Date of Last Visit: Wednesday, January 12
The Victim: Mark
The Damage: $15 + tax for me, $18 + tax for Mark. Not cheap.
The Background: On Monday night, I was walking north on State Street after meeting up with some Chicago wine bloggers when I passed Grahamwich and realized that it was super close to the Grand Red Line stop. This makes it more or less convenient to my office, because I can hop on the Red Line from The Loop and be at Grahamwich in minutes. So I organized a little work field trip–or attempted to, because at the end, it was only me and Mark who went.
Grahamwich is small. And popular. So my plan had us leaving the office at 11 to get to Grahamwich around 11:15ish so we could beat the queue. Grahamwich, if you don’t know already, is the brainchild of Graham Elliot, the Chicago chef and Master Chef judge. Also Top Chef contestant.
There was no queue and plenty of seating when we arrived, although a poorly timed photo shoot meant that anyone that came in after us couldn’t find anywhere to sit. (Really–a photo shoot during lunch? Are you silly?) We very quickly and efficently placed our order for two beef shortrib sandwiches ($10 each), one bag of truffle popcorn ($5), and one bag of chips ($5). Oh, and an orange soda for Mark ($3). Grahamwich is NOT cheap.
Voila! There, under that mound of potato sticks, is one of the finest $10 sandwiches I have ever had. Very very tender and nicely seasoned beef. Horseradish! And a great roll. The menu online calls it a pretzel roll, but this was not a Hannah’s Bretzel pretzel roll. I don’t know what they did to this bread, but it was great. And I’m not much one for bread.
What was not so great was the popcorn. The popcorn itself wasn’t very warm, and then it was covered in truffle oil, parmesan, chives, sea salt, and black better. The topping was just a cold mess. It made everything seem damp. And I reeked of truffle oil for hours afterwards. You might think that’s a good thing until you have to smell that way all day.
You know what I really liked about Grahamwich? The TRAYS. I wanted to steal some. I’m sure I’m not alone. I would be very careful of those trays if I were them. Sooo cute.
I should note that our sandwiches took quite some time to assemble, and there weren’t that many people waiting while we were there. So don’t expect fast food. Also, they are cash only!!
The Verdict: I don’t think I could do a $10 sandwich every day, but for the occasional treat, Grahamwich is a very excellent option. Skip the popcorn. Get the chips. And remember they have jugged tap water in the corner so you can also skip the $3 sodas.