The expansion of Original Rainbow Cone
, the South Side's venerable and beloved creamery, was inevitable and, quite frankly, overdue. A mainstay at Taste of Chicago
and a hit at 92nd and Western since 1926, Rainbow Cone has taken the simple idea of five flavors topped on top of each other - orange sherbet, pistachio, palmer house, strawberry, chocolate - and, thus, has created one of Chicago's most enduring post-meal traditions.
Finally, Rainbow Cone makes its debut in the midst of bustling State Street, but (as if it was too shy to appear by itself) its Loop introduction is in conjunction with Halsted Street Deli, a thriving Chicago-area franchise creating a reputation of its own.
The deli may not be the star of the show, but it's reliable nonetheless. Choose from 15 sandwiches, from old hats - like Italian beef, BLTs and Tom turkey or lesser-traveled options like The Mermaid, a tuna sandwich mixed with celery, onion and mayo and topped with cheddar. Chicago-style red hots, salads, and even an assortment of breakfast options make appearances, too assuming you wouldn't rather just start the day with five mouth-watering layers of ice cream.
As for Rainbow Cone, don't idly pass by the creamery's other flavors: butter pecan, cookie dough, cookies & cream, and black walnut round out a well-varied lineup.
No individual item, excluding a quart of ice cream, exceeds $6.99, so no more than a 10-spot ought to cover the tab. Feel free to sit inside and taste the savings (and, if you have time, the flavors), as there is plenty of seating inside the spacious, if unremarkable, dining room. Pictures of old-timey Chicago and State Street decorate the joint, but if you must look at something, the actual State Street outside will usually suffice.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert