A Sandwich a Day: Adana Sandwich at Cafe Orchid

A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.


[Photograph: Josh Conley]

I was grilling some friends a few years ago about where to get the best Turkish food in Chicago, and one name kept popping up. Ever since, any time I crave kebabs, like some sort of strange doner reflex, I black out for a while, only to wake up sitting in Café Orchid's parking lot. And it smells good. Did I mention those friends were Turkish?

Ah, the age-old question: which came first, the city or the kebab? Sharing the name of Turkey's fourth-largest city (thank you, Mr. Interweb), the Adana sandwich ($6.95 with fries) features a ground lamb kebab slightly charred on the grill wrapped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, love, and homemade lavash bread—but mostly love. The meat is tender, bursting with garlic, salt, and paprika—slightly reminiscent of cevapi or Romanian mititei. Red pepper flakes give it a kick, but there's homemade cacik (like Turkish tzatziki) to cool it down. Word to the wise, though, it's served wrapped in foil for a reason. Resist the very messy urge to disrobe it.

Cafe Orchid

1746 W. Addison Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 (map)