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 the Windy City. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Bombacigno's J & C Inn bills itself as "one of the last Ma and Pa restaurants in the Loop." While I can't vouch for the claim, I can for the food. Most everything on the menu is cooked in-house, and that pride and attention to detail comes through from the time you order until you've finished your meal. It isn't surprising that J & C's is a favorite of faculty and students from the nearby law school, including myself.
Operating off a tip from one of the cooks, I ordered the Italian Beef Pizziola ($6.75), which is basically a beef topped with mozzarella cheese and J & C's spaghetti sauce. While the beef itself is not on par with Al's, Johnny's, or Portillo's, combining it with the sauce and cheese made for a homey, soul-satisfying sandwich. The $.55 up charge for well chopped house giardiniera was definitely worth it for the vinegary kick it added. The sandwich is built on nearby D'Amato's bread, which holds its own nicely with the tomato sauce and beef jus. Paired with a side of J & C's really potato-y cottage fries ($2.75), the sandwich was definitely filling, but not so much that I slept through my afternoon law classes.
Bombacigno's J & C Inn
558 W Van Buren Street Chicago, IL 60607 (map)