A Sandwich a Day: PB&J at Elaine's Coffee Call

A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.


[Photograph: Amber Gibson]

After a morning shopping for produce at Green City Market, I was a little hungry. I had been running around in circles looking for Floriole, but unfortunately they couldn't make it to the first outdoor market of the season. I would have headed across the street to Perennial Virant, but didn't want a sit-down breakfast. So instead, I checked out Elaine's Coffee Call, which is located next door, for the first time.

The vibe reminded me of Stumptown Coffee inside the Ace Hotel in New York. I don't even drink coffee, so instead I scoped out the food menu. When I saw a "#43 best in town" scrawled on the chalkboard next to their PB&J ($6), I inquired as to what it stood for. Turns out, this sandwich earned a spot on Chicago Magazine's 50 Best Sandwiches list last year.

That's pecan butter, not peanut butter, with an incredibly fresh and flavorful blueberry and raspberry jam. The honey wheat bread is toasted and holds up to the gooey sweet flavors within. I could see whole berries within the jam, and there were plenty of crunchy raspberry seeds to prove it. I would ordinarily never order a PB&J sandwich since they tend to be rather pedestrian, but I'm not sure I could make one this good on my George Foreman grill.

Elaine's Coffee Call

1816 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614 (map)