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Best Italian Beef

Best Italian Beef
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  • Post #901 - March 17th, 2020, 10:47 am
    Post #901 - March 17th, 2020, 10:47 am Post #901 - March 17th, 2020, 10:47 am
    eating while walking wrote:I feel that in general, a beef from a random deli is going to be better than a beef from a random stand. Like if you had to pick between a deli and a stand with no other information available, go with the deli every time. I've never had a bad deli IB and there have been some great ones - like Bari.

    I wouldn’t say better but different.

    A deli beef will be fresher, slightly pink that might carry through to the sandwich, maybe freshly sliced...

    393DA6EB-11F4-4F66-99F6-4F95BBC6B1A5.jpeg Notolli on Belmont

    ... whereas a Italian Beef from a stand won’t have that pink color but will be tender, delicious. A time tested preparation refined over the years and what we have come to know and love.

    C55FDD4D-E7AD-41A9-A733-C2BBDE6CAED8.jpeg Johnnie’s

    Both are great! Top of their class in their respective styles.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #902 - June 26th, 2020, 9:12 pm
    Post #902 - June 26th, 2020, 9:12 pm Post #902 - June 26th, 2020, 9:12 pm
    Tasty Italian Beef today at Wolfy's. ---> Link to post in Wolfy's thread.

    Wolfy's
    2734 W Peterson Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-743-0207
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #903 - June 28th, 2020, 9:20 am
    Post #903 - June 28th, 2020, 9:20 am Post #903 - June 28th, 2020, 9:20 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    eating while walking wrote:I feel that in general, a beef from a random deli is going to be better than a beef from a random stand. Like if you had to pick between a deli and a stand with no other information available, go with the deli every time. I've never had a bad deli IB and there have been some great ones - like Bari.

    I wouldn’t say better but different.

    A deli beef will be fresher, slightly pink that might carry through to the sandwich, maybe freshly sliced...

    ... whereas a Italian Beef from a stand won’t have that pink color but will be tender, delicious. A time tested preparation refined over the years and what we have come to know and love.

    Both are great! Top of their class in their respective styles.
    I know a guy who doesn't care for any of the deli beefs over the stands. I've kind of saved many of the famous deli beefs for later on my beef sandwich journey. I've had Frangella and Freddy's Pizza which were both excellent beef sandwiches (both bigger than most stands). When the COVID thing is over I am going to finally have Bari, Notolli, Riviera, and Serrelli's and any other that I missed.
  • Post #904 - July 22nd, 2020, 9:19 am
    Post #904 - July 22nd, 2020, 9:19 am Post #904 - July 22nd, 2020, 9:19 am
    Solid List, I would have put Johnnies at #1....

    Best Italian Beef
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct-food-best-italian-beef-chicago-als-johnnies-20200722-et5l7liw3bgvhpncxybs6fzwyu-story.html
  • Post #905 - July 22nd, 2020, 12:44 pm
    Post #905 - July 22nd, 2020, 12:44 pm Post #905 - July 22nd, 2020, 12:44 pm
    HonestMan wrote:Solid List, I would have put Johnnies at #1....


