Entertainment Restaurants Bars Eat Drink Do

Inside Duran European Sandwiches

Everybody likes sandwiches, but after trips to Eastern Europe through the years, Tracy Miller found herself obsessed with a very particular style of stuff-on-bread.

That would be the small open-faced sandwiches popular in Austria and its neighboring countries that she couldn't stop thinking about. In particular, she and her Slovakia-born husband, Stanislav Grezdo, adored the ones at Duran European Sandwiches, a family-run chain of cafes in Vienna. "I thought, wow, this is really cool," Miller said. "Why doesn't anyone in America have them?"

After meeting with the family to work out an agreement to bring the concept to Chicago, she opened Duran European Sandwiches (529 N. Milwaukee Ave. 312-666-6007) this spring near the three-way intersection of Halsted Street and Grand and Milwaukee avenues.

The focal point of this light-filled space with a coffeehouse vibe is the sandwich case, filled with 28 different kinds of open-faced beauties, each a miniature work of art thanks to carefully arranged toppings and flourishes of herbs, egg and olives. They're $2.50 to $3.50 a pop and a trio makes a nice light meal, hence Duran's deal of three sandwiches and a La Colombe coffee for $10.

All sandwiches are served cold and start with European white bread baked at Old Town bakery La Fournette using special iron molds Miller brought back from Austria. Made with butter and milk, the bread is "soft but not mushy … and it's light, but has enough texture and a richness to it," Miller said. Sandwich toppings are a mix of Duran family recipes and Miller's own touches. Though she keeps many of the details—including secret spice blends—under wraps, we asked her to dissect the combos on a few of the most popular sammies.

>>See the photos and Miller's comments here.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Duran is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Evening hours may be added in May along with patio seating next door.

lmarnett@tribune.com | @redeyeeats

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Chicago burger reviews

    Chicago burger reviews

    RedEye's burger reviews are written by The Great Burgerelli. Learn more about him and his noble quest to find the best burger in Chicago.

  • 'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in Lake Michigan

    'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in Lake Michigan

    During an early morning jog along Lake Michigan with his wife and children Tuesday, John Corba spotted a man struggling in the water nearly 30 yards from the shore.

  • Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann watched the world change from behind his drum kit, shoveling coal in the wildly tribal rhythm section as the Dead went from San Francisco underground curio to ground-breaking indie outfit, then progenitor of the improvisation-based rock...

  • Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    The cliché that colors every good rock star story is “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." For the Grateful Dead, the trailblazing rock band known for its improvisational style, revelatory live shows and dedicated fanbase, there was that and so much more.

  • 10 best movies of 2015 so far

    10 best movies of 2015 so far

    The year’s half over! How did that happen? No idea. With six months of a good year of movies in the books, let’s see how the Top 10 list is looking, with a quote from each respective review. Note: There are a few I’ve seen that I really like that haven’t yet opened in Chicago, and those aren’t...

  • If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    Nearly 5 million more Americans would qualify for overtime pay under new rules proposed Tuesday by the Obama administration, a long-anticipated move expected to affect a broad swath of salaried employees from store managers to social workers to restaurant shift supervisors.

Comments
Loading