Rise & Swine: The Purple Pig All Week Breakfast Bar Launched

Rise & Swine: The Purple Pig All Week Breakfast Bar Launched

The Purple Pig breakfast bar launched Wednesday. Available weekdays from 8 to 10:30 a.m. the menu may change daily. 

You do indeed order your coffee and sandwiches at the bar. The latter range from Italian flatbread piadina street food-style sandwiches to a sublime fried egg English muffin with foie gras butter, all house-made. Then you can take your order to go or dine in. If you choose to stay, your order is brought to your table by servers on real plates with silverware and cloth napkins. 

Jimmy Bannos Jr., and his father/partner, Jimmy Bannos, who’s also chef/owner of Heaven on Seven explain why they chose to launch breakfast all week-long.

 “A couple of months back, me, my dad and Tony Mantuano were just talking about what else we could do,” said Bannos Jr. Also a Purple Pig partner, Mantuano is perhaps best known as chef/partner at Spiaggia, Terzo Piano and River Roast restaurants.

“Being where we’re located, there needs to be more dining options for a good cup of coffee and a nice bite for breakfast,” added Bannos Jr., about the North Michigan Avenue neighborhood where Purple Pig is based.

Said his father, “We wanted to do a grab and go, but if people want to sit down and relax we encourage that too.”

“Our prices are competitive with McDonald’s and Starbucks I think,” said Bannos Jr. 

The egg and American cheese piadina ($3.95) is surprisingly hearty, even without adding optional meat, in the form of Berkshire pork breakfast sausage, Kurabota bacon, Canadian bacon or jamon serrano ($1 each). A vegetarian asparagus, avocado and feta piadina ($4.95) will likely change seasonally. Gluten-free piadinas are also available.

“But based on producing our products in house and not having to buy bread or bacon or sausage, it still works for us; it’s profitable,” Bannos Jr. added. “It’s important because I wanted to prove that how we’re sourcing everything and making everything, you don’t have to double the price of say a Starbucks.” 

“People don’t want to spend a ton of money on breakfast. I thought it was really important to show that we’re still going to be affordable as well, and that includes our coffee, Counter Culture.”

Counter Culture Coffee, founded in Durham, N.C., and also served at Alinea, has opened its Chicago training center in the West Loop to the public too.

Other savories at Purple Pig included a bagel with cream cheese ($1.95) available with optional smoked salmon, tomatoes, pickled onions and caper leaves ($6); plus fried smashed potatoes with ketchup, also house-made ($3.95).

Sweets included a Greek yogurt parfait with preserved fruit and granola ($5.95); a lemon thyme scone with strawberry jelly ($2.99); and an orange lavender coffee cake ($2.99).

But we recommend dining in if you order the fried egg English muffin with foie gras butter ($9.95), or remember to have plenty of napkins at your desk.

Bannos Jr. described every layer in detail, “The homemade English muffin, with black truffle sausage, fried egg and then a spreadable foie gras butter. Then we also have quince paste, Spanish membrillo. We add a little bit of quince vinegar too, put that on the toast as well to cut a little bit of the richness of the sandwich.”

“The foie butter is just perfect. You just spread it on the bread — you put it on top of the egg, and it almost gives it like a bath right on the egg. It gives you that flavor of foie without being too overpowering. Instead of doing a slab of foie — it would just be too much — just gives you the flavor and not too rich. To me, it’s a perfect breakfast sandwich.”

The Purple Pig, 500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744, www.thepurplepigchicago.com

Article via Chicago Tribune

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