I’m at a loss. I’m perplexed, confused, and befuddled. I’m conflicted, dog-tired, and cat-quick. I’m, frankly, screwed up. And I’m not quite sure what to do about it. You see, there is this stretch of Grand Avenue that has two great sandwich shops and I’m not enough of a foodie to be able to tell which I like better. My taste buds are jaded, raided, and abused. They have been beat up, smacked down, and honked off for about 40 years. How I achieved fame (18 readers) as the most knowledgeable food guy in Chicago (MKFGIC) is beyond me.
Alright, enough with that. I heard through one of my clients that Bari is a “real Italian deli.” Damn if it ain’t (you can get like 4 different kinds of capers in a jar there). If you go all the way to the back, there are about six men speaking accented English making sandwiches faster than you can say Mediterranean. I went early, at 11:30am, and there were already about eight people lined up for a sandwich.
Here’s the thing, Bari (1120 W. Grand) is less than a block from Vinnie’s (1204 W. Grand), and they both make a killer prosciutto and mozzarella sub. You already know how much I like Vinnie’s. Well, the Bari P&M is just as good. It’s different though.
Bottom line, Bari’s version is more prosciutto-centric and Vinnie’s is more mozzarella-centric. You have to make the call, which is more important? The taste and aroma of a fine pork product or the mouth-feel and flavor of a fresh mozzarella? I…just…don’t…know.
Go ahead, pull the two pictures up. Here is the Vinnie’s version. They are eerily similar. I think they may get their bread at the same place – D’Amato’s, which is equidistant from both. I will look into that. Also, note the order of the ingredients. Bari goes, from top to bottom, lettuce, mozzarella, tomato, prosciutto, hot peppers, oil. Vinnie’s goes oil, tomato, lettuce, mozzarella, prosciutto, hot peppers. Does it make a difference? No, it doesn’t.
This is a stupid conversation. Why are we talking about this? Get a life!!