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Hunting for Hunter Beef on Devon Avenue

Hunting for Hunter Beef on Devon Avenue
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  • Hunting for Hunter Beef on Devon Avenue

    Post #1 - June 9th, 2012, 11:37 am
    Post #1 - June 9th, 2012, 11:37 am Post #1 - June 9th, 2012, 11:37 am
    I've been on the lookout for hunter beef—essentially corned beef cured with South Asian spices—since learning of it from tatterdemalion's eye-opening post over in Shopping & Cooking. It turns out hunter beef isn't all that hard to find on Devon. I've now tried it at 3 places: Ghareeb Nawaz, Pista House and Spinzer (and it seems Chopal will make it upon request).

    Ghareeb Nawaz serves a hunter beef paratha with raw onion and yogurt for $2.99, a typically great deal at this more-than-reasonable restaurant.

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    The meat resembles Pakistani pot roast as much as corned beef. It's fairly mildly seasoned and seems to be cured without nitrates so it has the standard beefy brown color. Asking for some achar (spicy pickle) on the side is a good idea.

    The relatively new Pista House [now closed] serves it in similar fashion (not too surprising since the restaurant is owned by the Ghareeb Nawaz folks). It's not currently listed on the menu but I think they usually have it on hand.

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    Here, the beef gets griddled with onion and chili, resulting in a somewhat moister and spicier product. Next time I might ask for extra chili. For those wondering, that's a bun kabab (with egg) in the background of the middle photo. If you look closely at Pista House's window sign, you'll see they offer the rare-in-Chicago Juicy Lucie (their spelling). It seems the idea came via Markham, Ontario rather than the Twin Cities. Very strange.

    Spinzer takes a different approach.

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    Their hunter beef is served submarine sandwich-style (along with South Asian-style seasoned fries). The meat is griddled with onion plus jalapeño and served, with a squirt of mayo, on what looks like toasted Assyrian samoon. Even if it's not something you'd find in Pakistan, it's a terrific sandwich. The meat is much like corned beef but with even more appealing spices. Spinzer also serves a hunter chicken sandwich that I have yet to try.

    As tatterdemalion points out, hunter beef doesn't seem to be very common in US restaurants but it's worth seeking out. I'd love to hear of any other sightings.

    Ghareeb Nawaz
    2032 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-761-5300

    Pista House [closed]
    2501 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-764-2501 [disconnected]

    Spinzer
    2331 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-338-9804

    Chopal
    2240 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-338-4080

    Edited to note the closing of Pista House and to fix photo links.
    Last edited by Rene G on April 17th, 2013, 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - June 9th, 2012, 12:43 pm
    Post #2 - June 9th, 2012, 12:43 pm Post #2 - June 9th, 2012, 12:43 pm
    I, too, have to thank tatterdemalion (Nab) for the heads-up on this wonderful Indo-Pak treat. Just this morning, I had some of Ghareeb Nawaz' stellar chicken haleem topped with some of their hunter beef. Spectacular!
  • Post #3 - April 13th, 2013, 10:19 pm
    Post #3 - April 13th, 2013, 10:19 pm Post #3 - April 13th, 2013, 10:19 pm
    Rene G wrote:Image


    I tried this sandwich a few weeks back and it has been on my mind ever since. I'm a big fan of mayo on good toasted sandwich. The hunters beef and jalapeño with the mayo makes a surprisingly great combination.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #4 - April 17th, 2013, 1:20 pm
    Post #4 - April 17th, 2013, 1:20 pm Post #4 - April 17th, 2013, 1:20 pm
    Rene G wrote:Pista House
    2501 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-764-2501

    Thanks for posting this thread & pics.

    Did Pista House move or close? 2501 is now a mobile phone store.
    laikom wrote:I tried this sandwich a few weeks back and it has been on my mind ever since. I'm a big fan of mayo on good toasted sandwich. The hunters beef and jalapeño with the mayo makes a surprisingly great combination.

    agreed on the mayo comment, the hunter beef sandwich at Spinzer was just what I was looking for for lunch today so thanks for bumping this thread as I had not seen it earlier. The sandwich would have been a terrific sandwich if the bread roll had some crust on it, but the whole bread roll was soft.
    Next time I'll aslo ask for extra jalapeño.

    At Spinzer I really did enjoy the large fried banana pepper and 3 sauces served with it (cilantro, tamarind, sweet sauce).
    The beef samosa was just ok, I'd pass on it in the future.

