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Mr. Beef Late night option

Mr. Beef Late night option
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  • Mr. Beef Late night option

    Post #1 - July 14th, 2007, 12:12 am
    Post #1 - July 14th, 2007, 12:12 am Post #1 - July 14th, 2007, 12:12 am
    While waiting in line at Hot Doug's today, I was perusing the Onion when I came across an ad for Mr. Beef (Orleans) new hours.

    M-Th 8:00 am-9:00 pm
    Friday 8:00 am until Sat. 5:00 am.
    Saturday 10:30 am - 3:30 pm and re-open at 9:30 pm. until Sun. 5:00 am
  • Post #2 - July 14th, 2007, 12:01 pm
    Post #2 - July 14th, 2007, 12:01 pm Post #2 - July 14th, 2007, 12:01 pm
    I was walking N. on Orleans at about 6 p.m. last night and as I passed across the street from Mr. Beef I noticed it was open, open for business. I was surprised. The new hours don't surprise me, considering the real estate development activities in that neighborhood over the course of the past several years. I'm a fan of Mr. Beef, but don't often get the opportunity to be in that neighborhood mid-day; now I can stop-in for something to eat on the way home after work.
  • Post #3 - October 30th, 2019, 6:28 pm
    Post #3 - October 30th, 2019, 6:28 pm Post #3 - October 30th, 2019, 6:28 pm
    I saw this quote from Ram in the Peter Luger's thread on Beyond Chicagoland.

    Ram4 wrote:This review could easily be for Mr. Beef on Orleans. Still living on their reputation and are simply existing as a fair to mediocre beef joint now. This is also killing my interest in going.


    Wow, I wish I saw this prior to a recent visit. I haven't been in many years, who knows, a dozen, 15, maybe more. Was never really a fan compared to Al's on Taylor or Johnnie's. Happened to be close and unfortunately, stopped in. I should have left when I walked in and it was empty, but it was an odd time, late for lunch, kind of early for dinner, so I cut them some slack. The greasy counters in an empty restaurant should have also been a red flag.

    Does the owner ever eat their own food? The beef was tender, but flavorless, didn't even taste any garlic. I love giardiniera and embarrassed to say how many bottles I go through at home. The worst giardiniera I've ever had. 80% celery, 20% peppers. Again, almost flavorless. No heat, no acid to cut through the beef, nothing. Asked if the fries were hand cut, "yes". What the hell, I'll take an order. The worst hand cut fries I can remember, and I love hand cut fries. Tasted like dirty oil.

    Never again...
  • Post #4 - October 31st, 2019, 9:55 am
    Post #4 - October 31st, 2019, 9:55 am Post #4 - October 31st, 2019, 9:55 am
    Yeah Al, I have no intention of ever returning to Mr. Beef on Orleans. I gave them a few more chances as I used to absolutely love them in the 80's but it's over. I did a beef sandwich lunch crawl back with a friend in 2009 and we hit Al's on Taylor, Patio on Taylor, Mr. Beef on Orleans, and Joe Boston's (yeah we were able to eat a bit more back then!). Both of us had Mr. Beef dead last.

    The only two Mr. Beef named restaurants that are must haves are The Original Mr. Beef in Homer Glen (a top 10 contender) and one of my current top 5 - Mr. Beef and Pizza on Harlem.

