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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I'll be honest and admit that I'd never even heard of La Pane until it made it on Chicago Magazine's list of the the 50 Best Sandwiches in Chicago. But after a few minutes in the Irving Park bakery, it became clear to me that this wasn't just a one trick shop that managed to get a lucky break. No, this is the kind of place where every sandwich could potentially be delicious. So while I did try, and enjoy, the Chicago-approved Vegetarian Panino, I also ordered up the Tuna Baguette ($6.99), and I'm so glad I did.

It's all built on some seriously good bread that is crackly and soft, not doughy and tough. The tuna is left in large chunks, and, most importantly, not covered up by loads of mayonnaise. In fact, this is one of the better tuna sandwiches I've encountered anywhere in the city. Oh, and why is it red? When I asked an employee, she said, "If I told you, you'd have no reason to come back." Fair enough, but that's not exactly true. I certainly can't bake bread like this, nor would I would to go to all the effort just to create a sandwich La Pane is so perfectly capable of making for me.

La Pane

2954 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
773-539-5321
lapane.com

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