Chicago >Big Jones
“Authentic grits and sweet tea!”
“The food was scrumptious.”
“Great food, hit-or-miss service”
It's worth the trip to Andersonville for the Cajun/Creole/Southern delicacies by chef Paul Fehribach. The house pickles whet the palate for main dishes like Tasso ham, fried chicken and sweet-tea brined pork loin.
The brunch is great - biscuits with jam, thick bacon, and complimentary beignets.
Classic Southern home cooking in the heart of Andersonville. Their brunch is awesome, as is the fried chicken.
Lovingly prepped Southern fare that's blissfully untrendy. Love the somewhat formal-feeling room and the cute back patio. Brunch is fab.
Great food, hit-or-miss service. Our family has been to Big Jones twice. Our first visit was an unqualified success: our waitress was friendly, knowledgeable, and interested in making sure we had a great experience. The food was scrumptious. So, naturally, we expected roughly the same on our second visit. Both times we arrived right around 6 pm (mid-week), and were one of only two-three occupied tables, but this time we were greeted by an obviously "new" waitress (possibly new to waiting tables ANYWHERE?) that was so soft-spoken we struggled to hear her. Okay, that's cool... everyone has to start somewhere, right? The wait between courses was excessive for the number of tables occupied. Because the waitress from our first visit had given us a heads-up that the Red Velvet Cake takes quite a while to make, we ordered it before our entree arrived. Or so we thought. Turns out this waitress either didn't understand why we were ordering the cake ahead and didn't bother to ask anyone else about it; or she completely forgot about it. So when she came up after dinner and asked if we wanted to see a dessert menu, I reiterated that all we wanted was the piece of cake. She didn't mention not having ordered it -- until maybe 10 minutes or so later... and then she said it would be "a few minutes yet." After entertaining our 2-year-old son for another 15 minutes or so, still no word on the cake, so we finally just asked for our bill. I'm not entirely sure what the floor management was doing this entire time -- either they were not paying attention at all or they just didn't care. With 3 occupied tables in the restaurant, I'm not sure either option is at all acceptable. There was a guy with a chef's shirt on sitting at the bar this whole time, and I have to assume he could have done something if he cared... but he seemed to be more interested in sending the busboy to neighboring restaurants to spy on how many customers they had. The waitress muttered an apology a couple of times... but of course that didn't really help. It's a shame, because the food really is good... but I can't take the chance that we're going to go through this again. Good food can still cause indigestion when the experience is like this was.
Neighborhood dining takes the form of contemporary Southern coastal cuisine in the heart of Andersonville..
Restaurant-rich Clark Street gets a shot of Southern coastal cuisine in this storefront styled with wrought iron chandeliers and moss-colored drapes to complement ivory hues. A proper, fully-stocked bar to the right invites diners, mostly gay and straight couples from the neighborhood, to imbibe while they wait for a table. If you like dim lighting and quiet, this may not be the place for settling in--the crowd is boisterous, tables are tightly packed and the wine is flowing. The menu tries for equal pizzazz, with a fried green tomato BLT, shrimp and oyster pilau served with popcorn rice and jalapeno gator sausage sandwich.
Photo by Jasmin Shah
Fabulous addition to Andersonville. Had my first visit to Big Jones, and I'm really impressed. The menu is varied with lots of brunch options -- and brunch seven days a week is a fantastic thing. The service was excellent, with great touches like sweeteners served as simple syrup and stevia, the easier to mix with either hot coffee or iced tea. The complimentary beignets were warm and delicious, with enough powdered sugar to almost cause a breathing hazard (but not quite!). And the shrimp and grits? Rich, buttery, cheesy goodness. Plus intelligentsia coffee. I'll definitely be returning for dinner.
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