[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

With a name like Mr. Spanky's, you're bound to expect hijinks, especially when the most popular item on the menu is called the Badass B.L.T. ($3.50). But while there is a little bit of that going on, what's most surprising is how compact and well thought out this sandwich is. The Bridgeport spot serves all of its sandwiches on Chinese buns, which, as I mentioned during my visit for a Standing Room Only post a couple months ago, are "soft, squishy, and slightly sweet, making them ideal carrying cases for the mostly salty and meaty fillings Mr. Spanky's excels at producing." They are also small, so instead of a gargantuan, over-the-top, gut-bomb experience, you get something that can easily be picked up with one hand.

The soft bun also allows you to focus more of your attention on the house-made bacon, which is thick-cut and smoky. It's more than capable of carrying the sandwich, but the other ingredients more than hold their own. Instead of watery pieces of lettuce, baby spinach is layered on. A sun-dried tomato aioli takes the place of the usual mealy tomato. The result is sandwich of contrasts: salty and sweet, soft and crunchy, meaty and vegetable-y (that's a word, right?).

Mr Spanky's

335 West 31st Street, Chicago, Illinois 60616 (map)


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