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


[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

I'll be brutally honest and admit that I was severely disappointed when I first laid eyes on The Reubenesque ($8.50) at Li'l Guys Deli. When I'm promised corned beef that's been cured onsite for a week, braised for 12 hours in a special slow roaster, and sliced to order, I start to imagine St. Patty's Day-levels of excess. A Manny's-style corned beef sprawl of a sandwich this is not, but this diminutive and—all right, I'll say it—small corned beef sandwich actually won me over.

The rye is straightforward and toasted just enough to provide a solid backbone for the smidge of Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, and corned beef. The impossibly thin shards of meat actually make for the easiest bite I've ever had of a Reuben. There is no stringy trail of beef or kraut after taking a bite. In fact, the beauty of this sandwich is that you barely need a napkin at all. I ate the whole thing and was still able to take the bus afterwards without feeling the queasiness reminiscent of the morning after St. Patty's Day.

Although I think they could go heavier on the sauerkraut, and the advertised Swiss cheese was either nonexistent or so thinly sliced as to be indistinguishable from the dressing and kraut, the flavors were nicely balanced. It might not look like much, but I know I'll soon be craving another bite of this noble little sandwich.

Li'l Guys

2010 N Damen, Chicago, IL 60647 (map)


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