Starting this weekend in Lincoln Park, brunchers at R.J. Grunt’s will have something different to try. The 48-year-old restaurant is ending its long-running brunch bar service and replaced the buffet with a new a la carte menu. It’s a big change for the first restaurant in Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s empire.
It’s a simple menu (scroll to brunch on the page) with plates like chicken tinga with corn tortillas, pecan praline French toast, and a breakfast burrito. A LEYE spokesperson said the team at the restaurant just felt it was time to add new dishes and improve their weekend brunch offerings. There’s also a coffee bar where customers can pick a liquor to spike their drinks.
It’s unclear if this is the first time Grunt’s has served an a la carte brunch during its nearly five decades in business. Regardless, the buffet’s been a tradition at the restaurant for decades and perhaps the new menu is pandering to customers with different tastes and needs. Don’t worry: It doesn’t appear the salad bar is going anywhere. Grunt’s has long claimed that it came up with the world’s first salad bar.
Brunch is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends. Lettuce Entertain You is Chicago’s biggest restaurant company with more than 120 spots, including a Disney World location of Beatrix on its way in Florida. Other Lettuce restaurants include Ema, Ramen-San, and the RPM line.