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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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  • Post #61 - June 12th, 2019, 9:19 am
    Post #61 - June 12th, 2019, 9:19 am Post #61 - June 12th, 2019, 9:19 am
    chicagojim wrote:We refer to them as "condiment cows."

    If you haven’t seen it already, have a look at https://www.condimentcow.com. The latest four-teat model can be yours for just under two grand.
  • Post #62 - June 12th, 2019, 9:25 am
    Post #62 - June 12th, 2019, 9:25 am Post #62 - June 12th, 2019, 9:25 am
    MungryJoe wrote:Thanks a lot, bobbywal! Great post. So interesting. Question: What problems have you found with Chicago bread? I'm interested to know. Thanks!


    At the risk of derailing some excellent condiment content - I should point out there is plenty of excellent bread to be found in Chicago.

    That said, run-of-the-mill neighborhood joints seem to just take whatever they get. Often the crust can be too soft - there is an optimal crispiness for sandwiches - or the insides too doughy, etc. or the bread is just stale. The best places in Chicago, in general, are picky with their bread and I think that is a big part of why they rate so highly, because they've considered the importance of the crust/crumb! I've never found the quality of the bread lacking at Alpine, for example.

    But there are surprising exceptions, from an Eat This Now article on the Bari IB:

    Honestly, the only component that maybe could use some work is the bread. Instead of the same crusty rolls used for the Italian sub, which come from D'Amatos Bakery's coal-fired oven, Bari goes with a softer roll for the Italian beef. When I called, an employee confirmed that a different roll was used because it stood up better to the beef (she was also pretty sure the rolls came from Jewel).


    Similarly, ages ago, even Frank Podesta ranked bread last behind meats and cheeses in terms of dictating Italian sub quality. Maybe it's because he was taking D'Amato's for granted? Which also resulted in this revealing conversation:

    Fontano: Bread is funny. In the winter months, it's the most gorgeous bread you can eat. It's real crispy and nice. We use Gonnella Bakery bread. But when it's summer, it's like a guy that's 80 years old -- just flops over.

    DiCosola: We use bread from the Turano Baking Company in Berwyn. The other day it was warm and very humid, and the bread was soft. It becomes a different bread. If you leave it standing up, it flops over. When we get it, we open the bag up and let it hit the air -- it gets crisper.
    source: Craving an Italian Sub
  • Post #63 - June 12th, 2019, 9:38 am
    Post #63 - June 12th, 2019, 9:38 am Post #63 - June 12th, 2019, 9:38 am
    bobbywal wrote:
    MungryJoe wrote:Thanks a lot, bobbywal! Great post. So interesting. Question: What problems have you found with Chicago bread? I'm interested to know. Thanks!

    That said, run-of-the-mill neighborhood joints seem to just take whatever they get. Often the crust can be too soft - there is an optimal crispiness for sandwiches - or the insides too doughy, etc. or the bread is just stale. The best places in Chicago, in general, are picky with their bread and I think that is a big part of why they rate so highly, because they've considered the importance of the crust/crumb! I've never found the quality of the bread lacking at Alpine, for example.

    I have a friend who was from Chicago but found a Bride and now lives in Thailand part time.

    Every time I post a sandwich picture he always mentions the weakness of the bread in the USA. He absolutely refuses to eat it.

    I have replied with some premium bread places...

    Speaking of Alpine, My Bride thinks it is too soft and doesn’t prefer it.

    Alpine Food Shop
    7538 W North Ave, Elmwood Park

    I didn’t know they have an outpost in Westchester???

    10712 W 31st St
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #64 - June 12th, 2019, 10:26 am
    Post #64 - June 12th, 2019, 10:26 am Post #64 - June 12th, 2019, 10:26 am
    Rene G wrote:
    chicagojim wrote:We refer to them as "condiment cows."

    If you haven’t seen it already, have a look at https://www.condimentcow.com. The latest four-teat model can be yours for just under two grand.


    This is hilarious. We absolutely need one.
  • Post #65 - June 14th, 2019, 10:35 am
    Post #65 - June 14th, 2019, 10:35 am Post #65 - June 14th, 2019, 10:35 am
    Rene G wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Found a pic in the takeout pan...

    612BC9F3-69F3-42C0-874B-FD5DC0952583.jpeg

    Now that is a gooey, gloppy mess!

    To me, that photo makes a strong argument against cheesing a beef.

    What is it with Chicago?

    We take a perfectly wonderful creation and turn it into a casserole.

    This, pan pizza. While I do take a stroll on the wild side from time to time (1 out of 10 times) I also prefer the originals.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #66 - July 15th, 2019, 12:27 pm
    Post #66 - July 15th, 2019, 12:27 pm Post #66 - July 15th, 2019, 12:27 pm
    I've never had cheese on an Italian beef. For me, its always a combo with gardiniera. I hear that some places make a beef on garlic bread and put cheese and then bake it. There is a place on Roosevelt Road in Cicero called Albano's that is supposed to have a good one. I'd like to try it but have not gotten over there yet.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #67 - July 15th, 2019, 7:16 pm
    Post #67 - July 15th, 2019, 7:16 pm Post #67 - July 15th, 2019, 7:16 pm
    I've had the toasted cheese-topped Italian Beef on garlic bread before, at a couple different places, and always found it to be a bit much. I'm with Panther, there's a little too much going on when you start adding cheese and garlic bread to an italian beef. I love cheese and garlic but it's unnecessary on a well-made, tender and juicy beef sandwich.

