Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is a sandwich shop that started in San Francisco’s Castro District in 2007 and made its way all through the Bay area. Now we have them here in Arizona. Ike Shehadeh (whose cartoon face is plastered on every restaurant) opened his first restaurant after being nearly homeless. Ike’s are known for their variety of sandwiches that are named after well-known celebrities. They use a bread popular in the Bay area called Dutch Crunch bread (or Tiger bread). The sandwiches are unique because of “Ike’s Dirty Secret Sauce” – a creamy, garlic aioli that is baked into the bread and smeared onto the sandwiches. So far I have tried the Manage a Trois and the Meatless Mike (Vegan meatballs). The sandwiches are pretty large and the bread is very soft and moist. I have had great experiences both times I visited them. They have many vegetarian options and very order comes with a free caramel-green apple lollipop for dessert.
So this place isn’t exactly unique to Chicago because they are everywhere, but I was hungry and it was close by. I once worked at the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix back in my college days. It was fun to serve celebrities, but I only lasted about 6 months there. I haven’t eaten at one in years and didn’t recognize anything on the menu. I ended up getting the S.O.B. burger. It’s a hamburger basted with spicy chipotle pepper puree and topped with monterey jack cheese. It is served on a buttered-toasted bun with guacamole and grilled onions. I also got the Goose Island (local brewery) seasonal beer to help wash down it’s spicy goodness. I enjoyed walking around and looking at some of the music memorabilia.