This week took me to a fantastic restaurant: Publican Quality Meats. The sister restaurant to The Publican, this charming spot is a butcher shop, cafe, bakery, gourmet market, and private dining room all rolled into one. Their website says “The highly seasonal menu and chef-curated retail offerings include house-made charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked breads, specialty coffee drinks, rustic soups, and sandwiches”. Immediately I knew it was right up my alley. The restaurant is very small, with only a few tables inside and a smattering out on the patio. We came in on a Saturday morning and there was a bit of a wait; in total we waited about 20 minutes for a table to be ready. The tables inside are long, picnic-style tables. Because of our smaller group, we shared a table with another group, which was actually kind of fun. After looking at the menu, my mouth was already watering. Of course, my eye was caught by both the Butcher’s Cheese Plate (either 1 or 3 cheeses with accoutrement) and the Butcher’s Cold Charcuterie Plate (either 1, 3, or 5 selections). With great difficulty, I decided to skip on the appetizers and save myself for the main course. My first choice was between breakfast or lunch. My friend decided he was going to order breakfast and promised me a bite, so I was free to choose from the lunch menu. I finally decided on the The BGS: crispy falafel, red curry soubise, urfa yogurt, fennel, pickled cauliflower, and gem lettuce on a potato bun. I don’t normally go for vegetarian entrees, but this sounded so intriguing, I had to try it. First, I had to do a bit of googling. What is soubise? What is urfa yogurt? My search told me soubise is a thick white sauce made with onion puree, so I was sold. Urfa is a deep purple spice with a smoky, fruity, raisin-like quality, often used in Turkish cooking. This sandwich was absolutely delicious. The combination of flavors and textures was fantastic. The yogurt was smoky and creamy, perfectly complimenting the crispy, hot falafel. The pickled cauliflower gave it just the right amount of tang, along with the red curry soubise. I would order this again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to come back and try more dishes here!
The dining room at PQM is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. The butcher shop is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. Find more information on their website.
RACHEL HOOVLER & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO