A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.

A Sandwich A Day: The Five-Spice Duck at David Burke's Bacon Bar

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[Photograph: Tessa McLean]

Bacon isn't exactly a new food trend, so when a restaurant opens based solely around the salty cured meat, there better be an inventive interpretation. The Five-Spice Duck ($4.50) at David Burke's Bacon Bar attempts to be just that. It comes on a fresh, pillowy steamed bun, called a "handwich" (translation: slider-sized sandwich that fits in your hand), which holds the ingredients better than your average steamed bun. The tender "Chinese bacon" falls apart as you take your first bite, and while the small sandwich got a bit messy, I didn't even mind. The generous portion of cilantro provides a welcome freshness, while the thin strips of cucumber add a much needed crunch to an otherwise soft and dense sandwich. It's all pulled together by a thin spread of hoisin sauce, much heavier on the sweetness than spice, of which I could have used a bit more.

It's a traditional and safe take on a pork bun, but that doesn't mean I wasn't wishing I had more than just three bites. While the sandwiches alone are worth the trip to Rush Street, the real success at this bacon heaven is the ability to have three completely different sandwiches in one sitting without having to immediately retreat home for a nap.

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