    Edited to Add: Spinzer opens at noon for lunch !! I got there early assuming they would be open by 11:30am.
    Last edited by Sweet Willie on April 17th, 2013, 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #5 - April 17th, 2013, 2:33 pm
    Post #5 - April 17th, 2013, 2:33 pm Post #5 - April 17th, 2013, 2:33 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:Did Pista House move or close? 2501 is now a mobile phone store.

    As far as I know, Pista House is completely gone (did it last even a year?). Its closing reduces the sources of hunter beef on Devon from three to two and eliminates the street's only Juicy Lucie (their spelling). I'm very sorry I missed this Indo-Pak take on the Twin Cities' signature burger.

    Image

    Pista House (closed)
    2501 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-764-2501 (disconnected)
  • Post #6 - April 17th, 2013, 3:18 pm
    Post #6 - April 17th, 2013, 3:18 pm Post #6 - April 17th, 2013, 3:18 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:The sandwich would have been a terrific sandwich if the bread roll had some crust on it, but the whole bread roll was soft.


    Agreed completely. Just after my recent post I had the craving so I returned. On my first visit i remember the bread freshly griddled and toasy, but this time it tasted so spongy and the grilled parts weren't crispy anymore, it may have been microwaved. Still a fun sandwich but not as good as it was in my memory.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #7 - April 17th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Post #7 - April 17th, 2013, 3:45 pm Post #7 - April 17th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    laikom wrote:
    Sweet Willie wrote:The sandwich would have been a terrific sandwich if the bread roll had some crust on it, but the whole bread roll was soft.


    Agreed completely. Just after my recent post I had the craving so I returned. On my first visit i remember the bread freshly griddled and toasy, but this time it tasted so spongy and the grilled parts weren't crispy anymore, it may have been microwaved. Still a fun sandwich but not as good as it was in my memory.

    Hi,

    Good to know about this variance in preparation, because it is certainly worth asking for when you order instead hoping they will get it right.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - April 17th, 2013, 5:10 pm
    Post #8 - April 17th, 2013, 5:10 pm Post #8 - April 17th, 2013, 5:10 pm
    laikom wrote:... it may have been microwaved.
    what I was thinking as I ate the sandwich today.

    Per Cathy's comment, make it clear to the person taking your order that you'd like a crisp bun or at least toasted. The person taking my order could not have been more friendly/helpful with my questions so I'd be willing to bet the restaurant would make this happen.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #9 - August 27th, 2013, 10:40 pm
    Post #9 - August 27th, 2013, 10:40 pm Post #9 - August 27th, 2013, 10:40 pm
    Stopped by Spinzer tonight for a hunter beef sandwich w/fries.

    Absolutely delicious!
  • Post #10 - October 8th, 2013, 8:19 pm
    Post #10 - October 8th, 2013, 8:19 pm Post #10 - October 8th, 2013, 8:19 pm
    Rene G wrote:Spinzer
    2331 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-338-9804

    opens at Noon.

    I went today for lunch, whoa boy the peppers used on the sandwich had serious heat today, much more than previous visits.
    Still devoured the sandwich though.

    Potato samosa was a nice bite while waiting for the sandwich.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #11 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:19 am
    Post #11 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:19 am Post #11 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:19 am
    It took me long enough but I finally stopped into Spinzer Fast Food to try a Hunter Beef sandwich. Excellent. I noticed a regular eating his with some sort of light green yogurt based sauce and asked for one which helped raise the overall taste as it was a tad dry without it. I'll be back for another one. I also noticed this shaved ice dessert that two little girls were very much enjoying and was curious to know what it was. I watched as the guy prepared it by shaving ice with a machine. Looked good, I'll have to further investigate that next time.

    Image
    My first kill

    Spinzer Halal Fast Food
    2331 W Devon Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    (773) 338-9804
  • Post #12 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:48 am
    Post #12 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:48 am Post #12 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:48 am
    Da Beef wrote: I also noticed this shaved ice dessert that two little girls were very much enjoying and was curious to know what it was. I watched as the guy prepared it by shaving ice with a machine. Looked good, I'll have to further investigate that next time.

    Was it Doraji ka mashoor gola ganda?
  • Post #13 - April 24th, 2014, 1:14 pm
    Post #13 - April 24th, 2014, 1:14 pm Post #13 - April 24th, 2014, 1:14 pm
    m'th'su wrote:
    Da Beef wrote: I also noticed this shaved ice dessert that two little girls were very much enjoying and was curious to know what it was. I watched as the guy prepared it by shaving ice with a machine. Looked good, I'll have to further investigate that next time.

    Was it Doraji ka mashoor gola ganda?


    That's it, must of missed this when it went online. Well done but looks like I'll be sticking with the Hunter Beef.

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