When you proclaim to be a play on a Jewish deli (the deli part of the name has since been removed), everyone expects great sandwiches. Which is exactly what I got with the Classic Reuben at Dillman's.
'reuben' on Serious Eats
Would Al Capone approve of the Reuben ($10.25) at Exchequer? I pondered that question while sitting at the bar of this old school Loop joint, as Capone's sly mug stared down at me from every wall.
Most reubens are little more than excuses to cover up mediocre corned beef with a blanket of Swiss cheese and creamy dressing. But what if a place constructed a reuben with a fine base of freshly sliced corned beef?
Blue Line features traditional American grub, from hamburgers and chicken sandwiches to Cobb salads and flatbread pizzas. It's a solid option as far as Wicker Park restaurants go, largely because Blue Line takes some subtle liberties with these classics.
As I found out recently, the Goose Island Wrigleyville Brewpub is a surprisingly solid option before or after a Cubs game. But as good as the restaurant's renditions of bar-menu classics may be (especially for the area), there is no question that Goose Island's Clybourn Brewpub steps up the quality of the service, the atmosphere, and, most importantly, the food. That's definitely true of the the massive Duck Reuben ($14), which trades the familiar corned beef for cured slices of duck.
When I'm promised corned beef that's been cured onsite for a week, braised for 12 hours in a special slow roaster, and sliced to order, I start to imagine St. Patty's Day-levels of chaos. A Manny's-style corned beef sprawl of a sandwich this is not, but this diminutive—all right, I'll say it—small corned beef sandwich actually won me over.