-The Sammy's of Chi
Today we head north up the lake into Waukegan to visit a longtime locals favorite of those from Lake County. Leno's Sandwich Shop has been a part of the neighborhood since 1970 when they first opened up shop. There isn't much on this old school sandwich shop on the WWW but I was always intrigued by it when I would pass by and have stopped in twice over the last couple years. Now I have some stuff to share here.
a longtime locals favorite in Waukegan, IL
Each time I visited Leno's I enjoyed the fact that the others who were in there getting food for themselves were happy to be there. All of them were regulars and that's a good sign to start with. Leno's does an assortment of sandwiches that come served cold although hot ones are on offer too. These are submarines and from what I can gather they seem like they've been making them the same since day one. That has its pros and cons but if anything it gets them longtime customers. People who want a taste of their childhood, to be brought back to those days when they were care free. If they grew op on Leno's they can still have that.
The Original Leno Sub
It's got it's cons because they seem to be using the same meats they have since day one. I guess this is what keeps the regulars coming back but the meats on the original sub I tried didn't do it for me. They had that old school deli meat taste that those a generation ahead of me enjoyed in their youth. The kind of meats that came on the ham and bologna your mom made for you for school when you were in 5th grade. The Original which is their most popular comes with ham, turkey and bologna with the regular toppings of lettuce, tomato, onions (red) and their special sauce on the side. They make great homemade soups and some really good potato salad too.
The original sub at Leno's may not be my style but there is a unique sub there that I love. Its their salami and cream cheese sandwich which comes served warm by request. The salami is the normal grade school quality stuff but it works so well with the melted cream cheese. You don't need fancy salumi from Italy to make this good. It reminds me of those old flour tortilla roll up's my mom and others used to make with cream cheese and salami inside. The special sauce served with sandwiches here seems to me to be just Italian salad dressing and it works great with the rest of the toppings and ingredients. This is a sub I'll stop in for when near there.
Leno's hot salami and cream cheese sandwich...count me a fan!
Leno's Sandwich Shop
1826 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, IL 60085