As the hub of Chicago, The Loop has no shortage of places to find a bite to eat. But not all of us are stock brokers or businessmen with expense accounts, nor do we have the time to sit through coursed out menus. Most of us just need something to eat quickly, and we'd like to find a place that's good and cheap.
'cafecito' on Serious Eats
If you blew all your available cash scrimping and saving to get tickets to Lollapalooza this weekend in Chicago, don't worry. The area surrounding Grant Park is loaded with great food finds. We picked out ten of our favorite cheap eats to help you out.
On my inaugural visit to Cafecito, I went with the Cubano sandwich ($5.49), figuring I should start with the classic. But after diving into this utterly delicious sandwich, I'm not sure I could ever go there and not get it. The ingredients work together beautifully—there's subtly spiced roast pork, two layers of ham, acidic pickle slices, piquant mustard, and Swiss cheese that melts into every crevice.
Ever since I was outed as Serious Eats commenter Fart Sandwich earlier this year, I couldn't believe my luck when Ed and the gang asked me to write for the site. It's been just about six months now, and writing for Serious Eats has really given me the opportunity to explore food in the city I love so much.
Cafecito is located near three or four colleges and universities, the Harold Washington Library, and a block and a half away from the Loop L Train. It's located next door to a hostel in a relatively nondescript building. But don't let that fool you. Cafecito has some of the best Cuban sandwiches in the entire city of Chicago. And they're cheap, too!
Also called espresso Cubano, the drink is a shot of dark-roasted espresso brewed either directly onto sugar, or with the sweet granules mixed and melted with the grounds as they're extracted.
[Photograph: Dennis Lee] It's always a fun trick to throw a hunk of halloumi on a fiery grill. Inevitably people who've never heard of the stuff start to freak out, wondering why you're about to ruin a ball of perfectly good cheese by melting it into the hot coals below. Hell, I've had people actually pull a chunk off the grill with their bare hands with the same effort they'd reserve for rescuing a drowning person. The cool thing about halloumi is it softens and the milk fats caramelize resulting in some awesome smoky sweet curd. The density and construction of the cheese is such that it never actually turns in to a bubbly disintegrating mass. There are plenty...