Friday, August 19, 2011

grahamwich - chicago, il

615 north state street
chicago, il 60654

after a disappointing cardinals loss in the 10th inning at wrigley field, carrie and i needed a snack prior to our dinner at avenues a few hours later. wanting something inexpensive, quick, and casual, we chose grahamwich, located less than a five minute walk from our hotel. grahamwich is the brainchild of top chef masters contestant graham elliot, and we hoped that it would be on par with our experiences at some of chicago's other big chef's casual concepts (xoco and big star).

walking in at around 5pm, we found the nicely decorated sandwich shop void of any other customers. we had seen the menu online previously, and needed little time looking at the menu board to make a final decision. we opted to take our food to go, but for those wanting to dine in, note that there is not much seating inside grahamwich, and most of the seating is at a single communal table. also take into consideration that grahamwich is cash only, but there is an atm inside.

after the short walk back to the wit hotel, we dug into our sandwich. we decided to split the wagyu beef, which was grainy mustard, baby arugula, yukon potato, onion rings, and served on a pretzel roll. upon unwrapping the sandwich, i was surprised at the amount of mustard that had been slathered on, but was relatively unfazed due to sheer hunger. upon taking my first bite, i was hit with disappointment. the mustard completely dominated my palate, and any flavors from the beef were completely masked. not only that, but the amount of potatoes and onion rings on the sandwich was unacceptably low. the only saving grace was the pretzel roll, which i really enjoyed. as a whole, the sandwich was not awful, but it was disappointing given its cost and the name attached to it.

faring even worse than the sandwich was the g'wich popcorn with grated parmesean, chopped chives, sea salt, cracked pepper, and truffle oil. while the flavors were good, the popcorn was far from warm, and fairly soggy. we also each opted for a specialty soda. i went with the orange ginger and carrie had the vanilla kola. both were definitely a step above your standard coke or pepsi product, but neither wowed either of us.

coming in at about twenty three dollars total for one sandwich, cold popcorn, and two sodas, i was not satisfied with my experience at grahamwich. i obviously have no issue paying for high prices for amazing food, but what we were served at grahamwich was far from amazing, and simply wasn't worth the cost. i am still looking forward to trying graham elliot's eponymous restaurant on a future chicago food trip, but feel that chef elliot needs to step up his game at grahamwich.
Grahamwich on Urbanspoon

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