Jerry’s (Division St.)

April 7th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Wicker Park is a paradise for many college students. Located close to Blue Line stops, full of unique and inexpensive businesses, and just gritty enough to not be pretentious, it offers the lifestyle college students want with the affordability they need.

Chris' beer- Horn Dog. It's technically a "barley wine style ale." Fancy.

The restaurants in the neighborhood fulfill this, with most of them being cheap and delicious.

A buddy and I hit up Jerry’s Sandwiches Wicker Park, located at 1938 W. Division Street.

They have an absolutely stunning line up of sandwich options, and a selection of beers and other spirits that is unbeatable. According to our waitress, they have about 180 bottles of beer and 19 drafts.

The building itself is an interesting mix between a German pup and a modern architect’s dream. Their chandeliers are made with modified spoons, and there is lots of exposed wood. The bar is a shrine of sorts, showing off the many different beers they have to offer.

As we sat down to dine, an NCAA game played on several flat-screen TV’s. Later that night (after we left), live music was featured.

Chris' delicious, vegan sandwich.

“I like Jerry’s because of the constant variety,” Powley said. “The choice of sandwiches and beers is overwhelming in the best way possible. Also, the free live music is always something different, which is quite aurally refreshing.”

I went with a Portabella mushroom sandwich, featuring a strong dijon mustard and lots of veggies, on a whole-grain bread. Ordering at Jerry’s is a heck of a challenge, in a good way. You must choose your bread, your toppings, the type of sandwich you want, and two (yes, two!) sides.

Our waitress, while helpful with choosing which sandwich to get and which toppings, was a little useless in other aspects. My drink went unfilled for a decent amount of time, and she didn’t really check on us. Granted, it was a busy night.

My Portabella mushroom sandwich. Satisfying.

Our sandwiches came in a hot minute, and were made with super fresh ingredients. After a big first bite, though, we realized just how much of a bite the dijon mustard had, as both of our sandwiches featured it.

It reminded me of wasabi, the green stuff they serve with sushi. It had a way of clearing the nostrils. This encouraged me to savor the sandwich, so I guess it was a good thing.

The potato salad and fries I chose as sides were both acceptable, but the fries were a little limp and the potato salad could have used a little bit more kick (perhaps some of that dijon mustard?)

We enjoyed our food while taking in the ambience of the place, and as we finished, we were both very sated.

The meal came ot $32.31, including two sandwiches, our sides, Chris’ beer ($9, a little pricey, but, according to Chris, worth it), and an iced tea for me. This is a little on the pricey side for me, but acceptable nonetheless.

One of those places you'd take a friend to when he was in town, just to show how cool your town was.

Price Rating: The Advertising Major- Kids who know they’ll get filthy rich soon enough- is the moderate category. Picture a kid with a briefcase and a blazer jacket

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Underdogg (Damen Ave)

April 5th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

A Tennessee native with a life story as long as her hair, Caro Toe has lived in many different areas growing up, before finally settling in Chicago as a student at Columbia College. She is a guest blogger for ChicagoNoms, providing her love of good, cheap food and sharp tongue. Enjoy!

Underdogg may involve a little searching to find it, but that just makes it more intriguing!

Located just steps from the Damen Blue Line, Underdogg is a hole-in-the-wall full of unique personality and an excess of grease. In short, it’s a perfect fit for the heart of Wicker Park.

Easy to miss because of its underground location (it shares a building with another neighborhood haunt, Flash Taco), Underdogg is a place populated mainly by locals. Despite its long hours (10 a.m.-4 a.m. on weekends), it’s the kind of place that thrives in the middle of the night, when drunk hipsters roll in to satisfy their cravings.

At most places, this would mean a high tolerance to obnoxious behavior would be essential, but Underdogg never seems to suffer from overcrowding.

Whether  you’re visiting at noon, midnight, or after last call, there are always free tables as most people seem to prefer to go orders over dining in. (This may have something to do with the crazy music choices that are played loudly and at all times).

Serving a menu composed of various hot dog, burger and fry combinations, the food at Underdogg is served without frills or attention to detail. They get it to you fast, and at a price cheaper than dirt, but the results are usually underwhelming.

While the food may be nothing to write home about, it hits the spot late at night.

My usual order involves a corn dog and side of fries. With a total of $3.55, it’s an order cheap enough to never break the bank but filling enough to keep me satisfied. Most items on the menu suffer from being undercooked and these two are no exception. The batter on the corn dog could have stood a few more minutes of heat, and the dog itself could be described as rubbery. The fries are thick and plentiful but slightly soggy and in need of salt.

Overall, Underdogg is a great place for to grab greasy grub late at night. It’s convenient for Blue Line riders who are on their way home from a night out on the town, or for local students who need a snack break during an all-night study session, but no one should expect a truly great meal.

Not bad, but I wouldn't write home about it.

Price rating: The Photo Student- kids who are really starving in the name of art. This is the cheapest category. These kids spend all of their money on film and chemicals, and have little left to spend on food.

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