Price point: $9 for the vegetable club
As its name makes very clear, Parson's Chicken & Fish (2952 W. Armitage Ave., 773-384-3333; parsonschickenandfish.com) specializes in food from the animal kingdom. Which is all well and good when you're in the mood for, say, a plate of crispy hot chicken or a fully loaded fried fish sandwich. If you wanted to fill up with some greenery, you could order one of the very good salads. But why settle when Parson’s serves one of the best vegetable sandwiches in city?
Of course, “best vegetable sandwich” sounds a bit like a backhanded compliment, because most veggie sandwiches suck. I'm not talking about ones that simply lack meat, like your PB&Js or grilled cheeses, but sandwiches where actual fresh vegetables play the key role. Most are mushy and bland, not to mention structurally unsound, with the slippery layers that topple over after a bite or two.
But not the Vegetable Club at Parson’s. Bright red pickled beets form the soft and flavorful heart, with the radishes, lettuce, and cucumbers providing the crunchy counterpoint. Herbed cream cheese acts as the glue, keeping all the elements together, while an acidic sherry vinaigrette keeps things lively. Finally, very dark rye lends an almost sour note, playing against all those fresh ingredients. After a few laps around the joint's tiny outdoor skating rink, there's no better way to refuel.