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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

If you consider yourself an Italian sub aficionado—and why wouldn't you want to be?— you probably know the name D'Aamto's well. This is where the crackliest and flakiest Italian rolls are made in Chicago. Sure, there are some other seriously good options around, but the vast majority seem too soft and weak for the job. This also means that D'Amato's rolls form the foundation of some of the best Italian subs in the city (including my current favorite at J.P. Graziano's). But recently D'Amato's decided to stop just being the purveyor of great bread for Italian subs, and started making the subs itself.

Starting with such a great base means this is instantly in the top tier of Italian subs. There is just no faulting these stunning rolls. But unlike at J. P. Graziano's or Bari, the other components on the sandwich are simply very, very good instead of incredible. What that does mean is that everything isn't pulling your taste buds in different and fascinating directions, resulting in a more restrained—and some might say balanced—experience. That's why I can see that some might prefer this version over the unhinged glory of the subs from the two delis mentioned above. I'm not in that camp, but I'd never turn down one of these either.

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