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Big Kids - carry-out sandwiches in Logan Square

Big Kids - carry-out sandwiches in Logan Square
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  • Big Kids - carry-out sandwiches in Logan Square

    Post #1 - October 11th, 2020, 12:55 pm
    Post #1 - October 11th, 2020, 12:55 pm Post #1 - October 11th, 2020, 12:55 pm
    This is a recently opened collaboration from Ryan Pfeiffer, formerly the executive chef at recently-shuttered Blackbird and Mason Hereford, owner of Turkey & The Wolf in New Orleans. It's located in the former Young American space.

    Menu is limited but looks interesting. In addition to sandwiches, they also have a pasta salad, fries and a few beverages. Hours are also limited. They're open for carry-out only, Thursday-Sunday. Last week was their debut and they ended up selling out after just a few days. It appears that ordering is exclusively via Tock, which charges an 18% service fee but maybe there are other ways. Google lists no phone number but maybe there's a social media conduit for ordering.

    =R=

    Big Kids links to website
    2545 N Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60647
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - October 13th, 2020, 10:01 pm
    Post #2 - October 13th, 2020, 10:01 pm Post #2 - October 13th, 2020, 10:01 pm
    Worth noting that this appears to be the same ownership team -- Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue -- that was behind Young American, so it's more of reconcepting than a full-on new opening. That said, my understanding is that Misters Pfeiffer and Hereford have been brought in as equity partners. In the continued fog of coronatime, it's becoming harder to keep track of these things.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #3 - October 15th, 2020, 7:10 pm
    Post #3 - October 15th, 2020, 7:10 pm Post #3 - October 15th, 2020, 7:10 pm
    And now for something completely different . . . pics of restaurant food! :D

    I knew I'd be in the neighborhood today, so I placed an advance order for mid-day pickup. It was kind of eerie to find Logan Boulevard completely empty between Kedzie and Milwaukee -- not a single car parked on the entire block -- but the consolation prize was that it was exceedingly easy to pull up right in front to grab our order.

    The setup is simple. The front door was wedged ajar by a small table with a large pump-bottle of hand sanitizer atop it. We were greeted by a host wearing a mask who, after she asked our name, offered that because it was chilly out, we could wait in the car while she put the order together. ~45 seconds later, she was placing the bags in the hatch and off we went. It was a brief trip and the food held up extremely well. Once home, we unpacked the carefully packaged items and divvied it all up . . .

    Image
    Mess-O-Food from Big Kids
    Veg Crunch Wrap, Collard Melt, Amy-N-Nettie, Good Pasta Salad, Fried Bologna, Sketti Pocket and Kids Fry.

    Here are some individual shots, with descriptions taken directly from their menu . . .

    Image
    Veg Crunch Wrap
    "Vietnamese pickles, cilantro, jalapeño, duke's mayo, tostada, provolone"

    Image
    Fried Bologna
    "Good bologna, good mustard, dukes mayo, shreddy letty, american cheese"

    Image
    Amy-N-Nettie
    "Beef Milanesa, burnt tomato, pepper rings, provolone"

    Image
    Collard Melt
    "Braised collard greens, PIQ cherry pepper Russian dressing, swiss, seeded rye"

    Image
    Sketti Pocket
    "Fried spaghetti, mozz, parmesan, served w/ pocket sauce"

    This is pretty much the entire menu and across the board, the food was distinctive, creative, carefully prepared and substantial. There were a few items that struck some fairly sweet notes, which doesn't always work for me. Don't get me wrong. These creations were still well-wrought and very much in overall balance. But for me personally, when the sweet is there, regardless of how it's balanced out by other components, it can still sometimes be too much.

    Am I complaining that a crunch wrap containing Vietnamese pickles had some sweet notes? No. I'm saying that while I thought it was tasty and well put together, it's something that I personally would probably not order next time . . . even though there were a lot of other aspects about it I liked. My favorite was probably the Fried Bologna, with the Collard Melt a close second. The bologna sandwich also had some sweet notes but looking at the ingredients, I don't know what their origin might have been, especially since Duke's mayo contains no sugar and is notoriously not sweet. There were also chips on the sandwich (not mentioned on the menu), which suggests that some of the offerings are still works in progress.

    In any case, there's a lot to like about this place and I look forward to seeing how it progresses. I've felt for a long time that Logan Square should have a flagship sandwich shop and I really hope Big Kids will be it.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - December 5th, 2020, 7:22 pm
    Post #4 - December 5th, 2020, 7:22 pm Post #4 - December 5th, 2020, 7:22 pm
    Image
    This place has been on my list since I heard it was opening, but the mad rush early on got in the way and then I lost my focus. Made up for that today and absolutely loved my Fried Chicken Chord-on-Bloo. Big enough for two (or one and a half anyhow), this beauty has a crispy Crystal-coated slab of chicken piled onto griddled challah with Swiss, ham, tangy onions and a "top secret sauce" that seems to include mayo and pickled mustard seeds.

