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[Photograph: Nathan Lurz]

One of the things this column showcases is the versatility of the sandwich. As one of the most universally loved cultural culinary touchstones, the sandwich represents something special, and different, to people everywhere. Around the World Gourmet Sandwiches seems to agree. The name says it all: the shop features sandwiches from across the globe, backed by high-quality meats and local produce. However, there were some problems with execution that left all that goodness wanting.

Take the The Scandinavian ($8.99). The Nova lox smoked salmon was appropriately smoky, which meshed with the classic sidekick of capers. And it was served on a savory but soft cheddar bagel. But there were a few problems.

First and foremost: the cream cheese. It certainly belongs, but there is so much that it overwhelms the salmon in such a way that the sparse red onion can rarely balance it out. And that poor tomato slice never had a chance. Second, there's the cost-to-sandwich ratio. For $8.99, you get a fairly modest sandwich that goes light on the salmon, along with one mushy pickle spear. It's good, and the few well-balanced bites are fantastic, but it's ultimately not consistent enough.

Around the World Gourmet Sandwiches

6470 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626 (map)

About the author: Nathan Lurz is an intern at Serious Eats Chicago. When he's not reviewing the occasional sammich, he spends his time trying to convince people to pay him to be a journalist and being amazed he is a professional sandwich reviewer.


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