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Do you prefer cheesy to a normal Italian beef sandwich?

Do you prefer cheesy to a normal Italian beef sandwich?
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  • Do you prefer cheesy to a normal Italian beef sandwich?

    Post #1 - June 5th, 2019, 4:58 pm
    Post #1 - June 5th, 2019, 4:58 pm Post #1 - June 5th, 2019, 4:58 pm
    Hi all,
    I was talking with a friend on Friday who said he likes cheesy beef, but he's not a fan of regular Italian beef sandwiches.

    I know a lot of folks don't appreciate cheese on Italian beef and I understand the POV. But for those who DO like cheesy beef, do you like it both ways (sometimes w/ cheese and sometimes w/o) or do you generally prefer one style over the other? Or does it depend on where you get it? Or something else?

    Thanks!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #2 - June 5th, 2019, 5:34 pm
    Post #2 - June 5th, 2019, 5:34 pm Post #2 - June 5th, 2019, 5:34 pm
    MungryJoe wrote:Hi all,
    I was talking with a friend on Friday who said he likes cheesy beef, but he's not a fan of regular Italian beef sandwiches.

    I know a lot of folks don't appreciate cheese on Italian beef and I understand the POV. But for those who DO like cheesy beef, do you like it both ways (sometimes w/ cheese and sometimes w/o) or do you generally prefer one style over the other? Or does it depend on where you get it? Or something else?

    Thanks!

    I always prefer a plain beef, very wet (9 out of 10) but a long time ago my cheese cherry got popped.

    There used to be a pizza place on Franklin in River Grove called Pizano’s Pizza and the had a beef called The Pizano.

    Regular beef on garlic French bread, open face with a splash of red sauce and a nice amount of mozzarella. Running it through the pizza oven would melt and brown the cheese and give the beef a roast beef flavor.

    There are two other places that make a similar sandwich (omit the garlic bread)...

    Buona (The Rizzo)
    6745 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn
    (and other area locations)
    Simple, just a beef with sauce and cheese.

    Casciani's Pizzeria (Cheesy Beef)
    9200 Joliet Rd, Hodgkins
    Awesome! They put it in a metal takeout pan and run it through the pizza oven. A glorious, gloppy mess.

    4067DA05-0E20-4AF4-97D7-84D90E69646D.jpeg Cheese looks yellow but it’s white

    They will also give this treatment to their famous breaded steak sandwich.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #3 - June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm
    Post #3 - June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm Post #3 - June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm
    I don't mind an Italian beef without cheeese, but more often than not I ask for cheese on my Italian beef from Portillo's, and when I make Italian beef at home, I run the bun and beef under the broiler with a slice of provolone on top to melt it before I dip it and eat it.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #4 - June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm
    Post #4 - June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm Post #4 - June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm
    MungryJoe wrote:Do you prefer cheesy to a normal Italian beef sandwich?

    NO!!!
  • Post #5 - June 5th, 2019, 7:31 pm
    Post #5 - June 5th, 2019, 7:31 pm Post #5 - June 5th, 2019, 7:31 pm
    MungryJoe wrote:Hi all,
    I was talking with a friend on Friday who said he likes cheesy beef, but he's not a fan of regular Italian beef sandwiches.

    I know a lot of folks don't appreciate cheese on Italian beef and I understand the POV. But for those who DO like cheesy beef, do you like it both ways (sometimes w/ cheese and sometimes w/o) or do you generally prefer one style over the other? Or does it depend on where you get it? Or something else?

    Thanks!


    Acceptable to me is a Portillo’s beef and cheddar croissant with some additional sweet peppers to help melt the cheese.

    As I think about it that’s one of the only beef and cheese combinations I go after occasionally alongside a wiz wit, a Vagabundo asada quesadilla, or a bleu London broil - I order burgers without cheese and don’t really like steak tacos with shredded product. I’ll certainly eat a platter of carpaccio / bresaola with good parmesan but that’s not melty.
  • Post #6 - June 6th, 2019, 5:16 am
    Post #6 - June 6th, 2019, 5:16 am Post #6 - June 6th, 2019, 5:16 am
    My south side papa brought me up right with tamale boats and rib tips but was hands off regarding beef orthodoxy. So as a kid, my order from Pop's, every time, was beef and cheddar (we're talking viscous cheese goo here) with hot mix.

    As a grown up, I've learned better of course.

    Though I've been tempted, of late, by a cheesy beast on a new commute down North Ave. in St. Charles– the much-pushed cheezy beef on garlic at Beef Shack. I've read some lackluster reports around here. Reasonable me knows I should just sample their straightforward beef, since I have yet to find a go-to in this neck of the woods. But 13 year old me is being pulled to the gloppy allure of the cheezy beef!

    Beef Shack
    2115 W Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174
  • Post #7 - June 6th, 2019, 7:08 am
    Post #7 - June 6th, 2019, 7:08 am Post #7 - June 6th, 2019, 7:08 am
    This is great to hear from all of you. I hope I can hear from more cheesy beef fans.

    I'm a fan of Beef -N-Cheddar Croissant (with giardiniera) at Portillo's like our friend Santander. But I don't think I've had a proper cheesy beef—honestly, just because the thought never occurred to me—lol. I'm going to have to try one soon.

    Panther in the Den, thanks for sharing the photo—I can color correct it for you if you send a high-res version. So I'm sure to understand you, when you said "9 out of 10", did you mean that you have a cheesy beef about 10% of the time?

    Btw, I used to live just down the street from Buona you cited—the original location. I lived in the building across from Turano's. And I never tried The Rizzo.

    But now, I'm Katie's neighbor. Katie, I'm in Grayslake. Thanks for sharing your POV. Exactly the kind of viewpoint I was curious about (although everyone's input has been great on this discussion). Where is a good place to get a cheesy beef 'round here? How is Bill's? I've never had their beef. Also, do you know if there's a good dine-in Rosati's around here?

    Jefe, also a very interesting tale. You grew up with it and then drifted away from it as an adult. This may sound like a weird question, did something prompt that shift? Was it just that you liked it more without cheese? Easier to find/eat? Orthodoxy?
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #8 - June 6th, 2019, 7:23 am
    Post #8 - June 6th, 2019, 7:23 am Post #8 - June 6th, 2019, 7:23 am
    Hi all!

    I do NOT like cheese on Italian beef sandwiches at all. One of the things I really love about Chicago's Italian beef sandwiches is that they aren't very heavy. Adding cheese would totally ruin that.

    I like mine very wet with giardiniera (sweet peppers are OK, but I prefer the "hot" with this sandwich) and then I remove about half the beef (and let whoever is with me have it). Perfect!
    “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ―Erma Bombeck
  • Post #9 - June 6th, 2019, 8:16 am
    Post #9 - June 6th, 2019, 8:16 am Post #9 - June 6th, 2019, 8:16 am
    MungryJoe wrote: Jefe, also a very interesting tale. You grew up with it and then drifted away from it as an adult. This may sound like a weird question, did something prompt that shift? Was it just that you liked it more without cheese? Easier to find/eat? Orthodoxy?


    Yeah I just got learnt better, likely in part to this here website.
  • Post #10 - June 6th, 2019, 9:42 am
    Post #10 - June 6th, 2019, 9:42 am Post #10 - June 6th, 2019, 9:42 am
    Jefe wrote:
    MungryJoe wrote: Jefe, also a very interesting tale. You grew up with it and then drifted away from it as an adult. This may sound like a weird question, did something prompt that shift? Was it just that you liked it more without cheese? Easier to find/eat? Orthodoxy?


    Yeah I just got learnt better, likely in part to this here website.