    I know pudgym29 loves Mr. Beef on Orleans and he's been to more beef joints than most people I know. But I question his taste buds... Too much CTA exhaust? :twisted: :wink:
  • Post #5 - October 31st, 2019, 1:47 pm
    Post #5 - October 31st, 2019, 1:47 pm Post #5 - October 31st, 2019, 1:47 pm
    Ram4 wrote:and one of my current top 5 - Mr. Beef and Pizza on Harlem.
    Interesting, I pass by Mr. Beef and Pizza on Harlem often, including today as a matter of fact, and have never been tempted to try. I plan on rectifying that soon. Thanks for posting the info.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - November 7th, 2019, 1:25 am
    Post #6 - November 7th, 2019, 1:25 am Post #6 - November 7th, 2019, 1:25 am
    OK - Looks like tonight is the night everybody is taking a shot at me. {exhales}
    I didn't quote the entire article, but I'll splice in this sentence from Al Ehrhardt:
    The worst giardiniera I've ever had. 80% celery, 20% peppers. Again, almost flavorless. No heat, no acid to cut through the beef, nothing.
    Ding, ding, ding.
    This is what pushes Mr. Beef on Orleans to the top of the chart for me. A lot of Italian Beef places seem to subscribe to the same belief that is currently infesting much of craft beer brewers: When in doubt, put in more {item}. For Italian Beef shacks, it is more giardiniera and jalapeños. (For craft beer brewers, it is hops.)
    Giardiniera and jalapeños overpower the taste of the beef. Your taste buds are decimated by the sting and heat of them. After that happens, you cannot really judge the beef, the gravy, or even the texture of the bread. When I order an Italian Beef sandwich, I want to taste the beef. The peppers are an additional option (Noticed that? Ever tried an Italian Beef without any peppers? Is it a mandatory option? If the shack is so proud of its hot pepper mix, it should be included in the standard price; not be a 50¢ - $1.00 extra charge.).
    Have you noticed there is no additional charge for peppers at Mr. Beef on Orleans? How many other Italian Beef shacks adhere to this?
    So, when you compile all these aspects, you should understand why I submit Mr. Beef on Orleans is the best Italian Beef sandwich in Chicago, and thus, on the planet. :)
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #7 - November 7th, 2019, 8:29 am
    Post #7 - November 7th, 2019, 8:29 am Post #7 - November 7th, 2019, 8:29 am
    I’ve always wondered about if there as any current connection between the 4 listed Mr Beef locations in the Chicago area?

    Orlean’s, Homer, Harlem and the odd Mount Prospect.

    From the Homer website...
    https://www.originalmrbeef.com/about-us
    Mr. Beef on Orleans opens in 1963 by his dad, Carl Bonavolanto Jr. and Tony Ozzauto. Years pass, they sell out in 1980, but then success ensues and a cult following is born. Things change on Orleans, and Carl Bonavolanto III ends up in Will County of all places, planting his flag with the (alleged) original recipe.

    They all have different websites (or none) with, other than the above, no mention of the others and that almost disowns the Orleans location. They also make sure the names in listings are different.

    In Chicago it seems there are two camps as to the flavor in the ‘juice’, a heavily spiced as in Al’s or a beefy flavor as in Orleans. I have noticed that many deli versions tend towards the beefy flavor. You can to enjoy them for what they are.

    Giardiniera - I also noticed a difference here. The oily, spicy version at Johnnie’s (so spicy that I order just the oil) and the celery heavy, very mild style like I had at Carm’s near Taylor St.

    A3619CC5-DC69-4867-978F-0A4B7400A404.jpeg Carm’s

    When I was at Carm’s and asked for sweet peppers he mentioned that they didn’t have any (!?!) and to go with the giardiniera mentioning it is as extremely mild. He was right as it was almost a celery salad packing no perceptible heat. I would of enjoyed some heat.

    Maybe there is a historical 2 giardiniera camps out there like in the flavor of the beef juice?
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #8 - November 7th, 2019, 1:28 pm
    Post #8 - November 7th, 2019, 1:28 pm Post #8 - November 7th, 2019, 1:28 pm
    pudgym29 wrote:Have you noticed there is no additional charge for peppers at Mr. Beef on Orleans?


