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Mariners Brunchball: 5/5 Stars

Little spot on Chicago’s south side takes culinary risks, causes some indigestion, but is ultimately a must-visit

Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox
You’re gonna need to stretch after this one
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

After enjoyable meals both Friday and Saturday night during our stay in the south side of Chicago, (the bullpen bouillabaisse from last night’s dinner was particularly memorable, topped only by a great dish the previous night with a special north-of-the-border flair), we decided to step out of our comfort zone and try something a little different this morning – Mariners Brunchball.

Though it was a long and involved meal with more drama than perhaps your more run-of-the-mill Brunchball experience, it’s an absolute must-visit.

Unfortunately, I’m sad to say the first course of Andrew Moore underwhelmed. We had been hearing great things about Moore’s balanced flavor profile, creative plating and presentation, and sustainability practices, but were left with no choice but to send this one back to the kitchen:

Ultimately the makings are there for a dependable and nutritious main course, but it’s important to remember that the flavors are never going to wow anybody. Certainly today the Andrew Moore was too homer-prone and just didn’t make the cut.

0/5 stars.

The odd flavor lingered as server Derek Holland snuck in this bizarre and unexpected little nugget:

Desperate not to let our trip to Chicago end on a bitter note, we asked for a recommendation from Holland. Always the gracious host, he suggested we sample the Kyle Seager because the Seagers are in season. It didn’t disappoint:

And the only thing better than a fresh Seager is a fresh Valencia. Just out of this world flavor – especially against left-handed pitching:

We even got an extra Guillermo compliments of the chef:

The middle courses were solid if unremarkable—a surprise appearance from an Emilio Pagan (who has been marinating in Triple A for the past month) paired with a little James Pazos and Steve Cishek (that needed to be chased with a mimosa, but otherwise acquitted itself nicely). Granted, the ambiance was kind of weird and the music choice was a little on the nose:

Our meal had had its ups and downs to that point, for sure, but Mariners Brunchball still had one more trick up its sleeve – free Brunchball. And free Brunchball was absolutely delicious:

Then Edwin Díaz baked Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier, and Avisail Garcia into a crisp, brûléed the top, and that was that—sweet with just enough kick.

Qué rico.

Overall, great experience. Inventive menu. Accommodating service. Exceptional dessert. Plus the place was immaculate because the Mariners swept the whole thing down at the end.

7/6 stars. Would definitely visit again.