    This place absolutely lived up to the hype I had in my mind. So much so that I'm tempted to go back tomorrow. If I do, I'll have to decide between the regular menu and the specials they've got running with guest chefs. Each Sunday night in December, three sandwiches will be featured from guest chefs to raise money for charity. While the regular menu during regular hours can be ordered through their 30 minutes or so before you're ready to eat, these specials are available through Tock. Tomorrow's guest chefs are Paul Kahan, Jennifer Kim, and Daniel Espinoza.
  • Post #5 - December 6th, 2020, 3:29 pm
    Post #5 - December 6th, 2020, 3:29 pm Post #5 - December 6th, 2020, 3:29 pm
    Image
    Couldn't get yesterday's sandwich out of my mind so I went back today for the collard melt, a fantastic mess of a sandwich loaded with flavor thanks in large part to whatever delicious concoction those greens are braised in.

    No reason for this thread to have just two posters in it. This place has GNR written all over it. Phenomenal food, owner-operated, super friendly people.
  • Post #6 - December 7th, 2020, 9:23 am
    Post #6 - December 7th, 2020, 9:23 am Post #6 - December 7th, 2020, 9:23 am
    Living down the block from has proven dangerous as I've probably been about 5 times now, and I've really enjoyed everything I've had. I'd like to specifically mention that the vegetarian offerings, particularly the collard melt but also the crunchwrap and most recently the Beyond patty melt, have been especially good.
  • Post #7 - December 7th, 2020, 1:14 pm
    Post #7 - December 7th, 2020, 1:14 pm Post #7 - December 7th, 2020, 1:14 pm
    Stephen wrote:the vegetarian offerings, particularly the collard melt

    Are you sure the collard melt is vegetarian? If there wasn't a considerable amount of pork fat involved in making those greens, vegetarianism is going to be on the table for me.
  • Post #8 - December 7th, 2020, 2:08 pm
    Post #8 - December 7th, 2020, 2:08 pm Post #8 - December 7th, 2020, 2:08 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    Stephen wrote:the vegetarian offerings, particularly the collard melt

    Are you sure the collard melt is vegetarian? If there wasn't a considerable amount of pork fat involved in making those greens, vegetarianism is going to be on the table for me.

    The Collard Melt is listed as V = veg on their menu. All the sandwiches sound great, but this one especially caught my eye a couple months ago. Probably due to the resulting subliminal memories, I've been making vegetarian 'Reubens' recently (no collards however) and have been quite pleased with most variations. I'm sure Big Kids' version is better. This place is high on my list.
  • Post #9 - December 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm
    Post #9 - December 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm Post #9 - December 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm
    Isn’t their collard green melt inspired by the legendary version found at Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans? I know that version in NOLA is vegetarian, so I’d assume the one here can be as well.
  • Post #10 - December 8th, 2020, 10:03 am
    Post #10 - December 8th, 2020, 10:03 am Post #10 - December 8th, 2020, 10:03 am
    Big Kids is affiliated w Turkey and the Wolf!
  • Post #11 - December 8th, 2020, 10:15 am
    Post #11 - December 8th, 2020, 10:15 am Post #11 - December 8th, 2020, 10:15 am
    champs2005 wrote:Big Kids is affiliated w Turkey and the Wolf!

    Yep, it's mentioned in the opening post of this thread.

    The collard melt is my favorite from this place but the menu seems to have changed quite a bit since I last visited.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #12 - December 8th, 2020, 11:05 am
    Post #12 - December 8th, 2020, 11:05 am Post #12 - December 8th, 2020, 11:05 am
    Rene G wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    Stephen wrote:the vegetarian offerings, particularly the collard melt

    Are you sure the collard melt is vegetarian? If there wasn't a considerable amount of pork fat involved in making those greens, vegetarianism is going to be on the table for me.

    The Collard Melt is listed as V = veg on their menu.