    Perhaps a shred of conscience rearing its head to shame them into not charging extra for such an inferior add-on?
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #9 - November 9th, 2019, 11:51 pm
    Post #9 - November 9th, 2019, 11:51 pm Post #9 - November 9th, 2019, 11:51 pm
    There is also another style of giardiniera - with jalapenos instead of sport peppers. This seems to be more on the south side and I do not like it.
  • Post #10 - November 10th, 2019, 12:07 am
    Post #10 - November 10th, 2019, 12:07 am Post #10 - November 10th, 2019, 12:07 am
    pudgym29 wrote: OK - Looks like tonight is the night everybody is taking a shot at me. {exhales}
    I didn't quote the entire article, but I'll splice in this sentence from Al Ehrhardt:
    The worst giardiniera I've ever had. 80% celery, 20% peppers. Again, almost flavorless. No heat, no acid to cut through the beef, nothing.
    Ding, ding, ding.
    This is what pushes Mr. Beef on Orleans to the top of the chart for me. A lot of Italian Beef places seem to subscribe to the same belief that is currently infesting much of craft beer brewers: When in doubt, put in more {item}. For Italian Beef shacks, it is more giardiniera and jalapeños. (For craft beer brewers, it is hops.)
    Giardiniera and jalapeños overpower the taste of the beef. Your taste buds are decimated by the sting and heat of them. After that happens, you cannot really judge the beef, the gravy, or even the texture of the bread. When I order an Italian Beef sandwich, I want to taste the beef.
    Technically any peppers can dramatically change the flavor of a beef be it sweet or hot. But as far as I know, Italian Beef has always been served that way. I am more of a purist (plus peppers give me reflux) so I get my beef with a side of hot oil that I can add as I see fit. Your point is valid but I have to disagree because I don't feel the heat or taste of the oil overpowers the beef (with maybe a few exceptions), or the bread. It only compliments the overall sandwich. What about people that put sweet peppers on their beef? Your heat rule doesn't apply. That being said, I still feel Mr. Beef's entire sandwich is mediocre. Their beef, their giardiniera, their entire package is overrated to me (and most people I know). I used to love them. Go figure.

    pudgym29 wrote:The peppers are an additional option (Noticed that? Ever tried an Italian Beef without any peppers? Is it a mandatory option? If the shack is so proud of its hot pepper mix, it should be included in the standard price; not be a 50¢ - $1.00 extra charge.).
    Have you noticed there is no additional charge for peppers at Mr. Beef on Orleans? How many other Italian Beef shacks adhere to this?
    So, when you compile all these aspects, you should understand why I submit Mr. Beef on Orleans is the best Italian Beef sandwich in Chicago, and thus, on the planet. :)
    I get hot oil and am still charged at some places. I don't care in the least. It's their policy, their restaurant. I can pay the 75 cents or whatever. I'm not going back to Mr. Beef simply because the peppers are included. I'm not going back because the sandwich isn't good anymore.
  • Post #11 - November 12th, 2019, 1:50 pm
    Post #11 - November 12th, 2019, 1:50 pm Post #11 - November 12th, 2019, 1:50 pm
    pudgym29 wrote: OK - Looks like tonight is the night everybody is taking a shot at me. {exhales}
    I didn't quote the entire article, but I'll splice in this sentence from Al Ehrhardt:
    The worst giardiniera I've ever had. 80% celery, 20% peppers. Again, almost flavorless. No heat, no acid to cut through the beef, nothing.
    Ding, ding, ding.
    This is what pushes Mr. Beef on Orleans to the top of the chart for me. A lot of Italian Beef places seem to subscribe to the same belief that is currently infesting much of craft beer brewers: When in doubt, put in more {item}. For Italian Beef shacks, it is more giardiniera and jalapeños. (For craft beer brewers, it is hops.)
    Giardiniera and jalapeños overpower the taste of the beef. Your taste buds are decimated by the sting and heat of them. After that happens, you cannot really judge the beef, the gravy, or even the texture of the bread. When I order an Italian Beef sandwich, I want to taste the beef. The peppers are an additional option (Noticed that? Ever tried an Italian Beef without any peppers? Is it a mandatory option? If the shack is so proud of its hot pepper mix, it should be included in the standard price; not be a 50¢ - $1.00 extra charge.).
    Have you noticed there is no additional charge for peppers at Mr. Beef on Orleans? How many other Italian Beef shacks adhere to this?
    So, when you compile all these aspects, you should understand why I submit Mr. Beef on Orleans is the best Italian Beef sandwich in Chicago, and thus, on the planet. :)

    I somewhat agree with you but I can appreciate both sides of the spicy/mild giard debate. The hot peppers at my favorite stand (Al's on Taylor) are not hot at all. I highly admire Quick Bite on Western not only for their very decent sandwich but because they have free self serve giard sitting out on tables which is IMO how it should always be.

