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A funky new katsu sandwich shop opens in Chicago

Two former fine-dining chefs are mixing it up with stacked sandos.

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

Plenty of fine dining chefs in Chicago are switching things up this year with more casual concepts, like Oriole's Noah Sandoval opening a grab-and-go pizza joint or Boka's Lee Wolen debuting a delivery-only chicken shop. Here's another newcomer to add to your radar: Two ex-Blackbird chefs are opening Cat-Su Sando on Monday, September 14. Located in Humboldt Park, the cloud kitchen will offer pickup and delivery for now, with a brick-and-mortar location planned for next year.

Owners Will Schlaeger (Next, Saison, Blackbird) and Shawn Clendening (Oriole, Saison, Blackbird) say they've always bonded over their mutual love of Japanese culture and cuisine. And with Cat-Su Sando, they're hoping to honor tradition while also injecting their personalities and cooking styles into the mix. The duo pulls inspiration from yōshoku cooking, which melds Japanese recipes with Western influence and ingredients.

The menu consists of five "sandos," ranging from the namesake Cat-Su—with fried pork, pickled bok choy, special sauce and egg on milk bread—to the Club, which boasts layers of turkey, crispy Spam, provolone, mustard-ranch jam, lettuce, bacon and sport peppers. There's a smaller selection of kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake) as well as sides like crinkle-cut shrimp chips and koshihikari rice.

Cat-Su Sando opens on Monday, September 14 with pickup available at 3220 W Grand Avenue as well as delivery within a 3-mile radius via Uber Eats, Doordash and Postmates. The sandwich shop is open Monday through Friday from 11am to 11pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to midnight.

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