Though the nondescript storefront of this western Logan Square deli is easy to overlook, don't be fooled—a trip inside The Brown Sack is worth scouring the neighborhood, especially to fulfill a lunchtime sandwich craving.
Former Lula Cafe manager Malaika Marion runs the pint-size operation, creating a variety of sandwiches, salads and soups for the famished Chicagoan on the go. The innovative sandwich options include: a new spin on grilled cheese (with four different cheeses), grilled veggies with spicy mayo, organic peanut butter and banana or deli meat with all the fixings. Then wash down your meal with one of Marion's famous milkshakes or malts; flavors range from the standards (chocolate and vanilla) to the unusual (banana, peanut butter and mocha) or a combination of the two (chocolate banana, anyone?).
If temperatures remain too cold to tempt you with a frothy shake, try any one of the hot and flavorful soups. The specialty? Black-bean chili with cheese and cornbread, a Southern recipe guaranteed to relieve the subzero northern weather. And it's never too cold to top off a lunch with one of The Brown Sack's legendary desserts. We recommend the old-fashioned root beer float or the peach cobbler.
Space is limited, so prepare to grab your meal to go—once the rest of Chicagoland discovers Logan Square's best-kept sandwich secret, you'll be competing with the masses for space at one of the eatery's few tables.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Carly Schwartz