Editor's Note: Whether you're a tourist or an office worker in downtown Chicago, you can get sick of eating at chain restaurants all day. So we've started a series to get you the lowdown on where to find a great and affordable lunch.
Skrine Chops is tucked away on a little street just south of the Chicago Board of Trade. It's easy to miss at first, but just look for the storefront that looks like Ye Olde Hobbitland and you're in the right place. Hidden inside is a small kitchen with a gas grill, a griddle, and a few countertops.
Skrine Chops is mostly known for one thing: The grilled pork tenderloin sandwich ($8). Check this bad boy out:
It may look deceptively simple, but this is a thing of beauty. The freshly grilled pork tenderloin is moist, well seasoned, and sitting on a bed of...Yukon Gold smashed potatoes! It's a genius move. These smashed potatoes (they're just mashed potatoes, really) bring a deep starchy and buttery flavor to the otherwise excellent tenderloin. It all comes on a squishy, white bun.
But they also have a few daily specials. On Tuesday, they serve a great hamburger ($8). (Don't worry, Daniel Zemans, not trying to steal your job.) This special sells out quickly, so try to get there before 1 p.m. just to be safe. It's full of beef flavor, and you can even get it topped with bacon. It comes on the same bun as the pork chop sandwich, and guess what? It sits on potatoes, too. Radical, dude!
Other items on the menu are worth mentioning, if only because they have awesome names. How can you pass up the Skribeye sandwich (grilled ribeye) or the Skribs (ribs)?
For sides ($4 each), they offer red beans and rice, blue cheese potato salad, and more of those smashed potatoes. The blue cheese potato salad is pretty good, but you might have to pick around some large pieces of red onion that are buried in there. You know, in case you're trying to charm your boss into a raise later. I, however, have no shame.
If your office is ordering in lunch for a special occasion, Skrine Chops caters, too, and your coworkers will love you...forever.
Also, one last thing: Be nice to them. They just lost their Forest Park location in a pretty bad fire.
400 S. Financial Place, Chicago IL 60605 (map)
About the author: After a failed attempt at starting a chain of theme restaurants called "Smellen Keller," Dennis Lee traveled the world to discover his true passion. Sadly, midwifery didn't pan out. Now he works in a cubicle, and screws around as much as possible. Follow his shenanigans on Twitter.