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The Kitchen Pulls Off an Exceptional Braised Pork Sandwich

Skip the $60 caviar at this River North spot in favor of an affordable sandwich with just the right amount of sweetness—though it could use some more jus.

The braised pork sandwich at the Kitchen.   Photo: Nick Kindelsperger

Price Point: $14 for the braised pork sandwich

Just a heads up: People dress well at The Kitchen (316 N. Clark St., 312-836-1300), even during lunch. I suppose you’re asking to become a power lunch spot when you perch a restaurant overlooking the Chicago River and a canyon of gleaming skyscrapers. Prepare to gawk at the menu as your eyeballs stumble over items such as the $110 seafood platter or the $60 caviar Russe (which is actually the cheaper of the two caviar options). Keep scrolling down until you stumble upon some meaty sandwiches casually thrown in at the bottom.

That’s when you’ll remember that executive chef Johnny Anderes created this menu. The former Telegraph and Avec chef has a knack for finding ways to counterbalance normally heavy foods, which you’ll immediately notice in the braised pork sandwich.

While it looks like a basic overloaded French dip, an apple mostarda brings some much appreciated sweetness and pickled fennel lends acidity. The exceptional bread even manages to stay crackly and crisp when dipped in the richly flavored jus. I only wish the jus came in a bucket instead of the dinky little saucer that dries up after a few dunks, but then the businessmen would have to roll up their sleeves, wouldn’t they?

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