[Photograph: Tessa McLean]

Roast beef isn't usually my first choice for a sandwich, but after having the Sassy Roast Beef ($8.75) at Nohea Cafe, it makes me seriously wonder why. When I said the name to my friend dining with me, a customer in line behind me insisted I get it. I'm a sucker for recommendations.

This was great roast beef. It's Boars Head meat, sliced very thin, with that excellent combination of pink and brown. It tasted like real roasted beef, without any of that slimey deli meat taste you can sometimes encounter. A mild provolone, crisp spinach, and fresh tomato topped the meat, giving a nice textural contrast. There were a few stray slices of red onion, and a couple more would have given the sandwich a strong, sweet note that was very tasty. It was also topped with sautéed mushrooms, which were almost flavorless, and thus unnecessary; I ended up just picking them off.

It's all piled high on a soft pretzel roll and finished with a light spread of horseradish. The spread was a bit too thin for me, and I ended up asking for more on the side, which I definitely recommend. If you're looking for a cute cafe off the beaten path, grab a bite at Nohea next time you're in the West Loop.

Nohea Cafe

Nohea Cafe

  • West Loop

1312 W Madison St Ada St Chicago IL 60607

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