When Jeff Mauro looks for inspiration for turning dessert into a sandwich, he looks to the masters at Sugar Fixe Patisserie in Oak Park, Ill. These pastries put a spin on classic favorites; be sure to try the almond croissant sandwich filled with almond cream and topped with toasted almonds.
Retro fanatics have their fill at Angel Food Bakery. Owner Stephanie Samuels has been bringing back old-school bakery favorites with treats like whoopie pies, homemade Twinkies and Thin Mints. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro thinks Angel's ultimate sweet sandwich is the chocolate-dipped s'more.
When Jeff Mauro wanted to make the perfect schnitzel sandwich, he headed to Edelweiss for advice. The family-owned restaurant serves authentic German fare, like schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, wienerschnitzel and spatzle, in addition to offering an assortment of 16 imported beers on tap.
This Chicago steakhouse has uncovered the secrets to making an incredible steak sandwich. When Sandwich King Jeff Mauro samples the shaved prime beef sandwich served here, he calls it “the most buttery bite” of any steak sandwich he’s ever eaten. For dessert, the chocolate pie is a must.
They say the bakery at this Chicago landmark is run just as it was in the '50s, using trusted family recipes for traditional Mexican treats like pan dulce, a soft and chewy sweetbread with a flaky decorative topping. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro used the spongy bolillo bread to construct a tasty torta.
For a true taste of comfort, Jeff Mauro turns to Silver Cloud's sloppy joe on a brioche bun. The secrets to its success: a 24-hour cooking time and pineapple juice. If you're in the mood for something else, try the chicken pot pie or grilled cheese.
When visiting Saigon Sisters, the "crown jewel" is the Hen House banh mi sandwich. With strips of caramelized chicken stuffed inside a French baguette, it was named one of the best by Chicago magazine. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro agrees. Want more? The pork belly steamed buns are a must-try.
At this sandwich shop that Jeff Mauro calls a "no-frills diner," they've been serving meals such as the corned beef sandwich the same way for 80 years. If it's a Tuesday or Saturday, don't leave without ordering the signature short rib smothered in gravy and served on a bun.
In the back of a Mexican grocery in Chicago, this taqueria is dishing out scrumptious tacos al pastor. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro visited Tierra Caliente for tacos made with meat cooked on a vertical spit. Takeout is popular here, as room is limited.
Sandwich King Jeff Mauro calls the owner of SkrineChops “the pope of smoked tri-tip” because of his talent for transforming this underappreciated cut of beef into a super-flavorful sandwich filling. Topped with mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce, his tasty tri-tip sandwiches really hit the spot.
Jam quickly became Jeff Mauro's go-to brunch spot, not only because the chef is named Jeffrey Mauro, but also because he’s a fan of the breakfast sandwiches and other morning staples. The menu is loaded with creative twists on brunch classics, like Malted Custard French Toast. This popular dish is topped with a macerated cherry puree laced with pink peppercorns for a floral note.
The food at Mickey’s hasn’t changed a bit since opening day in 1972. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro loves the “very simple” cooking that characterizes Mickey’s dishes, especially the signature riblets. These bad boys come out tender and juicy, with an extra ladle of barbecue sauce for some added kick.
Bobby calls Gibsons’ cuts (like the 48-ounce porterhouse) some of the "juiciest steaks around.” Also try the dessert: The Macadamia Turtle Pie features mounds of caramel-drizzled ice cream, while The Meaning of Life features five layers of chocolate cake, rich mousse and raspberry preserves.
Growing up in Chicago, Jeff Mauro would always stop by Danny's Deli for the fried meatball sandwich. This spot features all kinds of Italian favorites, including classics like rigatoni in vodka sauce and stuffed artichoke, as well as lesser-known dishes like pork neck bones.
Established in 1946, Gene and Jude's helped shape the famous Chicago-style hot dog (perfect for any game day), which comes with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, celery salt, pickles and pickled sport peppers on a poppy-seed bun. These fan favorites are a must for any lover of good ole Americana.