    As for Mr Beef itself, I was just there about a month ago and enjoyed a solid, but not excellent, sandwich. It did an admirable job of ballasting my stomach for an evening of bad decision making in River North.

    Panther in the Den wrote:In Chicago it seems there are two camps as to the flavor in the ‘juice’, a heavily spiced as in Al’s or a beefy flavor as in Orleans. I have noticed that many deli versions tend towards the beefy flavor. You can to enjoy them for what they are.
    ...
    Maybe there is a historical 2 giardiniera camps out there like in the flavor of the beef juice?

    The beefiest beefs - as opposed to the most spiced - are indeed found at delis rather than beef stands. Bari's excellent sandwich comes to mind, as well as Nottoli on Harlem. I would say there are four giardinera camps in Chicago: regular (like at Johnnie's and Portillos), celery and red pepper (Al's, Marco's), sliced jalapeno (Jay's, Pop's), and celery heavy (Mr Beef)
  • Post #12 - November 22nd, 2019, 4:20 pm
    Post #12 - November 22nd, 2019, 4:20 pm Post #12 - November 22nd, 2019, 4:20 pm
    Really interesting discussion. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

    I'm interested in the Mr. Beef history described above. I recall that I thought their beefs were terrific in the 70s. Then somewhere around 1980 there was a change in the formula and, while still good, they weren't the same.

    The statement that the Homer Glen location has the original recipe intrigues me. Also, Steve Dolinsky in 2015 rated it second only to Johnnie's among suburban IB eateries.

    https://stevedolinsky.com/top-5-italian-beef-sandwiches-chicago-suburbs

    It's a hefty drive from the northern suburbs, but I'm tempted.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #13 - November 24th, 2019, 11:07 am
    Post #13 - November 24th, 2019, 11:07 am Post #13 - November 24th, 2019, 11:07 am
    George R wrote:Really interesting discussion. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

    I'm interested in the Mr. Beef history described above. I recall that I thought their beefs were terrific in the 70s. Then somewhere around 1980 there was a change in the formula and, while still good, they weren't the same.

    The statement that the Homer Glen location has the original recipe intrigues me. Also, Steve Dolinsky in 2015 rated it second only to Johnnie's among suburban IB eateries.

    https://stevedolinsky.com/top-5-italian-beef-sandwiches-chicago-suburbs

    It's a hefty drive from the northern suburbs, but I'm tempted.
    George, you are on a foodie message board and you question whether to take a 45 minute drive for what could be a top beef sandwich? BOOOOOO! I live in HP. I have been to Original Mr. Beef in Homer Glen, Mama D's in Lemont, Franco's of Naperville, Frangella in Palos Park to name a few far away joints just for their beef sandwiches. And FWIW since I mentioned those outposts and you're driving that far, you should hit them all just to make up your own mind. Mr. Beef in HG was great; definitely worth the drive. Mama D's was a top five (!) overall beef contender for me but they changed their bread from Mazzeo's Bakery to a boring Turano and overall it's not quite the same. Franco's get very high reviews but now I know why. Like many places that are far from the best of the best, people simply don't know any better and they love what they know. It wasn't bad, but I doubt I would go out of my way to have it again. Still, you have to try it for yourself. Frangella was excellent as well but it's a Italian grocery store so you may have to eat in the car. Do not short change yourself based on your location. If you are a foodie, then you have no excuse. It's in the Chicagoland area so get going and have fun! :)

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