A Sandwich a Day: Panini at En Hakkore
Don't let the simply titled panini ($7.50) at Bucktown's En Hakkore fool you; the name is hilariously insufficient for a creation containing kimchi, onion, mushroom, green onion, mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar on pressed bread. Plus, that doesn't count the option to add spicy pork belly or Korean barbecue beef to the mix. (I couldn't help myself, adding the latter to my order.)
Think of it as a glorified grilled cheese, albeit one with a lot going on. All the ingredients are there, especially the spicy kimchi and the tender and sweet beef. Considering that there are two kinds of cheese, it has every right to be a big gooey mess, but instead it's thin and compact. Sure, the restaurant's vibrant and colorful bibim-bap is justifiably getting loads of attention, but this sandwich proves that just about every item could be worth exploring.
1840 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647 (map)