Waiting for the Amtrak or the Metra train can be a tedious, mind-numbing and sleepy task, usually spent staring at walls or eating Cheetos. The perfect cure to keep you from a boredom-induced nap: a cold brew, a warm cup of chili, and perhaps a TV or two to show some random college basketball game. Enter Metro Deli, Union Station's go-to stop for just about anything your stomach's hankering for, not to mention a place to socialize, watch the big game, and play some pool.
The café begins with a pretty solid selection of deli sandwiches, offering choices like chicken parmesan with an herb-crusted breast, or the Metro Deli club on focaccia bread with garlic mayo. All sandwiches are in the $6.99-$7.99 price range, but if the price of a train ticket has only left you with a five-dollar bill, go for a bowl of firehouse beef chili or the soup of the day, always scalding hot and $3.75.
Other options - hot dogs, popcorn, mac and cheese, roasted turkey breast, personal pizza - help diversify the menu, but the restaurant's major convenience is having a freaking bar in the same establishment. There aren't a ton of choices on tap (Bud, Miller, Coors and Goose Island, mostly), but after a long day in the city or to prepare yourself for the gruelingly long train ride, any kind of brewsky sounds just about right.
Located in the Great Hall, Metro's deli/bar format works as almost the supermarket of the station, attracting weary travelers dragging their luggage as well as a few regulars straddling the bar. There's little to no intimacy here (an impossible task in a train station anyway), but an impressive and unregulated collection of sports memorabilia fills up a ton of space, certainly rivaling any other sports bar whose idea of cool décor is an autographed Bill Cartwright jersey.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert