The open-faced pork belly grinder at Aberdeen Tap in West Town is a two-handed, I-wish-I-had-a-dinosaur-jaw sandwich, that is unapologetically tasty and daringly large.
'west town' on Serious Eats
A really good po' boy can be tough to find in Chicago, but I found a great Shrimp Po'Boy ($9.50) at DeLux Bar & Grill recently.
Last month, we took a look at the affordable options in Humboldt Park, so it feels natural to move directly east to see what's available in West Town. That's a lot to cover, and know that this list could have been twice as long, but instead of simply adding in every good dish in the area, we decided to strip the list down to 12 genuinely great options.
At what point does a place become more than the sum of its parts? At what point do you want to call it great, even if strictly speaking nothing you had was?
Not that we need some Iowa perspective on our native sandwich, but it's obvious that the restaurant is attempting to address certain issues of most Italian beefs, which is mostly a good and noble thing.
If you consider yourself an Italian sub aficionado—and why wouldn't you want to be?— you probably know the name D'Aamto's well. But recently the bakery decided to stop just being the purveyor of great bread for Italian subs, and started making the subs itself.
Swing by the esteemed Italian grocer on Grand Ave and you'll see an Italian beef special scrawled in black ink on a sheet of paper by the scale in the back (one of the employees assured me had been around for a month). Do me a favor and order one. It might be one of the best Italian beefs around.
The farro at TWO was some of the best-cooked I've had, tender but still firm in the middle, so it had the chewy texture I adore from this nutty grain.
The food here is on point (sorry) with its trendy beer list, and you won't be sorry looking past the daily flatbreads and burgers to the fried items on offer.
Every Tuesday, Chef de Cuisine Jon DuBois crafts a fun vegetarian tasting menu at Green Zebra. This week he's inspired by flavors from the Pacific Northwest.
The real wonder of the roast beef panini at Love's is how it feels physically heavy, but doesn't taste heavy. Substantial and satisfying, but not intense.
What makes Duran European Sandwiches Cafe so, um, European? Well, the West Town shop specializes in tiny open-faced sandwiches, all of which are assembled ahead of time and arranged behind a large glass case.
Before I dig in, I have a couple semi-serious questions. Is any sandwich that touches a panini press a panini? And is any sandwich with at least one Italian-inspired meat an Italian sandwich?
The Italian grinder at D'Agostino's in River West does its best to avoid anything resembling subtlety. All the salty and heavy meats (capicola, pepperoni, salami, and ham) fight for dominance on your palate, while a blanket of melted provolone covers as much as possible.
Do tacos from a Michelin starred restaurant taste different? When Mexique landed a star a few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to find out.
Though billed as "Modern Asian Barbecue," I stopped into bellyQ to see how well he could handle a deep fryer. In two words: very well.
Usually, I'm in the minimalist taco camp. I like a place that can execute a filling and serve it on warm and pliant tortillas. But that's not what Flo does best. No, here you should go big.
Finding falafel in the Loop is about as easy as picking a random storefront and walking in. (I am only slightly exaggerating.) But finding the fried specialty elsewhere in the city requires a little more planning.
What drew me to Thalia Spice's Yaya noodles was its key ingredient: stir-fried spinach-flavored noodles. How would these green guys impact a Thai stir-fry?