After nearly a decade in business, Big Star, Chicago's bourbon and beer-focused, taco-slinging, honky-tonk hangout gets into the brunch game. Launching exclusively at Big Star Wrigleyville, the brand-new, full-service brunch menu, created by Executive Chef / Partner Paul Kahan and Brand Chef de Cuisine Julie Warpinski, takes cues from the flavors of Mexican street food by offering up breakfast carnitas, griddled masa cakes and a full menu of boozy brunch cocktails.
THE FOOD: Starting Sunday, December 9th, guests can dive into an entirely new, never-before-seen Big Star menu featuring dishes like crispy Chorizo Mulas made with house-made corn tortillas, fluffy scrambled eggs, pinto beans, salsa chipotle and queso chihuahua, as well as a griddled Avocado Huarache, a masa cake topped in grilled queso adasero, crema and spicy salsa macha. Other plates include Big Star’s spin on Huevos Rancheros with roasted tomato serrano salsa, queso requeson and black beans as well as a tender Carnitas Especial sandwich served on a freshly-baked cemita roll stacked with guacasalsa, onion and a fried egg. Brunch-goers also have the option to add eggs to Big Star classics like their tacos and Hot Chips, baseball nachos meet chilaquiles.
"Mexican street food is at the heart of everything we do in the Big Star kitchen, and brunch opens the door for us to explore those traditions in a new way," says Brand Chef de Cuisine Chef Julie Warpinski. "But we're not just sticking to the classics here. We wanted to dive a little deeper with a few Mexican dishes people may not have tried before - like mulas, which are similar to breakfast quesadillas, and griddled huarache masa cakes that use the same masa that our corn tortillas are made from."
THE DRINKS: For drinks, the bar team led by Brand Beverage Director Laurent Lebec, has crafted a selection of brunch-ready bevies, like Bloody Marias spiked with Lunazul Blanco, and Micheladas made with Tecate, lime and salsa. A traditional mimosa will be on offer but for folks eager to try something a little different, Big Star has an aperitivo culture-inspired Chipilo Spritz mixed with Del Maguey mezcal, vermouth, Campari, Apologue Aronia, strawberry, lime and bubbles. A second featured cocktail, the Jalisco Sunrise, plays off a Tequila Sunrise and is made with Pueblo Viejo tequila, jasmine syrup, orange juice, lime and Off Color’s Wheat Ale, for a decidedly lighter direction.
RESERVATIONS & FAMILY-FRIENDLY OFFERINGS: Located at the corner of Clark and Patterson in the heart of the North Side, the two-story honky tonk hangout is fit for large groups, families and taco-lovers alike. For those who hate to wait and parents who plan ahead, Big Star Wrigleyville now takes reservations on its website and offers large tables and ample space for stroller parking. In addition to a “no-worries” approach to adjusting all of Big Star’s food items, kids can also dig into a signature "Little Star” Breakfast Basket with a mini-torta of black beans, scrambled eggs and queso chihuahua served with chips, salsa roja and choice of house-made limeade or horchata.
“We love being on the North Side of Chicago and wanted to give the families and people in this neighborhood another good reason to get out of the house on the weekend,” says Executive Chef / Partner Paul Kahan. "We’re bringing a bit of that great daytime vibe from our Wicker Park location, but in a way that makes sense for Lakeview specifically—more space to spread out, more room for big groups, but with all the great food and strong drinks Big Star is known for. Your hangover doesn’t stand a chance here.”
Big Star Wrigleyville’s exclusive brunch menu runs on Saturdays and Sundays starting from 10 AM to 2 PM.