Cubano from Thee Parkside's Lunch Window
Late-week lunchtimes, Thee Parkside's corner is all but barren of foot traffic, though the wrack from late-night punk fans is everywhere: crumpled cig packs, a punctured beach ball, and on any vertical surface reachable by tattooed forearms, band stickers.
From the cook who has to stretch his driver-capped head out of the Wisconsin Street takeout window to hear, you can order a sandwich: hunks of cornmeal fried chicken spliced into a floppy burger bun, a banh mi-like tofu number. The best might be Thee Parkside Cubano, a crackly pressed roll layered up with smoky pink ham, Swiss that melts into a kind of stretchy adhesive, and thin, brittle slices of pork shoulder cooked long enough to banish all traces of fatty. There are pickle slices, of course, and a smear of chipotle mayo you wish were heftier. Solid, not spectacular.
Delicious, though, are the tater tots, which are what you think, only thickly sanded with black pepper so they throb like a Rancid bass line.
Thee Parkside Takeout Window 1600 17th St. (at Wisconsin), 252-1330. The window's on Wisconsin; opens Weds.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.