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Duran European Sandwiches Café Serves the Cutest Little Lunches

Three of these open-faced treats is enough for a totally adorable lunch.

Courtesy of Tracy Miller

Portion sizes in restaurants skew large more often than not, so someone going small bears mentioning. Duran European Sandwiches Café (529 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-666-6007) began serving tiny open-faced sandwiches last month in a Central/Eastern European style.

“My husband grew up on these sandwiches,” says Tracy Miller, who licensed the Duran name from a Vienna-based chain. “[They] are served all over Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine.”

Although still ramping up, when at full capacity the shop will sell a total of 35 sandwiches, all for $2.50 to $4, such as Hungarian salami with herb cheese, egg, and cucumber; turkey with roasted red pepper–eggplant spread (ajvar); and carrot and apple salads with kiwifruit and cream cheese. The European white bread comes from La Fournette, and a darker multigrain is still to come. A current special combines three sandwiches and a cup of La Colombe coffee for $10.

The 1,500-square-foot, 25-seat space displays art curated by Miller’s Slovak husband, a curator at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. “I just don’t want bad art up,” Miller says. “Bad art is awful.” Funny, the analogous principle with food motivates our entire lives.

 

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