    I'm in the camp that say's there's nothing wrong with a beef and cheese sandwich, but at that point it's a Philly Cheesesteak, not Italian Beef.
  • Post #11 - June 6th, 2019, 9:59 am
    Post #11 - June 6th, 2019, 9:59 am Post #11 - June 6th, 2019, 9:59 am
    chicagojim wrote:I'm in the camp that say's there's nothing wrong with a beef and cheese sandwich, but at that point it's a Philly Cheesesteak, not Italian Beef.


    Thanks, chicagojim. Do you sometimes order a cheesy beef and sometimes "plain" (for lack of a better term)?
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #12 - June 6th, 2019, 10:00 am
    Post #12 - June 6th, 2019, 10:00 am Post #12 - June 6th, 2019, 10:00 am
    I more or less agree with some of the comments above. It doesn't 'ruin' an Italian Beef at all to put cheese on it but it does change it into something other than an Italian Beef. I think that's because it's such an iconic preparation, any alteration is a fundamental one.

    I definitely prefer my IB sandwiches without cheese.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - June 6th, 2019, 10:12 am
    Post #13 - June 6th, 2019, 10:12 am Post #13 - June 6th, 2019, 10:12 am
    As an aside, the Cubs do some promotion with Buona Beef that is very front and center on the video screens at Wrigley Field during games. It includes various players describing their favorite IB sandwiches. When Anthony Rizzo reveals that his favorite take is with red sauce and cheese, my first thought is always "you ain't from around here." :lol:

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - June 6th, 2019, 10:13 am
    Post #14 - June 6th, 2019, 10:13 am Post #14 - June 6th, 2019, 10:13 am
    MungryJoe wrote:Panther in the Den, thanks for sharing the photo—I can color correct it for you if you send a high-res version. So I'm sure to understand you, when you said "9 out of 10", did you mean that you have a cheesy beef about 10% of the time?

    No worries on the photo, I know I’ll get another, better picture (maybe next week).

    Yup! Cheesy beef 10% of the time. Like Ronnie mentioned, it is a different sandwich especially since I prefer it run through the pizza oven (and on garlic bread). My regular beefs, just as God intended. :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #15 - June 6th, 2019, 10:14 am
    Post #15 - June 6th, 2019, 10:14 am Post #15 - June 6th, 2019, 10:14 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As an aside, the Cubs do some promotion with Buona Beef that is very front and center on the video screens at Wrigley Field during games. It includes various players describing their favorite IB sandwiches. When Anthony Rizzo reveals that his favorite take is with red sauce and cheese, my first thought is always "you ain't from around here." :lol:

    =R=


    Hahahahaha!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #16 - June 6th, 2019, 10:37 am
    Post #16 - June 6th, 2019, 10:37 am Post #16 - June 6th, 2019, 10:37 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:No worries on the photo, I know I’ll get another, better picture (maybe next week).

    Yup! Cheesy beef 10% of the time. Like Ronnie mentioned, it is a different sandwich especially since I prefer it run through the pizza oven (and on garlic bread). My regular beefs, just as God intended. :)


    Haha! Okay. Thanks, Panther!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #17 - June 6th, 2019, 10:57 am
    Post #17 - June 6th, 2019, 10:57 am Post #17 - June 6th, 2019, 10:57 am
    (please permit this quick aside, and then back to the beef)

    MungryJoe wrote:do you know if there's a good dine-in Rosati's around here?

    Dear Joe, I don't have an answer yet about cheesy beef at Bill's or elsewhere around here, but I can vouch for the dine-in Rosati's pizza/pub on Route 60 in Mundelein (near Ivanhoe and the SuperTarget and Home Depot; not to be confused with the carryout-only Rosati's on the other part of Route 60, aka Townline Road, in Vernon Hills). The pizza at the Mundelein Rosati's pub is consistently good, it's a good spot to meet people to share a pizza and watch a game on TV, and there are regularly coupons (note: read their coupons carefully, some are for dine-in only, others for carryout/delivery only) in mail flyers and online.

    Rosati's Pizza of Mundelein
    3110 W Illinois-60, Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-943-9931

    Also, have you tried Kaiser's Pizza and Pub in Gurnee? Our LTH North Lunch Group was there a few months ago, and we loved it.

    Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub‎
    1801 North Il Route 21
    Gurnee, IL 60031
    847-336-6500
    http://www.kaiserspub.com/

    You should join our LTH North Lunch (and sometimes Dinner) Group!
    Last edited by Katie on June 6th, 2019, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #18 - June 6th, 2019, 11:01 am
    Post #18 - June 6th, 2019, 11:01 am Post #18 - June 6th, 2019, 11:01 am
    Thanks, Katie! Great info! Super helpful!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #19 - June 6th, 2019, 11:13 am
    Post #19 - June 6th, 2019, 11:13 am Post #19 - June 6th, 2019, 11:13 am
    While I usually do my beefs dipped and hot I sometimes will add cheese. Usually that's at Portillo's but, while I've had the beef & cheddar on croissant there, I prefer the "normal" beef prep with the addition of mozzarella (at some other places where they do cheese it's provolone). Portillo's puts it directly on the roll prior to adding the beef so it doesn't really dominate, just lends a certain something that I find I like.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #20 - June 6th, 2019, 11:35 am
    Post #20 - June 6th, 2019, 11:35 am Post #20 - June 6th, 2019, 11:35 am
    I don't know what the overall health and fat content of an Italian Beef has (and don't want to), but I do know adding cheese to an already delicious sandwich, isn't going to make it that much tastier versus making it unhealthy-er.
  • Post #21 - June 6th, 2019, 12:03 pm
    Post #21 - June 6th, 2019, 12:03 pm Post #21 - June 6th, 2019, 12:03 pm
    I prefer a beef au natural wet and hot, but for some reason I always get cheese on a combo. I'm more accepting of cheese over sweet peppers on a beef.

    I make a (cubs player who shall not be named in my Sox household) version at home occasionally. But I also do the same treatment on burgers on the grill - with mozz/fresh basil/provolone - served on a portobello mushroom (no bun).
  • Post #22 - June 6th, 2019, 1:51 pm
    Post #22 - June 6th, 2019, 1:51 pm Post #22 - June 6th, 2019, 1:51 pm
    GlakeCate wrote:Hi all!

    I do NOT like cheese on Italian beef sandwiches at all. One of the things I really love about Chicago's Italian beef sandwiches is that they aren't very heavy. Adding cheese would totally ruin that.

    I like mine very wet with giardiniera (sweet peppers are OK, but I prefer the "hot" with this sandwich) and then I remove about half the beef (and let whoever is with me have it). Perfect!


    Marriage material.
    Women tend to give men WAAAY too much credit for smarts. Nope. Right here. Marriage material.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #23 - June 6th, 2019, 2:22 pm
    Post #23 - June 6th, 2019, 2:22 pm Post #23 - June 6th, 2019, 2:22 pm
    I'm personally of the opinion that just about any food item can be improved by the addition of cheese, so I do enjoy an Italian beef with cheese, though I don't mind if it doesn't have it. But, my preference is actually the Portillo's beef and cheddar croissant.
  • Post #24 - June 6th, 2019, 2:24 pm
    Post #24 - June 6th, 2019, 2:24 pm Post #24 - June 6th, 2019, 2:24 pm
    I don't do cheesy beef, but I do think something like an aged provolone would work well. Philadelphia's roast pork sandwich (which I think of as the pork equivalent of an Italian beef), is often topped with an aged provolone, and the sharpness of the cheese works really well with it, and I imagine it would work well with an Italian beef as well. But something milder like a deli provolone, I'm not so sure about. It needs to be adding flavor, not just cheesiness.
  • Post #25 - June 6th, 2019, 2:58 pm
    Post #25 - June 6th, 2019, 2:58 pm Post #25 - June 6th, 2019, 2:58 pm
    To me,cheese on an Italian Beef is in the same league as putting ketchup on a hot dog. Never gonna happen for me. If it ain't broke don't try and fix it!
  • Post #26 - June 6th, 2019, 3:52 pm
    Post #26 - June 6th, 2019, 3:52 pm Post #26 - June 6th, 2019, 3:52 pm
    Binko wrote:I don't do cheesy beef, but I do think something like an aged provolone would work well. Philadelphia's roast pork sandwich (which I think of as the pork equivalent of an Italian beef), is often topped with an aged provolone, and the sharpness of the cheese works really well with it, and I imagine it would work well with an Italian beef as well. But something milder like a deli provolone, I'm not so sure about. It needs to be adding flavor, not just cheesiness.

