A Sandwich a Day: Meatball Sub at Freddy's in Cicero, IL

A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

The first order of business at Freddy's Pizza in nearby Cicero is to get a lemon Italian ice. Doesn't matter what you order or whether you eat it before the savory course. Once completed, you need to make the tough decision of what else to try. Do you go with one of the dishes you know is awesome, like the pizza, Italian beef, and Italian sub? Or do you do what I did on this visit and try something you've never ordered before?

If you haven't been introduced, meet the meatball sub. It's a monster of a sandwich. Each meatball is the size of a fist and served on a roll as long as a forearm (hey, I didn't have a tape measurer, and my arm was close). If those meatballs were dry and tough, this would make for one hell of a slog, but they are supple and nicely spiced, while the tomato sauce is acidic and herby. To balance out the tender meatballs, crunchy and spicy giardiniera is an absolute must. It all adds up to the most satisfying meatball sub I've had in ages. Sure, it's dangerously close to the too-big-to-fit-in-my-mouth line, but I found a way: just grab this thing with two hands and try your best to avoid getting any tomato sauce on your shirt.

Freddy's Pizza

1600 South 61st Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804 (map)