Serious Eats: Chicago
A Sandwich a Day: The William F. at Jerry's Sandwiches
When it comes to menus, I am not very pro-choice. Not quite a decidophobic (yes, it's a real thing), I've just always been a little skeptical of long menus. I'm sorry, is this a library or a restaurant? Plus I just assume there must be some natural attrition in the quality and that no place can be that great at that many things. Jerry's Sandwiches focuses on one thing; it just serves over a hundred incarnations of it. And that's not including the build-your-own option, with endless combinations of breads, toppings, and condiments. This was pretty much my worst nightmare.
I asked the kindly server for assistance. He recommended anything involving fried chicken. Sold. Much like the menu itself, the William F. ($12.95 with two sides) is like a culinary double ought; it scatters buckshot flavors all over the place, bound to score some hits. The fried chicken was indeed juicy and well-spiced, though not quite as crunchy as I would have liked. The tangy barbecue sauce goes well with the chicken and thick-cut, crispy apple wood bacon. The cheddar is nice and sharp, but gets kind of drowned out, as does the very good, very garlicky house-made Ranch. I could have done without the bitter, under-roasted green chili, though. Lettuce, tomato, and red onion come optional, and it's all served up on toasted challah. Big and busy, not everything the William F. has to say is relevant, but it's definitely worth hearing out.