    Maybe philly cheesesteaks need the extra fat or moisture from a cheese sauce, but the juice on an italian beef is enough for me.
  • Post #68 - July 16th, 2019, 6:44 am
    Post #68 - July 16th, 2019, 6:44 am Post #68 - July 16th, 2019, 6:44 am
    I do like garlic bread versions: the toastiness adds texture and prevents meltdown.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #69 - July 16th, 2019, 10:30 am
    Post #69 - July 16th, 2019, 10:30 am Post #69 - July 16th, 2019, 10:30 am
    I love garlic bread with pasta, but for a beef I like the juice-soaked bread. I understand where you're coming from though, after a while the bread becomes a soggy, gelatinous mess. This is why an italian beef, dipped, is probably not the best for leftovers, IMO.
  • Post #70 - July 31st, 2019, 9:56 pm
    Post #70 - July 31st, 2019, 9:56 pm Post #70 - July 31st, 2019, 9:56 pm
    Back many years ago, a friend of mine lived just southwest of Higgins and Roselle. On many occasions, I got a cheezy beef from Zippy's (RIP) and thought it was different but good.

    These days, I get cheese on a beef sandwich probably once every 9-12 months. I think garlic bread makes it better (unlike a regular beef) and dipping it makes it worse (again unlike a regular beef). I've made the mistake of getting the beef and cheese croissant at Portillo's, and it just doesn't hold up well.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #71 - August 1st, 2019, 5:26 pm
    Post #71 - August 1st, 2019, 5:26 pm Post #71 - August 1st, 2019, 5:26 pm
    threadkiller wrote:Back many years ago, a friend of mine lived just southwest of Higgins and Roselle. On many occasions, I got a cheezy beef from Zippy's (RIP) and thought it was different but good.
    I remember that place, in the outlot of Valli. It *was* different and pretty good. I think I recall that they used a roll instead of bread cut from a loaf(?) and it was mozzarella melted on with the giardiniera staying safe under the cheesy confines. They also had good waffle fries.
  • Post #72 - August 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm
    Post #72 - August 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm Post #72 - August 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm
    BrendanR wrote:
    threadkiller wrote:Back many years ago, a friend of mine lived just southwest of Higgins and Roselle. On many occasions, I got a cheezy beef from Zippy's (RIP) and thought it was different but good.
    I remember that place, in the outlot of Valli. It *was* different and pretty good. I think I recall that they used a roll instead of bread cut from a loaf(?) and it was mozzarella melted on with the giardiniera staying safe under the cheesy confines. They also had good waffle fries.

    Yep, there was a Zippy's briefly in Deerfield, too.

    =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 #73 - August 3rd, 2019, 3:43 pm
    Post #73 - August 3rd, 2019, 3:43 pm Post #73 - August 3rd, 2019, 3:43 pm
    Small containers of Buono Italian beef & sauce appeared this week in a few nearby stores' ads for $5.99, but I walked into Aldi and saw the same container for an unadvertized $4.99, so I bought it and I'm having Italian beef sandwiches for dinner. I'll be topping the open-faced sandwiches with provolone and passing them under the broiler before dipping them, but that's just me.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #74 - August 3rd, 2019, 4:33 pm
    Post #74 - August 3rd, 2019, 4:33 pm Post #74 - August 3rd, 2019, 4:33 pm
    Katie wrote:...I walked into Aldi and saw the same container for an unadvertized $4.99...
    Those are reliably available all the time. Most Aldi around here have Turano rolls, too.
  • Post #75 - August 3rd, 2019, 9:58 pm
    Post #75 - August 3rd, 2019, 9:58 pm Post #75 - August 3rd, 2019, 9:58 pm
    Good to know.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #76 - August 7th, 2019, 10:07 am
    Post #76 - August 7th, 2019, 10:07 am Post #76 - August 7th, 2019, 10:07 am
    Normally, I prefer no cheese. All my Italian beef research has been conducted on sandwiches that are dipped, hot peppers, with extra gravy on the side if available. However I recently had a beef at Aster Hall food court of all places that did a really excellent cheesy beef:
    Image

    This is a food court in an upscale mall where you order by touchscreen; not the kind of place I would expect to find a good beef sandwich but hey, I've been wrong before. Their thin sliced beef comes by default with provolone on toasted garlic bread and I must say it was quite good. It's no sandwich destination but it's a good lunch option.

    Aster Hall
    900 N Michigan Ave 5th & 6th Fl, Chicago, IL 60611
  • Post #77 - August 15th, 2019, 8:10 pm
    Post #77 - August 15th, 2019, 8:10 pm Post #77 - August 15th, 2019, 8:10 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    BrendanR wrote:
    threadkiller wrote:Back many years ago, a friend of mine lived just southwest of Higgins and Roselle. On many occasions, I got a cheezy beef from Zippy's (RIP) and thought it was different but good.
    I remember that place, in the outlot of Valli.

    Yep, there was a Zippy's briefly in Deerfield, too.

    =R=

    The current Arlington Heights location of Penang on Algonquin Rd is an ex Zippys location.

    Per the thread topic, just no to cheesy beef.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #78 - August 16th, 2019, 12:53 pm
    Post #78 - August 16th, 2019, 12:53 pm Post #78 - August 16th, 2019, 12:53 pm
    Cheese on an I-beef? We aren't some savages from Philly. Pure heresy, I say.

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