There are a few spoken (and unspoken) rules at this West Loop hole in the wall: Bring cash, don’t expect to sit down, and don’t mess with a good thing. At a spot situated in front of the wholesaler Ex-Cel Corned Beef Co, “a good thing” refers to the expertly crafted meats that headline each of the five simple sandwiches ($9 to $11): corned beef, Reuben, hot dog, pastrami, and Italian beef.
The namesake sandwich (pictured) delivers a mountain of tender, warmly spiced, and salty ribbons of meat on soft rye slicked with yellow or spicy mustard and layered with thick-sliced Swiss.
Or get your corned beef Reubenized, with tangy kraut, Thousand Island, and melted Swiss, this time on grilled rye. Swap the corned beef in either sandwich for peppercorn-flecked pastrami; just don’t ask for it on whole wheat.
Depending on where you stand on the potato-as-vegetable debate, you can get your veggies here, too: Each sandwich comes with house-cut potato chips, as well as a tart pickle spear. 1009 W. Lake St., 312-666-2535
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