Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hannah's Bretzel

My first stop on my culinary tour of Chicago was Hannah's Bretzel. The namesake bretzel is some sort of pretzel like thing, but I was there for the sandwiches.

Here it is: the Sandwich, new and improved. Ours starts with simple, good, organic bread. Now imagine Prosciutto di Parma from Italy, Blackforest ham from Germany or Madrange from France. Think Gruyere cheese from Switzerland, Camembert from France or Gouda from Holland. Think herb + olive spread, dried tomato mustard, organic cucumbers and organic watercress. These are simple and flavorful creations, freshly made for you every day on organic breads made with whole grain flour.
As you see from the description above, their schtick is that they use organic and high quality ingredients. This sounded like a healthy way to start my week of culinary excess, and it came highly recommended from a friend.

I got the Blackforest Ham with Gruyere, grainy mustard and cucumbers, served on Bretzel bread. The pretzely bread was a little hard on the outside and roughed up the roof of my mouth, but that was a minor complaint in an otherwise great sandwich. The store is like a sub shop, and they make the sandwich right there in front of you. All the meat is sliced to order, a nod towards freshness and quality that I was particularly impressed by.

The store is very small - there are four seats at a counter by the window, and a table that seats six out on the sidewalk. I was fortunate enough to grab one of the window seats. After I finished my lunch I took some time to peruse the most pleasant surprise from Hannah's Bretzel - their wall o' chocolate.

I pride myself on knowing a lot about chocolate, but they had brands I'd never even heard of! Very cool. I picked up a sheep's milk bar from Chocol-lini and a ginger flavored bar from NewTree. (More about those later.)

Hannah's Bretzel

180 Washington at Wells St
Chicago, IL 60602

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