Hero of the Chicago South Loop

One summer day a small group of extremely talented folk from 3to1, myself included, performed the agonizing daily ritual of walking down Michigan Ave trying to decide what boring, tasteless, highway oasis restaurant in the loop to have lunch at.

Much to our mis-adventure and vexation, the answer of where to eat quickly found us.

A six foot bald man with his shirt unbuttoned to just below his xyphoid process to expose the amazing amazon of chest hair accented by the must-have gold necklace, approached us on the corner of Michigan Ave and Congress and said:
"We've been waiting for you! Come on!"

He handed us a menu of what looked to be gourmet Cuban sandwiches ranging from the classic Cubano with roasted pork, ham, swiss, pickles and mustard to the Jerk with Caribbean spiced chicken, lettuce, tomato, red onion and habanero lime mayo to the exotic Choripan with Spanish Chorizo, grilled onions and homemade chimichurri sauce.

For me, a spicy and sauce aficionado, it seemed almost too good to be true. Habanero lime mayo?! Homemade chimichurri sauce?! Anytime you are talking about sauce, you'll have me at homemade. Don't care what it is.

The 3to1 collective decided this was the place to go.

Since that day, it has been a weekly routine for us to go visit Phillip Ghantous and his dream, Cafecito and indulge ourselves in what Time Out Chicago proclaims to be the best Cuban sandwich in Chicago. Which is hilarious because Phillip isn't even FROM Cuba nor does he have ANY formal training in the culinary arts, as he states. He is a mutt of Lebanese & Brazilian heritage with a degree in Theatre from the 3to1 Alma mater, Columbia College Chicago.

Phillip is just a man with a dream who loves to cook. His mission: to put the sexiness and passion back into small cafe's. He quotes:
"When you walk in here I want you to feel like your clothing has been ripped off."

I don't know if this is a guarantee, but it's a goal. So if you decide to go try out Cafecito, which I strongly urge you to do, let him know if his saying and or mission has been accomplished.

Original publication: 
3to1 Studios