With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, those of us toiling away in the Loop need a reliable, tasty lunchtime option for corned beef. Look no further than The Berghoff on Adams, where workers looking for a quick, wood-panneled reprieve from the daily grind (and maybe a midday pint to loosen the gears) can make their way through a short cafeteria-line of old fashioned favorites. The fried fish sandwich is a respectable choice for Lenten Fridays, but even better is the sliced to order Corned Beef Sandwich ($7.50).
Generously piled between slices of rye, the corned beef is steamy hot and made in house, at least according to the nice lady working the register. I don't know whether that means house-corned or house-simmered Vienna product, but no matter: the meat is flavorful and tender, with just enough fattiness to lubricate the nondescript bread. Packets of yellow mustard are there for the taking, but skip them for the nose-clearing jar of house mustard at the end of the line.
Joined by a solid dill pickle slice, a side of heat lamp crisp fresh Potato Chips ($2.25), and a draft of Berghoff Root Beer ($2.50), this festive lunch is steeped in Chicago history. And while an Irish-embraced cured meat sandwich with Jewish roots by way of a traditional German beer hall may seem a little odd, it's not any stranger than drinking green beer.