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One Great Dish: Doughnut Holes At Pl-Zen

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 28, 2013 8:20PM

Photo credit: Chicagoist/Chuck Sudo

I decided to take a walk down 18th Street in Pilsen Sunday ahead of the freezing rain to take in the sights and sounds of the changing neighborhood. New businesses are now standing tall with the old taquerias, liquor stores and social service centers in a mix of old and new that is slightly jarring, even for a neighborhood that’s been going through the growing pains of gentrification in recent years.

One of those new businesses is Pl-Zen, a basement-level “gastropub” located next to the iconic Nuevo Leon restaurant that pays more than token nods toward a local craft beer and spirits menu and simple pub grub inspired by the neighborhood’s Mexican influence and Bohemian roots.

Pl-Zen’s brunch menu includes these golden nuggets— doughnut holes dusted liberally with cinnamon and sugar and served hot with a Nutella reduction and a pinot noir fruit reduction as dipping sauces. Brunchers with sweet tooths: This one’s for you. Between the sugar, cinnamon and the dips, you’re going to have enough energy coursing through you to run a half-marathon after you’re done, regardless of what else you’ve consumed. With a brunch menu that includes duck bacon as a side and a torta made from achiote roasted leg of pork, you may want to run a couple of blocks anyway.

Pl-Zen is located at 1519 W. 18th Street and is open 5 p.m. - midnight Sunday through Thursday; 5 p.m. through 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for brunch. The kitchen is open late every night.