Like most people, I have a variety of traditions to attend to each time I go home. The best ones involve seeing my friends and family, but my favorite restaurants are next in line. For lunch, I hope to get a sandwich from Potbelly Sandwich Works. I highly recommend the Wreck. If I'm craving sushi, we go to Sushi Kushi Toyo in Lake Forest. When I'm near my dad's work or grandma's house, I love hitting up Russell's Barbecue in Elmwood Park.
To be clear, I don't go to Russell's for ribs or chicken, I go for their BBQ sandwiches and that is all. Their other stuff is probably good, but it's of no use to me. These sandwiches are delicous. Come to think of it, their barbecue sauce is what's really delicious. Yes, the meat is tender and shredded, perfect for soaking up liquids, but I come back to spread that sauce all over the sandwich.
Russell's is definitely an institution. It's been around for 70 years and it's the kind of place your parents or grandparents introduce to you. If you don't have either in Chicago, you can go anyway. I recommend splitting three sandwiches between two people because I just can't leave having eaten only one sandwich.