    Binko. I've never heard of "Philadelphia's roast pork sandwich" and now I'm going to have to investigate. I had a bunch of stuff I was going to do tomorrow too—big hole in my day. But thanks! I guess I'll have to plan a trip to Philadelphia soon.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #27 - June 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm
    Post #27 - June 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm Post #27 - June 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm
    stoutisgoodfood wrote:I prefer a beef au natural wet and hot, but for some reason I always get cheese on a combo. I'm more accepting of cheese over sweet peppers on a beef.

    I make a (cubs player who shall not be named in my Sox household) version at home occasionally. But I also do the same treatment on burgers on the grill - with mozz/fresh basil/provolone - served on a portobello mushroom (no bun).


    Italian beef with cheese on a portobello?! Gamechanger! Sounds like a theme for my next outdoor grilling garden party! Thanks!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #28 - June 6th, 2019, 4:00 pm
    Post #28 - June 6th, 2019, 4:00 pm Post #28 - June 6th, 2019, 4:00 pm
    seebee wrote:
    GlakeCate wrote:Hi all!

    I do NOT like cheese on Italian beef sandwiches at all. One of the things I really love about Chicago's Italian beef sandwiches is that they aren't very heavy. Adding cheese would totally ruin that.

    I like mine very wet with giardiniera (sweet peppers are OK, but I prefer the "hot" with this sandwich) and then I remove about half the beef (and let whoever is with me have it). Perfect!


    Marriage material.
    Women tend to give men WAAAY too much credit for smarts. Nope. Right here. Marriage material.

    I agree, seebee—on the marriage material part.

    But I have to say, my special lady points out how dumb I am on a daily basis. She makes good points, though.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #29 - June 6th, 2019, 7:15 pm
    Post #29 - June 6th, 2019, 7:15 pm Post #29 - June 6th, 2019, 7:15 pm
    MungryJoe wrote:
    Binko wrote:I don't do cheesy beef, but I do think something like an aged provolone would work well. Philadelphia's roast pork sandwich (which I think of as the pork equivalent of an Italian beef), is often topped with an aged provolone, and the sharpness of the cheese works really well with it, and I imagine it would work well with an Italian beef as well. But something milder like a deli provolone, I'm not so sure about. It needs to be adding flavor, not just cheesiness.

    Binko. I've never heard of "Philadelphia's roast pork sandwich" and now I'm going to have to investigate. I had a bunch of stuff I was going to do tomorrow too—big hole in my day. But thanks! I guess I'll have to plan a trip to Philadelphia soon.


    Here's a good introduction at John's Roast Pork in Philly. Roast pork + jus + shreds of sharp provolone + spinach or broccoli rabe (the latter seems to be more popular, but John's does spinach) on a sesame seed hoagie roll. I prefer the bread used for these to the bread on Italian beefs, but, while these are served reasonably wet, they're not dipped (as far as I've seen, but I'm not an expert), so they don't need to have quite the structural integrity an Italian beef roll needs to have.

    It's a delicious sandwich and I make it at home sometimes (though it helps to have a deli slicer to shave it thinly enough.) I'm not sure why it isn't more popular beyond Philly. Then again, the Italian beef is pretty regional, as well.
  • Post #30 - June 7th, 2019, 5:27 am
    Post #30 - June 7th, 2019, 5:27 am Post #30 - June 7th, 2019, 5:27 am
    Thanks for sharing, Binko. That was really, really interesting.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.

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