City Provisions Deli
Cleetus Friedman’s sustainably minded takeout operation doesn’t lend itself to being critically reviewed. The experience of getting in and out of here usually takes about ten minutes. There are no tables to speak of, and, accordingly, no servers.
And yet what little service opportunities there are here, the staff grabs and masters. To walk into this place is to experience a happy barrage of “good morning”s and “How are ya?”s and, most important, “What would you like to try?”
Try everything. Try the housemade pastrami, a product so beautiful it’s an insult to call it lunch meat. Try the silky pâtés—the chicken liver, with its deeper, murkier flavor, and the pork liver, which is sweeter and less moody. Try the herby meatloaf and the savory bread pudding studded with tomatoes and Gruyère. Try a smoky ham sandwich, and pair it with a side of quinoa tossed with sweet cranberries and sharp green onion. And, just because you’ll need something sweet, try one of the chocolate-chip cookies. (It’s not the best cookie you’ll ever have—there’s too much flour and not enough chocolate—but it will serve its purpose.)
Skip the wine. It’s expensive. And skip the monkey bread. It’s not decadent enough. But skip this deli at your own peril, because it’s the best thing to happen to food shops in Ravenswood—heck, this whole town—in a long, long time. 1818 W Wilson Ave (773-293-2489). El: Brown to Damen. Bus: 50, 78, 145, 148. Tue–Fri 6am–9pm; Sat 8am–9pm; Sun 8am–7pm. Average sandwich: $8.