Dahlia and Lola here, two hardcore food lovers wildly indecisive when making menu selections. As a solution, we created Two Girls Two Orders: a series that follows us around the Chicago-Evanston area as we embark on a discovery of epic dishes and improve our ordering abilities. Every article will compare one staff recommendation with one personal pick at a must-try location to see if it's worth the hype.

A Long Journey to Paradise:

We missed a bus, got lost in the burbs and, desperate for warmth, shared a pair of gloves, but it was all worth it for Great Harvest Bread Co.

Situated on Central Street, Great Harvest glowed like an oasis at the end of our long journey. Hungry and shaking from the cold, we found a piece of paradise at this charming Mom and Pop shop.

Dahlia Trilling

Owned and managed by husband-and-wife dream team Dave and Liz Schaps, Great Harvest Evanston stands out from fellow franchise locations. Thanks to a freedom franchise contract, which allows the Schapses some menu autonomy, Central Street Great Harvest serves local favorites alongisde the chain's beloved breads.

The nose-lifting smells of cinnamon and rising dough filled our senses the second we stepped in the store. Timeless checkered floors and a wrap-around counter boasting baked goods galore drew us into the warm and cozy atmosphere of Great Harvest. The cheerful staff tended to customers migrating in and out, with bags of bread, sweets and sandwiches in tow. Bursting with famished-excitement, we nervously walked up to order.


I settled on the House BLT after hearing it was an unequivocal staff favorite. My summer phase of eating a BLT at least once a week sparked desire to try Great Harvest’s rendition.

Even with my high standards for the classic Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato, I was not disappointed by the House BLT. To be frank, I was blown away. I sat in silence over the greatness of this sandwich for a good minute before conferring with Dahlia. “Insane” was the only word we could muster.

Dahlia Trilling

The ratio between bacon, lettuce and tomato was spot on. Rather than simply toasting their BLT, Great Harvest panini-presses the bread for a delicious and distinct touch. This technique gave the mayonnaise a consistency akin to melted butter which effectively made the flavors more cohesive and dispelled the unpleasant, overpowering taste of mayo.

The spread paired perfectly with the chilled lettuce and tomato, allowing the rich flavor of the bacon to shine. Thin, crispy and layered to perfection, the bacon stayed adhered to the freshly-baked white bread for every bite.

Most importantly, however, was the bread; freshly milled and baked that day. Despite the mayonnaise and tomato, the slices did not become soggy and remained impeccably-paninied. Every bite a melt-in-your-mouth experience, the Great Harvest BLT was hands-down one of the best sandwiches I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

Dahlia and the "Chipoli"

One look at the menu and I knew: the Baja Chipotle Turkey sandwich was the only option. Per Stacy’s recommendation, the effervescent cashier behind the counter, we ordered the Baja on fresh Oregon Herb bread — a rye bread speckled with onion, dill, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Like all their carbohydrate comestibles, the herb bread is made every morning with wheat milled by cafe employees (“say less!”).

The cross-section of the Baja sandwich was arrestingly beautiful. The first cut revealed a bed of smashed avocado topped with roasted turkey, fresh tomatoes, romaine, MORE turkey and a generous shmere of chipotle aioli, which we lovingly nicknamed “Chipoli.”

Dahlia Trilling

I took a bite…and was left speechless. The contrast in texture between the crunchy, seeded crust and the pillowy center paired wonderfully with the fresh veggies and turkey. The real star of the show, however, was the Chipoli — a spicy, creamy explosion of flavor, complex and subtle all at once. Not a single component of the Baja Chipotle Turkey sandwich fell short. The crisp vegetables cut through the creaminess of the Chipoli creating sheer perfection.

There is always room for dessert:

With two sandwiches down the meal wasn’t over yet. We headed to the front of the shop and stopped at the aromatic, colorful counter of baked goods. Delighted by our hungry faces, Liz recommended many (if not all) of her baked goods.

We ultimately settled on a chocolate scone, blueberry muffin and a Savannah bar, a sweet crumble chock full of tart blueberries and raspberries. Not to be upstaged by the sandwiches, each treat was beautifully flakey, with a deep molasses and buttery taste.

Dahlia Trilling

Before we could leave, Liz stopped us with a punch card and a loaf of their famous cinnamon sugar Monkey Bread on the way out. Armed with our to-go goods, we left Great Harvest Evanston with the promise of regular patronage and to return with reviews.

We anxiously anticipate our next visit to Great Harvest knowing we will receive nothing short of a fresh and filling culinary experience. Signing off for now, we can't wait to see where Two Girls Two Orders takes us next.