photo: Courtesy of Nick Flandro
Frances' Deli is like the Grandmother of delis. Pushing 70 years old, the deli opened its doors in 1938 and is still thriving, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner fare in its old-school Lincoln Park home.
And like Grandma's plastic sofa covers and candy-filled dishes, Frances' has decked out its space with plenty of classic touches. Cozy up in a booth and take in the mural of Chicago that graces the back wall, Coca-Cola signs and a case of tchotchkes from the days of ole.
But Frances' hasn't survived since 1938 because of its decor, cute as it may be. The famous stuffed omelets will have you busting at the seams. The heap of eggs, served with toast, can be made standard (veggie) or out-there (try the Reuben, with corned beef, swiss and sauerkraut). And if your memories of Grandma include cheese blintzes and or fried matzoh, you'll be set.
Sandwiches are equally mouthwatering and portion-heavy. Things stay classic with offerings like chopped liver and egg salad, served with your pick of fries or potato pancakes for $8.95. If you love club sandwiches, you'll want to zero in on the list of 14 "triple decker" options. Salads, soups and nearly a dozen burgers are available as well.
Enticing as your meal may be, you should save some room. Frances' shakes are so creamy, so rich and so soda fountain-esque that it's practically a sin to miss out. Chances are it'll be the best you've had...since 1938.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Emily Fiffer