The Vegetarian Option: The Foraged Mushroom Panini at Fork

The Vegetarian Option

Reviews of vegetarian dishes.


[Photographs: Roger Kamholz]

With an extensive menu of beers by the bottle and on tap, as well as a long list of wines by the glass (which have also been grouped into several tasting flights), Fork is the kind of place where you can really explore the universe of fermented beverages. The food menu at Fork takes a similar tack, giving diners a broad selection of American and European-leaning dishes to choose from, including simple presentations like cheese and charcuterie flights, along with burgers and more elaborate stuff like medallions of pork tenderloin. And interspersed throughout the menu is a solid set of vegetarian options, including the tasty foraged mushroom panini ($10).

This bright, tangy sandwich exhibits a nice balance of elements. There's just enough of the Jarlsberg cheese to adhere everything together and give the panini its required gooeyness, but not so much that all you taste is cheese. The grainy beer mustard is slathered on liberally so that every bite has a nice spicy kick. A handful of fresh greens add some peppery notes. Although the term "foraged" might be a stretch for the portobellos and white buttons I found in mine, the mushrooms were juicy and well-marinated. And unlike some pressed sandwiches, in which the bread ends up greasy from over-buttering—in hopes of achieving a nice golden color—Fork's bread is light and crispy while showing no signs of sogginess or greasiness.


4600 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625 (map)