A Sandwich a Day: The Blue Pig & Fig at Pastoral

A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.


[Photograph: Carol Hilker]

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine Shop is the kind of place that has been unfairly labeled as simply just being a "cheese shop." In reality there is so much more to Pastoral's inventory, including all sorts of goodies, most of which are themed around relishing and decorating a charcuterie plate. Pastoral also offers up a salad and sandwich menu that shows off some of the best products they carry and work with. I ended up with the Blue Pig n' Fig ($9.57), an item that not only renewed my love for the ham and cheese sandwich, but also taught me that all blue cheese isn't bad.

The hearty sandwich features a combination of Jamon Serrano, Ader Kase blue cheese, local fig and black tea preserves, whole grain Dijon mustard, and crisp field greens between a soft, yet crispy baguette. As someone who is not usually a blue cheese fan, I was happily surprised to see how perfectly the salted meats went with the even sweetness of the fig and the black tea preserve, plus the tang of the mustard. The Ader blue cheese sneaks right in there without making your nose wrinkle, bringing the whole flavor together in a truly unexpected way.

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine

53 E Lake St, Chicago, Illinois 60601 (map)