Picture what it would look like if a butcher shop and a swanky nightclub had a baby – and that’s what you will see when you step into Porkchop, a West Loop eatery and bar that caters to the late-night crowd with a Southern-inspired comfort food menu based on two main ingredients: whiskey and pork.
Since I claim to be an expert in either whiskey or pork, I was unsure of what to expect when a friend and I made plans to eat here for an early-afternoon Saturday brunch. Though Porkchop claims to be “uninterested in dress codes, zip codes and trend-chasing” the menu is peppered with the words “bourbon” and “bacon” which are hardly anti-trend. Ironic as it may be, the menu offers an extensive variety of good old-fashioned Southern comfort food – pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and waffles, cornbread and baked beans.
Though it’s fair to say that you could probably get better barbecue in Nashville, a meal at Porkchop won’t disappoint, especially if you stop in for brunch. We sat next to what turns into a DJ booth at night, with a view of the kitschy mason-jar chandelier and a hanging display of butchery saws, which were a little frightening but understandably in line with the rest of the decor.
The brunch menu includes some simpler options, like a Denver omelet and traditional French toast, but the standout items are the Southern fried chicken and waffles, bacon glazed donuts and pulled pork eggs Benedict, made with two perfectly poached eggs and a lighter Hollandaise sauce that nicely balances the rich pork.
As far as libations go, don’t expect a wine list here. Porkchop offers a selection of craft beers along with 40 varieties of whiskey, most served neat with personal ice buckets and water at each table. If you like something dressier, whiskey cocktails like the “Bourbon Smash” and a gussied up “Big Apple Manhattan” that even whiskey skeptics will enjoy.