My first post here, I have been a long time lurker but reading about the recent events in the news regarding this site spurred me to finally join in and show my support for this great community.
But on to the topic at hand, I went to Mercat’s little brother Bodega No. 5 for lunch yesterday. I am always looking for good lunch spots near the Loop and when I heard that everything is $5 I headed right over. It is located at street level on the Michigan Avenue side of the Blackstone Hotel in a small bar space converted into a sandwich spot. The place is tight, with bar/counter and about 4 booths that seat about 4 each so if you go during a busy lunch rush be prepared to share a table. There is outdoor seating as well, but unfortunately it was unavailable when I was there despite the beautiful weather. The process seemed a little disorganized, but worth the wait. I had the sausage, egg, pepper & onions sandwich which was very good. It was warm with flavorful sausage and slightly gooey cheese. The egg was in kind of a square patty shape, but was still soft and added a nice almost creamy taste to the sandwich. The portions are not oversized, which I actually prefer for lunch, and it came with a side of chips dusted with pimentón (a Spanish smoked paprika) that added a nice complimentary flavor.
Since I had a bit of a walk over to burn off some calories, and considering the $5 price which is about half of what I would normally expect to pay for lunch in that area, I also opted to try the ham & cheese empanada which was somewhat disappointing when compared with the sandwich. It was stuffed with what I felt was overly salted ham that dominated the flavor to the point that I did not really taste the cheese. I will definitely go back to try their other sandwiches (the Turkey was recommended by the guy behind the counter and I want to stop back and check it out). They also have some flatbreads on the lunch menu which sounded fantastic and warrant a return trip.
Bodega No. 5
638 S. Michigan Ave.