Mark Bires and Mind Friedler jokingly refer to their humble West Loop shop as a "Super Subway," but that commentary gives far too much credit to the tired national franchise. Bires and Friedler's restaurant is more like one of those television hot rodding shows, a custom and inspired one-off sub joint that you might call Pimp my Sandwich.
Condiments like creamy roqufort blue cheese dressing, New Orleans-style muffaletta olive salad, and sides like Thai spiced cole slaw and pesto pasta salad are made fresh in-house. Likewise the incredible depth of ingredients on the menu allows you to choose from a selection of locally baked Red Hen and D'amato's bakery baked bread, and fresh roasted proteins including beautiful medium rare grilled skirt steak, flaky smoked salmon, or herb roasted chicken.
If you're not into the custom thing, there's more than 100 "standard" sammies with funny names such as the Marky B (named for Bires himself) featuring the aforementioned skirt steak, thick slabs of bacon and caramelized onion, to choose from.
While the dining room is small and cramped during lunch rush hours, it's a feast for the eyes featuring shiny chandeliers, purple and gold beads, and festive masks that suggests it was designed by a group of drunken Mardi Gras reveling interior designers.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant