Pane's Bread Cafe: Perfect Sandwiches in Chicago

Pane_tomato_sand_4There is nothing more simple, soul satisfying and crave-worthy than a good, hearty sandwich. Case in point: I just spent close to a month driving from Chicago to the very tip of Baja, Mexico, and at the end of the journey, all I was craving was a big ol' juicy American-style sandwich. I'd had enough of the fresh fish tacos, the deep-fried coconut shrimp, the tangy, potent margaritas and the authentic frijoles and arroz. Delicious as all that fresh Mexican cuisine was, I wanted nothing more than to stuff my face with a handful of mayonnaise-filled sandwich.

I found the cure at a tiny America-owned cafe in the picture-perfect, colonial town of Todos Santos (40 miles North of horrific Cabo San Lucas), and since I've been back in Chicago (7,000 miles roundtrip, but the trip of a lifetime), all I've really been dreaming about is a sandwich worthy of the one I'd consumed with sheer and utter delight at Cafe Todos Santos (a two-pound cheese, veggie and mayo behemoth). If you could have seen the blatant confusion when I sweetly asked for even more mayonnaise, bringing my grand total slathered the sandwich to about half-a-cup...good God.

My usual sandwich joint in Chicago is fan-favorite Potbelly's. There really is no comparison to its soft (but still crunchy), warm take on the vegetarian sandwich. Packed down with fresh mushrooms, gooey cheese, shredded lettuce, ripe tomato, homemade pickles, a tiny burst of mustard and extra, extra squirts of mayonnaise, this is the ideal sandwich for the non-vegetarian. The denseness of the mushrooms make it seem like there's some sort of meat on board, and the mayo soaks deep into the warm bread, which makes every bite an eye-closer, full of wonder.

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La Bodega Chicago~Perfect Spanish Fritatta

Dscn1353One of Roscoe Village's cutest little neighborhood coffeehouse's recently changed ownership, hired a new chef and all I can say is wow!   The vibe is so friendly & open and now the brand-new menu is something to drool over.   Not only are they BYOB, they are now open for dinner and are creating a deli-style gourmet take-out section that is perfect for busy days such as these. 
The fresh vegetable fritatta that was presented was absolutely incredible.  So many veggies are pouring out of it and it's hard to believe she only used four eggs in the dish.  It's gigantic and easily enough for three people to split.   I loved that it was topped off with a big dollop of buttery cream cheese...I've never seen that before and it added this tangy taste of sweetness to the final bites.  With free wi-fi on the way, it is the perfect place to kick back, have an awesome meal with a nice bottle of vino and take care of some business, all at the same time.  Nobody would ever know your working from the charming outdoor cafe at La Bodega, glass in hand, of course.