at a high table right next to a cupboard that was lined with trophies, ribbons and awards. My first thought was that my chances of having a really high-quality meal here was probably 99 to 1!

The meal was kicked off by small bowls of spiced chips and homemade pickles.

I’ve got to warn you that you had better hold back. They are so good you could easily finish them both, ask for another round and forget you even ordered breakfast.

I will admit that I am a hashbrown connoisseur. I’ve always loved them and judge every restaurant’s breakfast aptitude by the quality of the hashbrowns. Not many measure up but these potatoes were cut impeccably into tiny squares and cooked just as I remember them…crunchy and ever so perfect…just like my dad’s friend, Dr. Bob Havel, who I thought growing up made the best hashbrowns ever and have consequently compared all others to his.

I ordered both - yes, I did say both (Oink Oink) but I was happy I did. I could not decide which dish I loved the best.

The Kobe Beef hash was topped with 2 poached eggs and paired with jalapeno muffins. I polished off almost half.

My new favorite Eggs Benedict: A cornbread base covered with smoked chicken and smothered in Hollandaise Sauce.

Like every other post, I would follow with a recipe but doubt that I can duplicate the smoked chicken and hollandaise it was that good.

You have never seen me bow down and say I can’t do better but in this case, I am convinced I can’t. Remember – she’s the Pitmaster.

Some other picture perfect pluses about this meal was that all the food came in at under $20 and the service was outstanding. With all of these superlatives, you’ll want to come here often.

This was possibly the best brunch I’ve had in Chicago since I came here 25 years ago.

Bon Appetit!