    Surely owing to following Nick on Twitter, I've had Italian Beef on the brain lately, and coincidentally made the trip to Johnnie's this afternoon. Man. Even better than I remembered. There's this distinct peppery bite that really makes for a lively sandwich where there is often a sodden mess. The Italian Ice seals the deal: best beef destination in the area for me.
  • Post #906 - July 22nd, 2020, 1:02 pm
    Post #906 - July 22nd, 2020, 1:02 pm Post #906 - July 22nd, 2020, 1:02 pm
    I can go with Johnnies or Al's for number one. Both hit my taste buds in a very fine manner. I hit Bobo's about 6 months ago and it was a visually beautiful beef, but virtually no taste. Maybe watered down gravy? I will have to try again. I just use the rating system of 10 is tops and 0 is yuck. I have Johnnies and Al's at 9.99 (have to leave a little room just in case). I always like Luke's, and Mr. Beef but at 9.7. Portillo's I have at 9.6.
  • Post #907 - July 22nd, 2020, 3:33 pm
    Post #907 - July 22nd, 2020, 3:33 pm Post #907 - July 22nd, 2020, 3:33 pm
    Jay’s below Portillo’s, Bob-O’s and Johnnie’s? No way...
    Portillo’s has always tasted burnt and greasy to me, Bob-O’s is usually too dry (despite ordering it wet) and Johnnie’s is a shell of its former self - Two tablespoons of beef on a sandwich with an over abundance of attitude on the side.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #908 - July 22nd, 2020, 3:50 pm
    Post #908 - July 22nd, 2020, 3:50 pm Post #908 - July 22nd, 2020, 3:50 pm
    In reading this thread, and Nick K's article, I had a scary thought. McD's featuring a Chicago Style Mc-Italian-Beef. Think McR*b but worse, if possible.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #909 - July 22nd, 2020, 9:55 pm
    Post #909 - July 22nd, 2020, 9:55 pm Post #909 - July 22nd, 2020, 9:55 pm
    Johnnies on Arlington Hts Rd last Friday was so so. Flavor was good but the sweet peppers really let the side down. Still way better than the Portillos I had tonight.
  • Post #910 - July 25th, 2020, 12:48 am
    Post #910 - July 25th, 2020, 12:48 am Post #910 - July 25th, 2020, 12:48 am
    G Wiv wrote: In reading this thread, and Nick K's article, I had a scary thought. McD's featuring a Chicago Style Mc-Italian-Beef. Think McR*b but worse, if possible.
    If this ever was to occur, I would picket outside the McDonald's in the West Loop (1035 W. Randolph St.) for at least two hours one weekday afternoon | evening. :idea:
    Even if I was the only person in the picket line. :arrow:
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: http://74.115.231.54/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #911 - July 25th, 2020, 7:54 am
    Post #911 - July 25th, 2020, 7:54 am Post #911 - July 25th, 2020, 7:54 am
    G Wiv wrote:In reading this thread, and Nick K's article, I had a scary thought. McD's featuring a Chicago Style Mc-Italian-Beef. Think McR*b but worse, if possible.

    Wouldn't that just be Arby's?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #912 - July 25th, 2020, 8:11 am
    Post #912 - July 25th, 2020, 8:11 am Post #912 - July 25th, 2020, 8:11 am
    G Wiv wrote:In reading this thread, and Nick K's article, I had a scary thought. McD's featuring a Chicago Style Mc-Italian-Beef. Think McR*b but worse, if possible.

    JoelF wrote:Wouldn't that just be Arby's?


    I had an Arby's about a year ago, 7.6.19, first in at least a decade. I doubt I will live long enough to have another. Fries on the plus side of edible drenched in horsey sauce.

    Caution - food may appear more delicious than actual
    Image
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #913 - July 25th, 2020, 5:36 pm
    Post #913 - July 25th, 2020, 5:36 pm Post #913 - July 25th, 2020, 5:36 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:In reading this thread, and Nick K's article, I had a scary thought. McD's featuring a Chicago Style Mc-Italian-Beef. Think McR*b but worse, if possible.

    JoelF wrote:Wouldn't that just be Arby's?


    I had an Arby's about a year ago, 7.6.19, first in at least a decade. I doubt I will live long enough to have another. Fries on the plus side of edible drenched in horsey sauce.

    Caution - food may appear more delicious than actual


    Arby's was a special treat when I was a kid, and as such I still enjoy it in a nostalgic way from time to time. Still, it ain't no Italian Beef. If anything, given the choice of Arby sauce and/or Horsey sauce, it's more of a Madame Tussaud figure of a Baltimore Pit Beef.

    I recently acquired this Arby's-inspired art to add to my somewhat odd but on-brand collection.

    Image
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #914 - July 27th, 2020, 2:37 pm
    Post #914 - July 27th, 2020, 2:37 pm Post #914 - July 27th, 2020, 2:37 pm
    Several months ago I replaced Johnnie's with Mr. D's even though I find it extremely difficult not to order the Steak or Shish-Kabob. I feel the taste is on par with Johnnie's then there is the size, sauteed (not canned) sweet peppers, and those Fries not to mention avoiding the ridiculously long lines, makes it a no brainier for me.

    Additionally based on another member recommendation I went to Pete's on Roosevelt in Oak Park last week for the first time. The Beef sandwich hit all the right buttons. Beef tender, gravy nice and spicy, bread perfectly dipped without disintegrating, loved both Sweet and Hot, and the one way I judge a beef is by the temperature of the Gravy (must be hot) I believe Gravy temperature can make or Break a beef sandwich and this was right on. If it proves to be consistent, Pete's has just shot up near the top of my list!
    "I drink to make other people more interesting."
    Ernest Hemingway
  • Post #915 - July 28th, 2020, 11:14 am
    Post #915 - July 28th, 2020, 11:14 am Post #915 - July 28th, 2020, 11:14 am
    Mr. D's is a top 5 for me, and Pete's is a solid top 10. Great choices.
  • Post #916 - July 28th, 2020, 4:14 pm
    Post #916 - July 28th, 2020, 4:14 pm Post #916 - July 28th, 2020, 4:14 pm
    JimTheBeerGuy wrote:Arby's was a special treat when I was a kid, and as such I still enjoy it in a nostalgic way from time to time. Still, it ain't no Italian Beef. If anything, given the choice of Arby sauce and/or Horsey sauce, it's more of a Madame Tussaud figure of a Baltimore Pit Beef.

