Monkey bread is one of those comfort foods people just go bananas for when the temperatures drop below shorts-wearing weather, not just because its usually served warm, but because it's pure ooey-gooey awesomeness that encourages you to play with your food as you pull individual bits off and pop them into your mouth. Monkey bread can be found on brunch and dessert menus or even as savory appetizers all over town. Here are a few of my finger licking favorites.
The Bristol Monkey Bread with Dill Butter and Sea Salt This is probably one of the most well known monkey breads in Chicago. The little balls of buttery, crispy dough are served in tiny cast iron pots with a side of melted dill butter, which they've also been brushed with before baking.
GT Fish & Oyster Everything Monkey Bread with Buttermilk Cream Though the monkey bread at GT Fish & Oyster used to be sweet, it is now a sort of hybrid of the Bristol's monkey bread and an everything bagel. The morsels of bread have been topped with seeds and spices and have just enough chew to bring to mind their inspiration, but are also soft enough to make them eternally snackable. They also come with a side of dill scented buttermilk cream.
Jessica Berson for bunnyandbrandy.com
Revival Social Club Iron Skillet Monkey Bread with Bourbon Caramel Drizzle Before noon, this monkey bread presents itself properly on the breakfast menu, served in a cast iron skillet and drizzled with a bourbon caramel that bubbles appetizingly around the edges of the dish, but after dark it tarts itself up with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Kanela Breakfast Club Monkey Bread with Honey and Walnuts Kanela puts a Greek twist on this monkey bread by topping it with golden honey and chopped walnuts. The overall effect is just sticky sweet enough without making your teeth ache, but the serving size is a little on the small side (about the size of a muffin), so instead of sharing this one, you may want to order your own.
Siena Tavern Monkey Bread with Caramel and Candied Hazelnuts This mountain of scrumptiousness is as decadent as it gets. It comes dripping in caramel sauce and melting whipped cream, sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, with more whole nuts stuck between the bits of pastry.
Smoke Daddy Monkey Bread with Cinnamon Sugar and Cream Cheese Frosting Perfect doughy spheres rolled in cinnamon and sugar, baked in a loaf pan, and slathered in cream cheese frosting. It's like someone gutted the soft, doughy bit in the center of a batch of cinnamon rolls and gave them a whole new life.