Cafeteria Marcela in Logan Square is putting out great sandwiches in a friendly, no-frills environment, and the sandwich de bistec is an example of a relatively simple sandwich done extremely well, without pretension, and with plenty of soul.
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I was super psyched to try the Grown Up Grilled Cheese sandwich at the Blue Door Farm Stand, despite not knowing whether the Grown Up descriptor referred to me, the eater (wait, am I really an adult?) or to the sandwich itself (does this grilled cheese think it's better than others?).
The pork is falling-apart tender, with just the right amount of fatty bits and burnt edges to give it textural appeal.
The open-faced pork belly grinder at Aberdeen Tap in West Town is a two-handed, I-wish-I-had-a-dinosaur-jaw sandwich, that is unapologetically tasty and daringly large.
[Photographs: Titus Ruscitti] The torta sandwich is as common in Mexican restaurants these days as tacos or burritos. Rick Bayless's Xoco made them fashionable, but they've always been a lunchtime favorite of Chicago's Mexican community. Dona Torta in Little...
I sometimes think the good American restaurant is rarer now than a dozen cuisines you could name from around the planet, because the food industry put so much energy into canned and frozen products that destroyed its good name. Central Kitchen & Tap is a friendly place that makes lots of classics, including an incredible pot roast sandwich, the proper old ways.
Tuna melts are my kryptonite, which explains that whenever I'm at a diner I have to order one. The tuna melt at Palace Grill certainly looks like an impressive, golden, mountain mass of sandwich that you can't wait to get your grubby hands on.
It's never been a better time to feast on fried chicken sandwiches in Chicago. While there are more options than we could ever catalog, here is a collection of some of our favorites.
Humbly tucked between a Subway and a Mobil gas station, Just Turkey fulfills every turkey's ambition to be front and center (on days other than Thanksgiving).
Like many of my other countrymen, I sort of like baked ribs, so I couldn't help wonder if Twin Anchors really deserves all the flack.
As someone who's been lurching through the Loop trying to find surprises and things for you to enjoy, Rudy's has shown me that, even when all of your hope is nearly gone, the impossible can be achieved. That's all thanks to the Chicago char-grilled salad topped with a hot dog.
Not all good sandwiches need to use inventive combinations and complicated ingredients. All a good sandwich needs is excellent ingredients that meld together well, and sometimes simplicity is the best way to show that.
Sure, it's messy, and there is essentially no way your fingers and half your face won't be dyed red by the end, but it's all worth it for one of the best examples of the pambazo in Chicago.
Located across from the California Clipper, KnockBox Café welcomes the lingering mid-day sojourner with comfortable sofas, funky burlap bag cushions, and a fake fireplace (which gives off little to no heat).
This is not a regular sandwich. It obviously doesn't look like one from the photo, but this is Meli Cafe's version of a breakfast sandwich.
Who doesn't love a BLT? Let's be real: you get to eat bacon and mayonnaise on toast, and the vegetable are co-stars, not after-thoughts. But what about a "gourmet" BLT with egg and gruyère?
When in Rome, you must order triple decker sandwiches. That's the saying, right? Do they even serve triple decker sandwiches in Rome? I'm confused. Well, that is what you should do when you visit Perry's.
A really good po' boy can be tough to find in Chicago, but I found a great Shrimp Po'Boy ($9.50) at DeLux Bar & Grill recently.
Analogue really has me tripped up. It is first and foremost a bar, opened by two former Violet Hour employees. So why is the Cajun food so remarkably good?
Though prolific downstate, it seems the only real place to find a horseshoe in Chicago is at Springfield ex-pat owned 6 Degrees, a nondescript bar on a sleepy stretch of Damen. I like a big pile of cheesy meat fries as much as the next person, but the horseshoe is so much more than that. Deftly ordered with the proper protein, it's a surprisingly balanced beer soaker of a dinner.