Lucky’s Sandwich Co.: Great-Tasting Sandwiches with Sociopathic-Tasting Fries

Bread, meat, cheese, cole slaw, tomato, and bite-size suicide.

3472 N. Clark

Website

In France, much restaurant food comes in small, delicate, intricate portions that would double as works of culinary art.

Welcome to Antifrance.

Look, comrades: Lucky’s Sandwich Company is a comfort food place with plenty of beer, chicken wings, and loud Cub fans,  but their main fare comes from the ungodly huge sandwiches. I’m not gonna lie, they’re pretty good for gigantic food. They’re filling (as hell) and the ingredients aren’t noticeably processed. It’s a tradition in Pittsburgh and many other places like it to have giant sandwiches filled with everything – including the side of fries.

So, how good are the fries? Let me put it this way: I would rather have year-old McDonald’s imitation fries than the fries on these sandwiches. While most fries are yellow and brown, these are burnt orange, which would be forgivable if they were sweet potato fries – but they aren’t. They smell like the bathroom at an Al’s Italian Beef, and they slip from your fingers with all the oil if you try to pick them up. I ate a Lucky’s Corned Beef sandwich in my room and had to pick out all the fries and throw them away – and my room still smells awful. It just got cleaned two days ago. This is demonically unforgivable.

This is what the fries do to your tongue.

This is what they do to your metaphorical heart.

And this is what they do to your literal heart.

What’s even more mind-boggling: Lucky’s has a policy of no-mayonnaise-whatsoever on their sandwiches. Perhaps they realized “hey, if the sandwich has these slow-death sticks we call fries AND mayo, all of our customers would get pacemakers at our expense!” I would prefer to eat a sea of miracle whip compared to these life-sucking stomach torpedoes that they don’t even put on the side!

This place isn’t in the “the bad” category because, sans the fries, the sandwiches are damn good. So, if you’re going to order a Lucky’s sandwich, say “no fries please” unless you’re into taste bud masochism.

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Cloud 9: What the Hell is Snow Ice and Why is it Awesome?

It tastes better than it looks, just bear with me on this.

604 W. Belmont

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All right, comrades, ready to eat something from Taiwan that looks like wax paper, feels like snow, and tastes like whoop-de-frickin’-doo? No? Then go away, no one likes you.

All cold, hard truth aside, here’s a conundrum for you: snow ice. It’s what happens when you freeze a block of flavored ice, and use an industrial ice-shaver to shave it into really thin sheets. I don’t like to use the word “shave” because that implies that my ice cream has hair, and that’s just wrong. In fact, this stuff is incredibly clean.

The good folks at Cloud 9 have, aside from free board games to play (what?), snow ice in four flavors: Original (it would help if I knew what original meant, but it just tastes… white icey creamy), Mango, Strawberry, and Chocolate. You can put some syrups and toppings on it, and it’ll end up looking something like the thing at the top of the page. And it tastes pretty damn good.

You’d think this would be in “the good,” but it’s in “the okayish” category. This is because I do have a few complaints with the place, but none of them are major. I think that would have been obvious based on the category it was in, but people are stupid.

First off – only four flavors? Seriously? If they add a pomegranate flavor, I will personally make a category called “Shaved ice is amazing” and put it up there. Because pomegranate shaved ice would taste like getting killed instantly in an enjoyable porn accident and going to kitty heaven to pet the softest of kitties for eternity. And at your funeral you get underwear of the opposite sex tossed on your casket.

See how many goats there are? That's their amount of flavors. That's it.

Second – it’s fun for like, one visit. Snow ice is an interesting treat that gets old fast. It’s in the middle from good to amazing – not exactly amazing. Like I said, if they add more flavors, like a shaved ice flavor of the week, it’ll probably shake things up and make it more interesting.

Third – I don’t know, I just think things come in threes, so I’ll make up that there’s an evil hamster that lives under the seats and steals your pants. WAIT, I KNOW! The furniture is weird to sit on, and kind of fragile.

So it’s worth a visit, that’s for sure, but because of the above factors, and because it’s more than a few blocks away from the nearest el station, not worth going out of your way to become a regular. If it gets better I’ll let you know here.

Schubas – But How Good is the Food?

I am disappointed in your lack of apostrophe, Schubas.

3159 N. Southport

Website

Just about everyone that reviews this historic little bar and grill will tell you “the entertainment is fantastic” or “booze booze, baby” with no regard to how their Southern-style cooking stacks up. There’s a reason the waiter gives you a menu, and it’s not because the good people at Schubas want to provide a biting satire of the food industry and to prove solid food’s inferiority to music and alcohol, and possibly to revolutionize the digestive tract. That isn’t the case because that would be fucking silly.

So I went to Schubas, but for a very rogue and counterculture reason: to grab a snack for brunch. I could be biased since I’m not a gigantic breakfast food fanboy, but I will try to be somewhat impartial.

The decor is fine enough. They set up the back of the place where the music is played like an opera house you’d find in rural nebraska, with wood carvings and whatnot that make it seem very appropriate when folk music is played. But, rock? Prepare for clashing atmosphere.

After a mysterious 15-minute delay (although it was an isolated incident, being that those I were having brunch with had their meals at this point), I got my hands on some corncakes with eggs (not to be confused with corncrakes – they have eggs too), which are sort of like vegetable pancakes with cheese baked in. Unappetizing? Only slightly. But had they not put so much salsa and a dollop of sour cream on top of the eggs, I would have been rather satisfied with the dish. It would have been fine on the side. What I got was all the ingredients thrown together in a pile, and my tastebuds were too busy having arguments with each other over what to sense rather than to enjoy my meal.

The highlight of the food was really the beignets, which is the Southern equivalent of funnel cake. I hadn’t had those since I was very little. Had they not tasted exactly like funnel cake, I guess I would have felt more nostalgia.

I would have stayed to order something other than the corncakes, but I was quickly hurried out of my table to make way for a “school of rock” shindig where some emo-looking kids play in a group that their parents pour ridiculous money into. Kids, really now. When it comes down to it, which is more important: you expressing yourselves, or me having a decent meal? …I think I just answered my own question. Oh well, it was frustrating nonetheless.

If you’re into southern food, I’d recommend Wishbone over this. But if you want to hear good music and soak your stomach enough to swerve into a pole, then I highly recommend Schubas.