Cost: $13 per person
For part of our medical education, Northwestern has decided it's important to get out of the lecture hall and do something out of the norm with our time (they call it "seminar"). My seminar was called The Discerning Eye. We went to the Art Institute once a week and discussed art work to work on our skills of perception (that will one day come in handy when we're doctors). One drawback to this course was that you had to shell out $40 for an Art Institute membership (because tuition wasn't enough already I guess). So one day in lecture I'm complaining about this fee (yeah I know it's not that much, but I like to complain sometimes) when my friend LT offers to lend me her membership card. Some of you may think this was pure generosity, but I bet she just wanted me to be quiet so she could focus on lecture (in addition to her generosity). In order to reciprocate I first stopped talking and second took her out to lunch. We decided to hit up Grahamwich. On our way out the door we picked up added one more to our crew as well (my friend Kim).
It's a pretty straightforward operation at Grahamwich. You order at the counter, and when your food's ready they call out your name. The seating is a bit limited with one long communal table and one set of counter seating. We got lucky that a group of people was hopping up just as we came in. Still, while we were eating there were people waiting to sit down.
My friend Jeff at I Like to Eat made an interesting comment that I'd like to reiterate. All of the sandwiches are $10 and they're CASH ONLY, but they charge you tax. The point of making a sandwich an even amount of money in a cash only establishment is for efficiency and convenience, but instead they charge tax and shake up the whole thing.
In addition to the $10 sandwiches (some of which are too small) the other things are a bit overpriced. Snacks like chips and popcorn are $5, but at least the portions are over sized (more than enough for the 3 of us to share).
LT and Kim both ordered the Jibarito Tacos while I got the Pastrami Reuben. The tacos were made of pork shoulder with plantain chips, mango, habanero salsa, and queso fresco. They were in double wrapped corn tortillas and came as a trio. They were surprisingly under filled and luke warm. On top of that, the flavors just weren't strong enough to overcome the taste of two corn tortillas. At $10 for three small tacos it was a pretty disappointing dish. I had high hopes for my Reuben, but there were some major problems. The gruyere fondue smothered everything, and combined with the 1000 island the sandwich turned into a soaking mess. The pastrami tasted fine as did the sauerkraut, but it was hard to get any of that flavor out of the sandwich. The saving grace to the meal was the bag of chips. I'm typically a sucker for sour cream and onion chips, and these were some of the best I'd had in a while (although not exactly sour cream and onion).
The Jibarito Taco
The Pastrami Reuben
For the most part Grahamwich was a bit too pricey and a bit too lacking in flavor. I thought it was pretty strange that while one meal was pretty skimpy the other one was so overly sauced. Even though I think the food truck to be has a fantastic name (The Grahambulance), if things are anything like at the store I won't be waiting in any street corner line. I'm giving Grahamwich 1.5 out of 5 Pearls.