Sandwich: The Pine
Location: Reno is a wood fire fueled brunch and pizza spot right off the square in Logan Square. While Chicago prides itself on pizza, there is not too much variation outside of the traditional thin crust and the famous (infamous?) deep dish. Reno’s unique wood fired offerings provide an oasis in a landscape of heavy cheese and bread. On Tuesdays they do two of these gems for $20 and you can add a PBR tallboy for an additional $2. Plus they have some pretty rad sandwiches, which is what brings us here today.
Ambiance: Being right off the square instantly gives Reno a step up above other restaurants in the neighborhood. During the summer, their patio is hard to beat. What better way to nurse a hangover than with a bloody, a bagel, and some of the finest dogspotting in Chicago? It’s simplistic without being basic and thoughtful without being pretentious, a rare balance in the age of reclaimed pallets and hanging Edison light bulb chic. There’s a smattering of show posters around the restaurant. It’s the perfect place to throw on your Fred Perry polo and impress that cute barista you finally got the courage to ask out.
The Sandwich: If you have read some of our earlier editions, you know how seriously I take the fried chicken sandwich. While I believe that the Italian beef is the most perfect sandwich created, it is unfortunately a regional meal (and by regional I mean the Chicagoland area, do not expect to get a quality beef in Carbondale, Springfield, or some other forgettable Illinois city). Nationally, the fried chicken sandwich holds the crown of King Sandwich. Perfected in the south, you can also find quality interpretations from coast to coast. Reno’s contribution to the chicken world is a nod to the Southern roots of the ‘wich. It is a perfectly fried chicken thigh smothered in white cheddar cheese and house dill pickles. The kicker, and selling point for this selection in a sea of solid brunch time selections, is their hot honey. Yeah, you read that right. Hot. Honey. The sweet heat adds the perfect compliment to the sharp cheese and tangy pickles, a bright but not overwhelming flavor. Their menu says it is served on a Trinity bun, which I think roughly translates to ‘fucking delicious’ because a quick Google search on to what a Trinity bun is leads you back to Reno’s yelp page and the suggested Facebook profiles for people named “Trinity Bun”… of which I hope there are not too many for their sake.
Overall, if you’re looking to class up your brunch game or want to get some variety from the run of the mill Chicago pizza offerings without breaking the bank, give Reno a shot. Tell them Kyle sent you. They have no idea who I am and might look at you funny but maybe they’ll give me some free food in the future. Thanks in advance.