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BEL 50
A smoked-salmon waffle sandwich at BEL 50.

A whole restaurant devoted to sandwiches made out of waffles? It sounds like a gimmick, or maybe a dream. But at River North?s just-opened BEL 50, waffle sandwiches are reality delivered to your table in a basket.

The spot is the first in what founder Tim Jandovitz--a former hedge fund manager--hopes will become a hot new fast-casual chain. And before you cringe at the thought of adding more carbs to your lunch, know that this is not your typical Belgian: BEL 50?s waffles are less dense and (allegedly) have far less sugar; Jandovitz likens their texture to Texas toast. (All sandwiches are also available on low-fat, gluten-free bread; a breakfast menu is available all day.)

Still, it definitely feels like an indulgence to bite into the crispy, tangy fried-chicken-and-apple-slaw waffle ($8), undoubtedly Jandovitz?s most popular menu item. We also sampled the sweet and messy pulled barbecue pork with avocado salsa ($9), and for dessert, a s?mores waffle dripping with melted chocolate and slightly charred marshmallows ($7).

Our tip for the uninitiated? Consider a fork.

BEL 50, 738 N. Clark St.; 312-496-3948 or

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