Sweet Corn and Green Chile Tamale at Frontera Fresco ($4.50)
Italian Beef at Al's #1 Italian Beef ($5.99)
Falafel Sandwich at Oasis Cafe ($3.99)
Original Shell Cream Puff at Beard Papa's ($2.00)
Char Dog at Gold Coast Dogs ($3.79)
Milanesa Torta at Tortas Frontera ($8.95)
"The Milanesa ($8.95) features a "crispy-crunchy chicken breast," pickled jalapeños, Chihuahua cheese, cilantro crema, and avocado, all pressed between a wide, flat bolillo roll. It's an engaging balance of flavors and textures: the crunch of the moist, panko-crusted chicken contrasts with the smooth, citrusy crema, while the rich avocado coats your tongue before the spicier-than-expected jalapeños get a few jabs in at the end."
Cubano at Cafecito ($5.49)
"I still daydream about this thing. It's pretty simple, featuring roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard. It's pressed while being grilled, which makes it flat, crisp, and dense. There's a deep flavor to the roast pork, the familiar taste of hot ham, melted cheese, and the vinegar from the pickles and mustard makes the entire thing a masterpiece."
Sergio's Special at Hannah's Bretzel ($8.89)
"The Sergio's Special ($8.89) is one of my favorite sandwiches on the menu. Salty French Madrange ham is paired with relatively dry and nutty gruyere, which are both countered with just a bit of sweet mango chutney. The surprising addition of sliced pickled jalapeños cuts through the rest of the flavors."
Classic Burger at Marc Burger ($7.95)
Mushroom Tofu Ramen at Noodles by Takashi ($9.95)
Noodles By Takashi Yagihashi, 111 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60602 (map); 312-781-4483