The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Review: Spectacular Brunch Deal at Mercat a la Planxa

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 28, 2010 4:00PM

Last Sunday, we were bowled over by the best brunch deal we've encountered in ages. Mercat a la Planxa is running a promotion called "Sunday Funday" (we know, it's a horrible name) which accomplishes all of the goals of a great brunch: amazing food, social dining, lots of booze and a low low price. We've mentioned our love of Mercat in the past, but the restaurant's relatively high prices and recent popularity (thanks in part to Chef Jose Garces appearance on Iron Chef) may have deterred some visitors. If so, this is your chance.

In addition to the "regular" brunch meal, the restaurant is offering a special deal. Order any 5 tapas on the menu for $25 OR order any 4 tapas on the menu and get bottomless sangria, mimosas or trips to their well-stocked bloody mary bar. Go with a group for the best time - we had a group of 4, and went through 2 and a half pitchers of sangria (normally $30 each) and got 16 different tapas for the table. We were stuffed, inebriated and very happy by the end - and we got to try a huge portion of Mercat's menu at a bargain price. We tried just about everything, but the best options included bacon-wrapped dates with almonds; grilled sardines; spicy garlic shrimp; spanish tortilla with a blow-your-socks-off saffron aioli; and a savory, salty whipped salt-cod served with toasts.

The new brunch menu is a mix of tapas off of the normal dinner menu and some new additions, mostly egg based. Unlike the typical bland brunch offerings, these were uniformly wonderful, and included chorizo hash and a wonderful omelet with crab and serrano ham. Another highlight of the morning - the ability to try Mercat's roast suckling pig (normally $50/person and requiring a 48 hour advance notice to order) in a smaller portion, either as a selection from the tapas menu or a separately priced ($6) trip to a carving station. At the end of the brunch, they offer an all-you-can-eat dessert bar for an additional $4. While the desserts were good, next time we would just've ordered another pitcher of sangria. Go now, before Mercat realizes how good a deal this really is!