    Arby's was excellent beef when they started out thin-sliced, rare and salted nicely. The first time I had Arbys was about 1965 on Harlem just south of Irving Park Rd.
    But now they don't have real roast beef its just that pressed and formed crap.

    Another really good beef back in the day was Cal's on Lee just north of Oakton. I used to go there all the time if I was in the neighborhood. Then they went out of business and now it's a Sherwin -Williams store.
  • Post #917 - July 29th, 2020, 9:04 am
    Post #917 - July 29th, 2020, 9:04 am Post #917 - July 29th, 2020, 9:04 am
    I haven't had a Pete's beef in 5 years or so, not because I didn't like it, it's because it tasted very flat out boullion-y to me. And I'm not saying I don't like boullion, either, it was just pretty boring after a while. Not dissing it, there are plenty of places that are not as good. For reference on my tastebuds, I'm firmly on Team Al's Taylor St - even though the prices are horrific. Johnnies Beef, I can take or leave, but Johnnies for a Combo? Number 1 with a bullet.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #918 - July 29th, 2020, 10:13 am
    Post #918 - July 29th, 2020, 10:13 am Post #918 - July 29th, 2020, 10:13 am
    Marshall K wrote:Several months ago I replaced Johnnie's with Mr. D's even though I find it extremely difficult not to order the Steak or Shish-Kabob. I feel the taste is on par with Johnnie's then there is the size, sauteed (not canned) sweet peppers, and those Fries not to mention avoiding the ridiculously long lines, makes it a no brainier for me.

    Additionally based on another member recommendation I went to Pete's on Roosevelt in Oak Park last week for the first time. The Beef sandwich hit all the right buttons. Beef tender, gravy nice and spicy, bread perfectly dipped without disintegrating, loved both Sweet and Hot, and the one way I judge a beef is by the temperature of the Gravy (must be hot) I believe Gravy temperature can make or Break a beef sandwich and this was right on. If it proves to be consistent, Pete's has just shot up near the top of my list!


    I've long championed the beef @ Mr. D's and agree that when you add in the fries and such, it's a great option.

    I've really gone off my love of Johnnies. It's mostly the awful bread, but the whole sandwich seems off to me, a pale version of what it once was.

    As I'm on the other end of OP, Pete's not really in the sphere, but Michael's is, and their beef and fries, not Mr. D's, but the best I'm finding on North Ave.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #919 - July 29th, 2020, 2:40 pm
    Post #919 - July 29th, 2020, 2:40 pm Post #919 - July 29th, 2020, 2:40 pm
    Anybody been to Frannie's on River Road lately? I haven't gone there in years but I always liked their IB, and combo, Chicken Parmigiana sammie, and their fries.
  • Post #920 - July 29th, 2020, 2:49 pm
    Post #920 - July 29th, 2020, 2:49 pm Post #920 - July 29th, 2020, 2:49 pm
    It was always very solid. Great beef, dogs, and fresh cut fries. I miss being in sales, as whenever I came down to the Chicago metro area I always planned my visits logistically around where I wanted to have lunch. Frannies was always on the list. When covid lightens up, I am going to plan a visit there. Thanks for the reminder.
  • Post #921 - July 30th, 2020, 11:17 am
    Post #921 - July 30th, 2020, 11:17 am Post #921 - July 30th, 2020, 11:17 am
    bob kopczynski wrote:
    brschwartz wrote:
    I would only go there after they closed the kitchen
    at the "Bucket of Suds" 3121 n Cicero.
    The best bar ever! Closed about 5 yrs ago.


    Have I finally come across another old regular from Bucket O Suds (BOS)? Probably the most legendary bar in chicago, mainly due to the PT Barnum of bartenders, Joe Danno. I first met Joe and his sister Fina in 1973 and we became fast friends up until his last day in business some years ago.

    This is a place that deserves its own thread,even though it is long gone. Real italian kitchen cooking and home made hard liquor!!! If there are any other old BOS'rs out there let me know and we can start a thread to figure out the recipe for elixer of lucifer.
    Bob


    A few of my old buddies were regulars at BOS. I've been there many times as we used to have a big get together with Joe a couple of times a year.

