[Photograph: Josh Conley]

Brasserie 54 is an LM "neighborhood French restaurant and bar" in the heart of Andersonville that offers solid French fare in a very approachable setting. And though you might not immediately associate French food and sandwiches, the croque monsieur ($9) might change your mind.

A great take on the classic bistro sandwich, it features ham, Swiss, b├ęchamel, and mustard. The ham provides the savory backbone here, hitting first. Then you get some funk from the Swiss, followed by the richness of the b├ęchamel. But just when things start to get heavy, the Dijon chimes in with a nice acidic kick to round it out. It's simple and somewhat decadent, but without being a burden. The secret is in the proportions, which allow each ingredient its time to shine.

Brasserie 54

5420 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640 (map)

Josh Conley is single-handedly trying to re-introduce the verb beget into the everyday lexicon. He traveled to Easter Island one Christmas out of sheer irony. He excises a hefty syntax, and shamelessly promotes the color orange. His wife begat him two small children that he regularly belittles HERE.


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