Wednesday, October 24, 2012

publican quality meats - chicago, il
825 w. fulton market
chicago, il 60607

paul kahan is without a doubt one of my favorite chefs in chicago. although i have suspiciously never dined at the publican, the tasting menu at blackbird i enjoyed back in march ranks in my top ten all time meals, and my experiences at his other establishments (avec, the violet hour, big star) have all been stellar. when i heard he was opening an upscale grocery/sandwich shop in fulton market i knew it would be a must try lunch venue.
seating at publican quality meats consists of indoor communal tables as well as a row of outdoor seating. being that the weather was rather warm for october and we had just walked from michigan avenue we opted for indoor seating. for food, several sandwiches are available along with soups, salads, sides, charcuterie, and some baked goods for dessert.
a small cocktail list is offered along with a few choices of beer of tap and several in bottles. if i remember correctly there is also a modest wine list. carrie and i both enjoyed an intensely hoppy 3floyds dreadnaught from the tap.
i knew going into the meal that i would be ordering the pb&l. named #5 on chicago magazines list of the city's top 50 sandwiches, this beast is a pork belly and lamb sausage topped with feta cheese, cilantro, and a sweet and spicy piperade sauce all placed carefully into a buttery toasted lobster roll. although very difficult to eat, the snappy sausage was incredibly flavorful and the combination of the peppery piperade and tangy feta was perfect. on the side i had the kale which was good but not great.
carrie selected the pork belly sandwich, consisting of braised pork belly, romesco verde, watercress, apple, mint, and yogurt. served on a tasty ciabatta, this was a bit of a letdown as the pork was a large portion of the pork belly was simply too tough. nice flavors all in all just wish the meat had been better prepared. on the upside, carrie loved the potato salad.

service overall was lacking as the individual handling the inside dining area was not very friendly and was very short with her words. the food took about 20-25 minutes to come out, and after the check was dropped i had to get the attention of another employee (who didn't speak english) to have our server come back to run my card. while none of this is a huge deal given the extremely casual nature of the restaurant, it was enough that i left somewhat annoyed. bottom line...the pb&l is a fantastic sandwich and is worth stopping in for. now that i have tried it however i really see no reason to return to publian quality meats.
Publican Quality Meats on Urbanspoon


  1. We spent a few days eating our way through Chicago last week and Publican was on the short list but never made the final cut. Too many wonderful places, so little time. Your sandwich looks really interesting. BTW, Chris Bolyard from Sidney Street, staged at Publican Quality Meats and gave it thumbs. I hope to have a blog post up shortly about our dining experiences.


  2. thanks for the comment, i will keep an eye out for your chicago post :-)

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