    I remember that his sister made a fantastic thin crust pizza!
  • Post #922 - April 24th, 2021, 7:46 am
    Post #922 - April 24th, 2021, 7:46 am Post #922 - April 24th, 2021, 7:46 am
    Is a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich still an Italian beef without the beef? Buona, the Berwyn-based restaurant company founded with the Buonavolanto family’s Italian beef recipe 40 years ago, will launch its plant-based Italian Beefless Sandwich ($7.99) on Monday. The vegan creation will be available at all 24 locations in the Chicago area and Indiana for an unspecified limited time through this summer.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #923 - April 25th, 2021, 2:08 pm
    Post #923 - April 25th, 2021, 2:08 pm Post #923 - April 25th, 2021, 2:08 pm
    JimTheBeerGuy wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:In reading this thread, and Nick K's article, I had a scary thought. McD's featuring a Chicago Style Mc-Italian-Beef. Think McR*b but worse, if possible.

    JoelF wrote:Wouldn't that just be Arby's?


    I had an Arby's about a year ago, 7.6.19, first in at least a decade. I doubt I will live long enough to have another. Fries on the plus side of edible drenched in horsey sauce.

    Caution - food may appear more delicious than actual


    Arby's was a special treat when I was a kid, and as such I still enjoy it in a nostalgic way from time to time. Still, it ain't no Italian Beef. If anything, given the choice of Arby sauce and/or Horsey sauce, it's more of a Madame Tussaud figure of a Baltimore Pit Beef.

    I recently acquired this Arby's-inspired art to add to my somewhat odd but on-brand collection.

    Image

    Wendy's tried selling an Italian beef sandwich several years ago. Saw it on their sign at the store on the west side of Harlem at the Kennedy!
    "I drink to make other people more interesting."
    Ernest Hemingway
  • Post #924 - April 26th, 2021, 12:16 pm
    Post #924 - April 26th, 2021, 12:16 pm Post #924 - April 26th, 2021, 12:16 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    Is a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich still an Italian beef without the beef? Buona, the Berwyn-based restaurant company founded with the Buonavolanto family’s Italian beef recipe 40 years ago, will launch its plant-based Italian Beefless Sandwich ($7.99) on Monday. The vegan creation will be available at all 24 locations in the Chicago area and Indiana for an unspecified limited time through this summer.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html


    Image

    Ecce. This tops the list of meat-ernative simulacra I've enjoyed over the years, and if it's healthier (debatable), could be an occasional combo-breaker when the beef need rises. Speaking of combos, were this gyros-lookin' shaved seitan nestled with a sausage, I do think the flavor would be indistinguishable from the real deal. The oregano-and-garlic forward spice profile is just right, and on its own only the homogeneity / lack of chew of the texture gives it away if you are looking for it. Blindfolded, I don't think I'd be able to say it wasn't a middle-of-the-road true beef from a less familiar stand.

    Buona, which can get pricey for my normal order of sweet+ hot, includes one choice of pepper in the $7.99 tag for this, and I went with the giardiniera. With that unctuousness and brightness in the mix the sandwich was just fine, with similar density, weight, and moisture to a regular baptized offering. If pressed, perhaps on the bites without peppers there is the slightest grassy aftertaste, but like that in a grass-finished beef, and not out of place. Buona to me always has a little bit of a tomato-soup bouquet going on whether by suggestion or actual ingredient content and that's here too. All better than expected, and I hope it sticks.
  • Post #925 - April 27th, 2021, 6:40 am
    Post #925 - April 27th, 2021, 6:40 am Post #925 - April 27th, 2021, 6:40 am
    I was hoping to try one of these ersatz beefs yesterday, but life got in the way. Thank you for the intel. Hoping to get one in the next day or two.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #926 - April 27th, 2021, 7:25 pm
    Post #926 - April 27th, 2021, 7:25 pm Post #926 - April 27th, 2021, 7:25 pm
    So -
    I made an effort to search for a dedicated Buona Beef thread, and if you knew how lazy I was, you'd think I spent enough time searching. I tried. Mods, if you think this belongs in it's own thread, I doubt anyone would disagree.

    I tried the "Vegan Beef." At my local Buona, all signage referred to it as the "Beefless Beef," but when I ordered the, "Beefless Beef with hot," the teenager mumbled the words, "gravy bread with hot peppers." After some back and forth, I flat out asked him what their preferred term for the sandwich named the "Beefless Beef" while pointing to the "Beefless Beef" sign 4 inches from him, and he named it the, "Vegan Beef."

