Jerry’s (Wicker Park, Restaurant)
Location: 1938 W. Division
Phone: (773) 235-1006
Cuisine: Sandwiches and Burgers
Reservations: Accepted for parties of 6 or more.
Takeout and Delivery Available
I hate making decisions, so Jerry’s menu downright scared me. There is so much to chose from! From a massive craft beer list to an unending list of sandwiches (that come with your choice of bread and side options), I was in for a long lunch. Luckily I was with great company that loves to share bites, so I was immediately put at ease. Unlike many of its Wicker Park neighbors, Jerry’s seems to still be slightly undiscovered, though that may not last long. The restaurant is full during dining hours, but never bursting with a line out the door. They do offer takeout and delivery, though, if you aren’t quite feeling a busy restaurant that day.
Ironically, those who know Jerry’s best know its roots aren’t in Wicker Park. They’re in the West Loop. Jerry’s began as a coveted sandwich shop on Madison street where those who live and work considered it a true lunch time treat. There was no beer list there, but oh, there were sandwiches. I suspect the success of this establishment served as a stepping stone for the owner to expand his vision into the larger and multifaceted location on Division. Since then, the owners have closed the West Loop Jerry’s and opened a po’boy shop called Mac & Min’s in its place.
After we were seated — at the new Jerry’s — by a friendly host who made sure to make proper accommodations for the baby in our group, we were greeted by an equally friendly waiter, who made sure to give us plenty of time to settle in and mull over the enormous menu. They offer over 100 sandwiches (plus the option to make your own) and over 200 North American craft beers. Enormous is an understatement. My suggestion would be to order an appetizer, then start to narrow down your options by which meat you’re craving. They also have some pretty great vegetarian options. Under each category there is a “Jerry Top 10” of sandwiches are always guaranteed to be delicious. If you simply can’t choose, opt to make your own. Then, choose your sandwich bread, and finally your side. Not surprisingly Jerry has a number of sides to choose from, but don’t worry, you get to pick two. The Thai peanut pasta salad is fantastic, as were the baked beans. You can’t go wrong with staples like mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, or french fries either.
There’s ample seating at Jerry’s including a full side room fulfilling several purposes. A projector screen offers a great vantage point of the big game that day, letting the smart ones remain comfortably seated at a table, while the unknowing manage to jam themselves into tight spaces at the bars next door. A stage sits just below the projector screen, hosting small bands on weekends. The fact that most don’t know either of these services exist has created a welcoming oasis for the less bar prone, who still crave an alcoholic beverage or two.
Jerry’s has dessert, coffee, tea and cocktails I didn’t even get the chance to try, but based on my experience I bet they are worth a closer look. For a leisurely lunch on a Saturday afternoon, head to Jerry’s with your game face on. It’s time to tackle some tough decisions and a delicious sandwich.