A best-case scenario for any crew member is a long overnight next to great food and beverages. Unfortunately, we all know this is not always the case. Next time you're walking through the airport, take a look at some of the common fast-food chains with crews in line to get their next meal. You will notice their demeanor does not display joy, but, “Well, I need to eat something”.
But, when in Chicago O’Hare you will see no such sad faces in the line at Berghoff Cafe. The café is located in Terminal 1, Concourse C, close to Gate C26. Without a doubt, the line will not be short, averaging 15 or so customers waiting to place their orders. Do NOT let this discourage you for the line moves fast and it is well worth the walk and the wait.
Dating back to the late 1800’s, the Berghoff family has been serving delicious food and beverages at their location in Chicago just off Adams Street. The Berghoff Cafe in O’Hare is the perfect way to show travelers an extension of the warmth and hospitality set by the original downtown restaurant, which is now on my foodie bucket list of must-visit restaurants.
What separates Berghoff Cafe from all the restaurants in the airport is the freshly hand-carved meats on their sandwiches. Ask for a turkey sandwich and they will break out an oven roasted turkey breast and slice your meat fresh. The bread is freshly baked every morning at the main restaurant and delivered to the airport.
I was shocked at the selection of sliced-to-order meats available. I must admit, I panicked when it was my turn. There were so many delicious options to choose from. “What can I get for you sir”, I just stood there with a blank stare on my face like Ralphie from A Christmas Story when asked what he wanted for Christmas from Santa.
Unlike Ralphie, I didn’t need a BB gun. I needed that Cuban Sandwich. “One Cuban Sandwich please” I said with a childlike grin, looking around at everyone else in line like I won a major award. They sliced the ham, added a good helping of pulled pork, then some delicious cheese to top it off. Then, they took it to the Panini press to do its magic.
The meal was packaged to go and I am super happy they did that. This was a massive sandwich. Taking my first bite, I loved the crunch of the freshly made bread that then gave way to the delicious double meaty delight of ham and pulled pork. The only problem with this Cuban was that it might have ruined other restaurants' Cuban sandwiches for me forever.
Do me a favor, swing by if you have time in O’Hare and maybe try the Reuben that has received so much praise. I still need someone to convince me not to get the Cuban again when I swing back through!
Located in Terminal 1, Concourse C, by Gate C26