Chef Graham Elliot has risen to fame as a celebrity chef in Chicago thanks to his unique approach to fine dining at his eponymous restaurant. After appearing on the first season of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, the current Master Chef judge opened his second place in Chicago, Grahamwich. The humble shop, located just off Michigan Avenue in the heart of the city, serves up seasonal sandwiches, snacks, and homemade sodas and soft-serve.
This take on the classic Reuben sandwich maintains most of the original ingredients — pastrami (though some traditional versions have corned beef), Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, and rye bread. However, instead of melted Swiss, which is typically included in a Reuben, this one is layered with a velvety Gruyère fondue and sprinkled with toasted caraway seeds.
The most notable thing about this grilled sandwich is the freshness of each and every ingredient. The pastrami is brined and smoked in-house, then sliced to order for every sandwich. The sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing are both homemade and each have distinctly important roles in the making of this sandwich — the kraut adds a needed kick of tanginess and depth that's echoed in the flavors of garlic and coriander in the pastrami, while the dressings adds a cool creamy flavor and texture.
With so many varying ingredients and flavors playing off each other, it's hard to imagine just how this sandwich comes together, but it certainly does. Plus, with a side order of the G'wich popcorn (topped with chopped chives, grated Parmesan, and truffle oil) this sandwich shop makes for quite the lunchtime destination.
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