Friday, August 14, 2009

Hannah's Bretzel Review

233 N Michigan Avenue and 190 W Washington St
Chicago, IL 60605

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Quick Review:
From greasy spoon Greektown diner to luxurious lunch spot in the loop. While working in the Loop (interning actually) last year I stopped over at Hannah's Bretzel on Washington for lunch and had one of the best (and most expensive) European sandwiches in a long time.

Long Review: While interning at an investment firm (bad place to be in this economy) I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch. Why should all the executives enjoy great lunches while I ate bagged lunches from home? I deserved something nice once in awhile too. So I grabbed my coat and headed out to Hannah's Bretzel.

Unfortunately, the Loop doesn't offer that many good places to grab a sandwich (yes, there's Panera and Cosi but the lines are so long by the time lunch rolls around) Then there's fast food chains which I won't go to unless there are no other options and there are at least a few better options in the Loop than fast food. Besides they serve entirely organic ingredients and it's healthy too.

I had done my research on Hannah's Bretzel after seeing a segment on the news about it. I knew how expensive it would be but was still uncertain of the quality. (Price does not always equal quality)

The location is not exactly a hole in the wall but the narrow building it's located in makes it easy to miss. I've walked by it a thousand times before but only now have I noticed it. I walked in the shop which is very small and has a very European feeling. The wall (the entire wall) has an enormous shelf gourmet chocolate bars from Belgium and Switzerland. Two giant TV's mounted on the wall behind the counter were showing a downhill skiing event and marble countertopsr rounded out the theme. I think I even heard classical music playing. The only thing missing were chandlers. How highbrow.

There wasn't much of a line but everyone in line was dressed well, including myself. I did my homework before hand and made sure to look the part so I wouldn't get any snooty looks from people. But actually the customers were more focused on what to order than who was walking through the door and the staff is very nice.

I ordered the Black Forest Turkey sandwich with chips. It came out to $10.25 with tax.

The place is very small and it only has one or two tables so I had to eat lunch somewhere else. I felt like Nick Cage in the movie the Family Man (specifically the part where he describes getting his coffee at Dean and DeLuca) as I walked down Wacker with my Hannah Bretzel sandwich bag and wearing my winter coat. The only thing I was missing were black leather power broker gloves.

It was a great sandwich, the kettle chips were a bit salty but all in all a good organic European sandwich. The bag it came in was even made of biodegradable plastic.

Though, in this economy it's probably better to go once in a while as special treat unless you have have a trust fund. And if anyone calls you a snob for buying a Hannah's Bretzel sandwich, tear off a piece and give it to them because they serve up some very good sandwiches here.

4 out of 5 stars

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