A Sandwich a Day: Tongol Tuna at Pauline's

A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.


[Photograph: Josh Conley]

The Tongol tuna sandwich ($8.45 with side and soup) at Pauline's seems to have something of an identity crisis. Boasting low calorie white tuna caught only off the coast of Thailand, the menu also states it comes with lettuce, plum tomato, and cottage cheese on your choice of white, wheat, or rye. But that didn't quite match up with the spring mix, hothouse tomatoes and no cheese—cottage or otherwise—that arrived.

But enough about what it wasn't. It was the Goldilocks of tuna sandwiches—not too creamy, not too dry, not too salty, not too oniony, and, ultimately, not too exciting. The greens were fresh and crisp and the tomatoes gave it a little acid, but the tuna itself was a little too Volvo for my taste. The Cavendish battered fries, though, are worth the trip alone. And you have to love a place that greets you with a huge porcelain bucket of candy at the door.


1754 West Balmoral Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 (map)

Josh Conley is single-handedly trying to re-introduce the verb beget into the everyday lexicon. He traveled to Easter Island one Christmas out of sheer irony. He excises a hefty syntax, and shamelessly promotes the color orange. His wife begat him two small children that he regularly belittles HERE.