Al Fresco Weekday Lunch at Publican Quality Meats

September 16, 2014

It can be tough sometimes to take a lunch break during the busy work week, but every now and then I make an effort to get out of the office and enjoy our beautiful city. A few weeks ago, my friend and coworker Hannah and I walked over to Fulton Market (which is luckily a short walk from the office!) and stopped into Publican Quality Meats for a quick lunch. Both of us had eaten at The Publican, its sister restaurant which is also next door, but it was our first time at PQM.

It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we sat outside in the sidewalk cafe (rhyme time!). There was arguably as much, if not more, seating outside as inside the restaurant. Not only can you dine in at PQM,  it also is a butcher shop and market where you can purchase meats, cheeses, breads, and more. The restaurant also is a private space for The Publican, and offers full catering.

PQM changes its menu frequently, ensuring you're bound to always be able to try something new. We started with the butcher's daily cheese plate, a selection of three cheeses, accompanied by rustic breads, candied nuts, fruit, and homemade raspberry jam. The cheeses were fantastic and so was the bread! I could have easily ordered this as my main course.

Butcher's Daily Cheese Plate
We both ended up ordering sandwiches for lunch. As a fan of beets, Hannah tried the Beet L.A.T. with beets, bibb lettuce, avocado, pickled green tomatoes, aioli, sprouts, and smoked cheddar on multigrain bread. Her sandwich was served with a side of marinated kale in a light vinaigrette. She was a big fan!

Beet L.A.T.
The gyro came recommended to me by several friends, so that's exactly what I ordered. "The return of the gyro" featured big strips of braised pork belly, raita (yogurt sauce), escalivada (grilled veggies), pea shoots, and calabrian chili vinaigrette on griddled flatbread. Mine came with a side of spicy slaw that was amazing. Overall, the sandwich had a ton of flavor, especially from the raita and pork belly. The flatbread held everything together, without it getting too soggy. Both sandwiches were huge portions and we were able to take half home for another meal.

Return of the Gyro
Overall, PQM is a great lunch option if you're near Fulton Market or the West Loop. While it's getting a bit cooler outside, the sidewalk patio is nice (though the tables are NYC-like, a.k.a. very close together). Although it is a butcher shop by nature, the constantly-changing menu offers options for veggie lovers and carnivores alike.

I'm giving PQM 4.5 ghosts for their high quality ingredients, quiet and bright sidewalk patio, and reasonable prices.

Publican Quality Meats
825 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
Publican Quality Meats on Urbanspoon

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