[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Usually a restaurant puts a Reuben on its menu as an excuse to go mad, piling on meat, cheese, and toppings until the behemoth stands a foot tall. Now, this creation may be a deviously appealing behemoth, but it undoubtedly trades genuine sandwich making skills for shock value. So imagine my surprise when the The Lett ($7.19), a creation I'll call Reuben-esque, from Sal's Deli arrived and I could reasonably describe it as thin.

What I mean by Reuben-esque is that it follows the form of the Reuben, even if not all of the components are the same: one is substituted for another (coleslaw for the sauerkraut), and one is added for good fun (pastrami). But even with the second cured beef product, the sandwich is layered in such a way where you can taste the elements—salty meat, crunchy slaw, creamy dressing—without having to unhinge your jaw. The deli uses Boar's Head meats, so while the sandwich never reaches Manny's levels of sliced meat glory, it makes for a fine Lincoln Park lunch.

Sal' s Deli

1013 West Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614 (map)

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