Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, December 2

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Friday Foodporn: CSA Box "Food Network Star" Works on its POV »

Blog Mon Jun 11 2012

Touring the States Through Sandwiches

statelysandwiches.jpgChicago design student Kelly Pratt can't afford to travel, so she's making her way around the country via a signature sandwich. Stately Sandwiches is the result. Each sandwich is carefully researched, made and consumed, and its component parts are artfully photographed and turned into a poster. I asked her a few questions about the project, which debuted on over the weekend.

What inspired the project?

As an aspiring designer, I often hear about the importance of having a side project to inspire creativity, do something you love, and stay curious. Stately Sandwiches started a way for me to further my design skills, get back into cooking, share a meal with friends while hopefully meeting new ones, and of course eat as many sandwiches as possible. All of these have happened and so much more! I have connected with people from all around the globe, across all social networks, who love sandwiches and my project!

Are you a big fan of sandwiches?

Um, yes, absolutely. How can you not be a huge fan? Sandwiches are the greatest. There is a never-ending supply of ingredients to make a sandwich so I never tire of them.

How easy is it to find sandwiches to represent states? Have you found any states that are giving you trouble yet?

Some states more clear than others. There are good resources on the internet and a bit of an outdated book that serve as a good starting point to further my research. The hardest state, so far, has been Connecticut, and I grew up there! For Texas, I had the brisket down but figuring out the proper way to complete the sandwich was a little tricky. White bread or bun? Mustard or no mustard? What kind of pickles? I think you get the idea.

Specifically regarding the Illinois sandwich, how much research did you put into your Italian beef? Did you try multiple examples? Any favorites?

Illinois was the first state in the series so I was still figuring out how everything was going to work out. My sister and I had lunch at Portillo's before I made it myself. I've been to Al's Beef and while I know people have strong alliances towards one or the other, I think I need to do a few more taste tests before I can deem a winner.


Pratt's first 12 prints -- California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia -- are on sale on until Friday, June 15, after which they'll be available directly from the Stately Sandwiches website.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

GB store



Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15