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!
Albany Park and adjacent North Park make up an area that's well known in Chicago as ethnic melting pot of cultures. Billed as "one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation" (both share the 60625 code), these north-side communities are home to sizable Central American, Indian, Middle Eastern, European and East Asian populations, and boast a food scene that's equally as multi-cultural. Should you find yourself looking to escape the smattering of burger joints, small-plate establishments and taco stands that reign supreme in the more central parts of town, there's, almost literally, another world of cuisines waiting to be sampled at the north end of the Brown Line.
While there's plenty of food options to choose from in the area, I recommend a further trek along Kimball Avenue to North Park's Orga Tea Cafe & Grill for a Falafel Sandwich ($3.75). Deep fried to order, this hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern spot's falafel strikes that perfect balance of crunchy on the outside and dough-like on the inside. It's flavorful, too, as it's packed with loads of parsley (hence the greenish tint) and all the standard Middle Eastern spices. It's some of the best I've had in Chicago. The rest of the sandwich, though, isn't particularly noteworthy. On my visit, the pita was a little stale, and the vegetables were rather soggy. Still, I left Orga feeling more than satisfied—both intestinally and gustatorily.
Orga Tea Cafe & Grill
3401 W. Bryn Maur Ave., Chicago, IL 60659 (map)