    You're clearly right. Also clear: the people behind Big Kids are witches. There is no other logical explanation as to how that collard melt tastes as good as it does.
  • Post #13 - December 8th, 2020, 3:52 pm
    Post #13 - December 8th, 2020, 3:52 pm Post #13 - December 8th, 2020, 3:52 pm
    I've been doing some reading about Turkey and the Wolf, and especially about their Collard Melt. It turns out I'd read this nice 2017 Bon Appétit article when it first came out, but had forgotten all the details. In summary, Bon Appétit named Turkey and the Wolf the best restaurant in the US for 2017, and singled out the Collard Melt as their best sandwich. I'm sure these buried memories explain much of my enthusiasm for a sandwich I haven't tried yet.

    ronnie_suburban wrote:The bologna sandwich also had some sweet notes but looking at the ingredients, I don't know what their origin might have been, especially since Duke's mayo contains no sugar and is notoriously not sweet. There were also chips on the sandwich (not mentioned on the menu), which suggests that some of the offerings are still works in progress.

    Turkey and the Wolf's bologna sandwich has potato chips inside (see the 2017 BA article for a photo and description) so my guess is that Big Kids' version has remained pretty much unchanged. I wonder if the sweetness comes from the house-made hot mustard.

    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    Rene G wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Are you sure the collard melt is vegetarian? If there wasn't a considerable amount of pork fat involved in making those greens, vegetarianism is going to be on the table for me.

    The Collard Melt is listed as V = veg on their menu.

    You're clearly right. Also clear: the people behind Big Kids are witches. There is no other logical explanation as to how that collard melt tastes as good as it does.

    From the BA article: "It was vegetarian, but it didn’t taste that way." It looks like the Collard Melt contains a fair amount of butter and mayonnaise. Here's the recipe, via Bon Appétit. I'll definitely play around with this at home, and hope to get to Big Kids one of these days.
  • Post #14 - December 13th, 2020, 9:48 pm
    Post #14 - December 13th, 2020, 9:48 pm Post #14 - December 13th, 2020, 9:48 pm
    Image
    This place is just great. I mentioned in a previous post that each Sunday night in December, they're joining forces with guest chefs to make sandwiches and raise money for charity. Tonight's joint offering with Kasama lured me back in even though I went twice last weekend.

    This spin on a Chicago classic had thinly sliced adobo pork instead of Italian beef combo and longanisa instead of Italian sausage. And, naturally, pork adobo jus on the side. Had to put off dessert for a while after eating this one so I could keep the taste of the sandwich in my mouth as long as possible.
  • Post #15 - December 13th, 2020, 11:11 pm
    Post #15 - December 13th, 2020, 11:11 pm Post #15 - December 13th, 2020, 11:11 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Image
    This place is just great.

    And that sandwich looks better than great. I tried to order lunch here last week but online ordering was unavailable, even though I'm pretty sure it was during hours they were supposed to be open. Glad to hear that 'rona hasn't shut them down. I may give it another shot later this week.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #16 - December 14th, 2020, 7:55 am
    Post #16 - December 14th, 2020, 7:55 am Post #16 - December 14th, 2020, 7:55 am
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Image
    This place is just great. I mentioned in a previous post that each Sunday night in December, they're joining forces with guest chefs to make sandwiches and raise money for charity. Tonight's joint offering with Kasama lured me back in even though I went twice last weekend.

    This spin on a Chicago classic had thinly sliced adobo pork instead of Italian beef combo and longanisa instead of Italian sausage. And, naturally, pork adobo jus on the side. Had to put off dessert for a while after eating this one so I could keep the taste of the sandwich in my mouth as long as possible.


    Ahhh dang I totally forgot about this! That looks incredible.

    I did swing by here last week and tried the collards sandwich. That was one terrific sandwich
  • Post #17 - December 20th, 2020, 3:46 pm
    Post #17 - December 20th, 2020, 3:46 pm Post #17 - December 20th, 2020, 3:46 pm
    Image
    Image
    I'm officially addicted. Back to Big Kids for today's special: Down in the Hole. This cross between a reuben and a toad in the hole was a ridiculous mess of goodness.
    Image
    On my fourth visit in two weeks, the folks at Big Kids thanked me with this gratis "Cool Water," a Topo Chico mixed with a bit of what seems to be blue Gatorade. Genius!

    Another great meal from Big Kids that could have only been improved if I'd enjoyed it the way God intended: with a hangover.
  • Post #18 - March 26th, 2021, 9:26 am
    Post #18 - March 26th, 2021, 9:26 am Post #18 - March 26th, 2021, 9:26 am
    There was another Big Kids/Kasama joint effort last night, but rather than being limited to one outstanding sandwich like last time, this was a full-on joint pop-up. If you missed it, the exact same menu is available again next Thursday.

    Image
    Image
    The mushroom adobo toad in the hole, which combines the expert sandwich making skills of Big Kids and the fantastic mushroom adobo regularly available at Kasama, was just spectacular. Next Thursday is April 1. If you don't order this sandwich, you're a fool.

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