A Sandwich a Day: The Route 21 at Gale Street Inn

A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.


[Photograph: Josh Conley]

The Route 21 ($12 with fries) at Gale Street Inn is a good steak sandwich. Marinated London broil, generously portioned on crunchy French bread with grilled onions, Swiss cheese, and chipotle butter. What confused me was the presentation itself; advertised as a sandwich with sweet potato fries and cole slaw, but actually served with fries and a side of au jus. I know they just started serving lunch, but my dining partner was told that the fries listed on the menu that didn't arrive were a "typo," but that we would get them anyway. Gee, thanks, GSI!

But about that sandwich? The meat itself, giving off hints of Worcestershire and black pepper, was good and tender. The onions were sweet and tasty, but overstated. The Swiss cheese was nice and mellow, and the French bread was toasted to an appropriate crunch level. And I appreciated the idea of the chipotle butter much more than the finished product. It was kind of the snake in the grass of this culinary jungle. Lying there, unnoticed, and then BANG with the heat, and then slinks back into the crusty folds of the bread. An aioli might have worked much better. So would some menu-server continuity.

Gale Street Inn

4914 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630 (map)

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