    I 113% agree with everything Santander wrote about it. It's definitely not bad. I'd call it good, actually, but it doesn't have as much of the wow factor as a well prepared Beyond or Impossible burger does. The gravy is fantastic, the meat itself doesn't have that chew, and the end note is clean, so, no beefy aftertang. With the giardiniera and the decent gravy, however, it's a winner. If the dietary numbers say it's far better, I'd like it every once in a while, but it's not good enough to fully replace a good ol' beef, imo. A well prepared Impossible or Beyond can take care of a good burger craving, in my book. This one, not so much, but still good. Surprisingly good. Good enough that I might not need "Beef Therapy." But, I am kinda all the sudden thinkin that I haven't had a beef in long ass time.

    Good job, Buona!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #927 - April 27th, 2021, 10:59 pm
    Post #927 - April 27th, 2021, 10:59 pm Post #927 - April 27th, 2021, 10:59 pm
    Unfortunately, Buona's website doesn't have nutrition info for the beefless beef yet. They don't mention a size for the beefless but it looks like a 7" maybe. A 7" dead-cow beef with both giardinieras has 28 grams of fat, 10 of that coming from the giardinieras and probably 13 from the bread and gravy (based on the fact that gravy bread has 13.) So it appears that the multiple ounces of beef have 5 grams of fat. That seems plausible to me, since the beef cuts are pretty lean ones.

    I doubt that the beefless beef has significantly less fat. Probably has similar protein and sodium, possibly a few more carbs but that's not going to make a difference when it's on a big ol' hunk of French bread. So the overall nutrition counts probably look pretty much the same.

    To carry this further, I wonder if the beefless is truly vegan. Or is the gravy flavored with real beef?
  • Post #928 - April 27th, 2021, 11:10 pm
    Post #928 - April 27th, 2021, 11:10 pm Post #928 - April 27th, 2021, 11:10 pm
    seebee wrote:So -
    I made an effort to search for a dedicated Buona Beef thread, and if you knew how lazy I was, you'd think I spent enough time searching. I tried. Mods, if you think this belongs in it's own thread, I doubt anyone would disagree.

    The only dedicated Buona Beef thread that I could find contains a single post, made in 2009. Since Santander, who is a Mod, posted about Buona here the other day, I'll let him decide whether to move these few recent posts about it to a dedicated thread or leave them here.

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #929 - April 28th, 2021, 8:20 am
    Post #929 - April 28th, 2021, 8:20 am Post #929 - April 28th, 2021, 8:20 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    seebee wrote:So -
    I made an effort to search for a dedicated Buona Beef thread, and if you knew how lazy I was, you'd think I spent enough time searching. I tried. Mods, if you think this belongs in it's own thread, I doubt anyone would disagree.

    The only dedicated Buona Beef thread that I could find contains a single post, made in 2009. Since Santander, who is a Mod, posted about Buona here the other day, I'll let him decide whether to move these few recent posts about it to a dedicated thread or leave them here.

    =R=
    for the Moderators


    This thread is where I initially learned of the sandwich from Dave, so keeping that excitement going makes sense to me. However, the Arby's content further upthread certainly deserves its own shrine. :twisted:
  • Post #930 - April 29th, 2021, 10:29 am
    Post #930 - April 29th, 2021, 10:29 am Post #930 - April 29th, 2021, 10:29 am
    I had been hearing about the beef at Paradise Pup being excellent so I finally headed over there Monday to try it. Then the smell from the burgers being grilled got in the way as I waited in line...

    I called an audible at the line and ordered a char burger (they have long been the quintessential Chicago char-burger to me) and a beef that I split with my brother (another mistake) who also ordered a char burger. The mistake was I should have ordered both the burger and the beef since I wasn't getting their mediocre fries but I didn't realize how hungry I was.

    I cut the beef in half and felt like I was looking at a skimpy Johnnie's Beef. Shredded, thinly sliced and hardly any meat was in the bun. I like shredded and I love Johnnie's - that doesn't bother me as I expect it and I would just get two there. But the lack of meat was shocking for almost $7.00 here. Anyway I ate my little half and it was delicious. I was really impressed with it and it immediately felt like a top 10 beef to me. The burger actually wasn't on point for a change. So I was immediately regretting not having a full beef for myself. Anyway next time I go it will be for a beef and I will mention to them that it was pretty light on the beef. Now if they say that's how it is - fine, I will ask for an extra meat option or even order two. I felt it was really good but my sample size of a half sandwich was a bit small. Be prepared to wait in line when you go.

    Paradise Pup
    On River Rd just south of Oakton
    Des Plaines

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