We chatted with a lot of people when we were in Chicago and when they found out we were from out of town, 99% of the time they said, “You picked the perfect weekend to come!” The first part of our trip it was in the cool 60s and apparently the weekend before it was in the 40s. As the week wore on it got hotter – up into the 80s/90s at a few points – and then the temperature DROPPED for the last part of our trip becoming cold and rainy and sticking to the 40s. We got to experience alllllll the temperatures in Chicago (besides snow, thankfully!).
Our first full day in Chicago we drove over to the neighborhood of Pilsen. This is a cool looking church tower I saw on our short walk to the restaurant.
Originally we were going to go a place called Azul 18. BUT… I had read about Dusek’s. Dusek’s is a one star Michelin restaurant and I’ve always wanted to go to a Michelin star restaurant… just to say I’ve been. We looked across the street and noticed there was no line that day (which was Mother’s Day) and decided to hop over and see if we could get a table. They were able to seat us but told us the only seats were outside, which was fine with me!
The interior at Dusek’s had a really cool pressed tin ceiling tiles.
Our waiter told us that Dusek’s is known for the food and beer pairings. They had an extensive draft list.
Overhead view of our brunch.
We started with a Pastry Flight [$12]. Of course I would order a pastry flight! This flight came with: lemon poppyseed muffin with crème fraîche, a huckleberry glazed old fashioned donut, and a chocolate passion fruit galette.
The lemon poppy seed muffin was ever so slightly on the dry side, but tasted better paired with the crème fraîche. Jake and I didn’t care much for the chocolate-passion-fruit baked good; the chocolate and passion fruit mixed together was on the bitter side. The winner on this pastry flight was HANDS DOWN the huckleberry old fashioned donut. The huckleberry glaze was outstanding – it highlighted the huckleberry flavor quite well, without being overly sweet. The donut was tender and scrumptious! We wished we could have just gotten a few more donuts to take with us, but they only make enough donuts to go with each pastry flight.
I wasn’t in a breakfast food mood, so I ordered the Juicy Lucy [$15] for us to share. The Juicy Lucy was topped off with a bacon marmalade that I actually didn’t really care for. I ended up scraping that off and then I enjoyed the rest of the burger much better. The beef was tender and FULL of cheese which oozed out after the first bite. The cheese was pretty much gone after that and I never thought to get a photo of the melted insides. The stellar thing on this plate was the BEEF FAT FRIES. These were like the crispiest fries ever, seasoned so nicely, and so full of flavor!
At the last minute I decided to spring for a side of Toast and House Jam [$3] and I was really glad I did. The sourdough bread is made in-house and sliced super thick! The jam was – I think – a huckleberry or blueberry jam. The butter was a little on the sweet side and AMAZING with the perfectly toasted bread. SO GOOD.
Jake ordered a side of Breakfast Potatoes [$4] to compliment our breakfast. Usually we are wary of “breakfast potatoes” because usually they seem to only be partially cooked potatoes. But at Dusek’s they really know how to do breakfast potatoes! The potatoes were perfectly cooked and had tons of different textures – there were crispy bits, creamy bits, cheese, green onions, and other goodies to make the breakfast potatoes taste really outstanding.
Our waiter informed us when T ordered this dish that the Chicken and Waffles [$16] are on the more savory side, and we were okay with that. The waffles are corn waffles and are not super sweet. They had a little bit of a cornbread texture to them that I quite enjoyed. The chicken was well seasoned and crispy.
The thing we really loved though was that cup of red liquid on T’s plate. It is Fresno Syrup instead of maple syrup and it was OUTSTANDING. We were all a little apprehensive of it at first. Like – why is it red? Is it spicy? Nope. It is not. It had an amazing flavor that complimented everything on the plate. We actually ended up dipping our fries in the fresno syrup and were amazed at how tasty it was. YUM!
I had to wander downstairs to use the restroom and noticed how pretty the staircase was.
I was amused by the chalkboard walls, too. There’s a shelf full of chalk so you’re encouraged to leave your (temporary) mark.
This was mine.
1227 W 18th St.
Chicago, IL 60608