Credit: Michael Gebert

The sandwiches at Xi’an Cuisine

I read a quotation once to the effect that people who eat sandwiches have given up on life. I don’t agree with this. In fact, I think in many ways we’re experiencing a sandwich renaissance in Chicago, where any bored office worker can hop on the Red Line, get off at Cermak-Chinatown, and eat a lamb and cumin sandwich at Xi’an Cuisine, a joint that offers an accessible introduction to the cuisine of the Shaanxi province. Inside grilled pitalike bread, Xi’an Cuisine serves a spicy cross-cultural collision between the Muslim Near East and China—it’s hot and provocative, yet in some ways as comfy as a cheeseburger. A taste from half the world away is just a few el stops away from your downtown cubicle, for the grand sum of $3.