The Unvegan

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Another great unvegan guest blog from @RGSpiegel.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a Cubs game on WGN and, being too lazy and preoccupied with whatever the internet had to offer to change the channel after the game (presumably, the Cubs lost), a special about the best places to eat brunch in Chicago came on. Featured first on this special was Nightwood, a restaurant in the Pilsen neighborhood on the South side of Chicago that served up brunch on Sundays. Although I am not one to typically seek out special places to eat breakfast or brunch (which is really just breakfast eaten later in the day because of being too hungover to move any earlier), I knew I had to try Nightwood when I saw that they served up a special unvegan treat: the bacon butterscotch doughnut. When I saw that this creation even existed, I immediately channeled my inner Homer Simpson.

While the rest of the food featured on the special also looked delicious through the scope of Nightwood’s open kitchen, the bacon butterscotch doughnut was the dealmaker and I knew that as soon as I had access to a ride, the sweet unvegan delight would be mine. This past Sunday happened to be that special day as my uncles offered to treat me to brunch and were happy to escort me to the South side.

When we got to Nightwood, we learned that while the bacon butterscotch doughnut was a constant, the menu changes every day based on what ingredients they are supplied with by local farms. Therefore, in addition to creating what was sure to be an unvegan delicacy, Nightwood only served up meals made up of the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Like Kuma’s, there was a substantial wait that was accompanied by watching everybody else consume their beautiful-looking meals. However, this wait was only 45 minutes instead of 2.5 hours and was not accompanied by death metal, therefore making it substantially less unpleasant.

Sausage! Sausage! Sausage!

Although it was a little tough to decide what to order to complement the bacon butterscotch doughnut, one item on the ever-changing menu stood out above all others: spicy fennel sausage, 8-year aged cheddar, and an egg over easy sandwiched by an oversized biscuit. Since it was 1:00 PM when we ordered and I had not eaten yet that day, I was very excited.

The bacon butterscotch doughnut arrived first and was even better than I had expected. Served piping hot and accompanied by three (non bacon butterscotch) doughnut holes, I tasted a delicious combination of ingredients that blended together as well as any dessert I have ever had and my legs became weak from such a beautiful creation. Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme have been extremely foolhardy not to have figured out a way to work bacon and butterscotch into their doughnuts.

Just as my body was starting to recover from the fusion of exquisite flavors of the doughnut, my main course arrived. Immediately shoveling the accompanying salad onto my uncle’s plate (he unfortunately does not share the unvegan lifestyle), I barreled into my sandwich, eagerly awaiting what was sure to be a brand new take on the sausage, egg, and cheese. As much as I had hyped it up in my own head, the sandwich surpassed expectations. The sausage was unlike any that I had ever eaten before and blended together incredibly with the egg, cheese, and biscuit. I am already eagerly anticipating my next visit to Nightwood’s brunch and praying that this particular sandwich is on the menu the next time I go.