Editor's Note: In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year--so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around Chicago. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. --The Mgmt.
It's almost unfair to most sandwich shops to include a place like Blackbird in A Sandwich a Day. After all, this is not just one of the best restaurants in the city, but it's among the tops in the country. Chef/Partner Paul Kahan, a three-time nominee for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation, knows how to cook and he damn sure knows how to make a sandwich. Case in point: the pork belly sandwich available for $13 (with garlic fries) on the lunch menu.
The star of the sandwich is unquestionably the beautiful and meaty piece of organic pork belly. This meat should be given out in schools to teach kids what pork can taste like. The belly is topped with fennel slaw and bread and butter pickles, both of which add some acidity and crunch to the sandwich. The great ciabatta roll, sometimes too much for sandwiches, proves to be an ideal bread choice as it stands up to the thick and chewy meat. The final touch on this flawless sandwich comes in the form of a mild creamy kick from the dijonnaise. Between sandwiches likes this one and the burger (reviewed here on AHT), I'm starting to think Blackbird is the best lunch destination in downtown Chicago.