Friday, November 21, 2014

Bari Foods

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

It's been a long time, I shouldn't of left you, without a dope beef to get too. Long time coming for today's stop as I've been eating here since my youth. Bari Foods is one of Chicago's most well known sandwich purveyors. They're an independent grocery store/deli that specializes in Italian items. I love a beef with hot on a frigid winter day which we had here recently. I know I've eaten a Bari beef before, that said I must of just forgot about it because it's been at least five years since I ordered one from there.

Photo outside circa early 2000's

Results? Very good! In fact I've been by twice in recent weeks, the first time was better but the second time was still good. The first visit I likened the beef more to the Nawlins style roast beef used in a po-boy (ala Parkway) than Italian beef but that doesn't bother me. It's got rich beef flavor ala perfectly cooked beef roast and holds together with the bread really well. I never ask for a cup of gravy on the side but decided to see what they gave me and I got a cup of the au jus that was more like debris, which was awesome. They could make a killer gravy bread or even better, a debris po-boy. Throw some of it on their bread with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo and you'd have one of the best po-boys in all of the Midwest. I cant place them on my 1st team just yet because I need to eat it a handful of times to make sure consistency is there but they've certainly earned a tryout.

Beef with Hot from Bari

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 5
hot peppers: 4


Score: 17/20

Bari Italian Foods
1120 W Grand Ave # 1
Chicago, IL 60642-6048
(312) 666-0730

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beef Shack

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

All aboard! The beef bus is headed out to the western burbs. St. Charles to be exact. That's where the Beef Shack is at. This place opened up a few years ago and now has a 2nd location coming. As the name suggests beef is what they do here. I dont know why but it reminded me of the original Potbelly on Lincoln avenue as far as setup and everything else goes. This is the type of place that could expand pretty quickly in my opinion.

Locals favorite in St. Charles 

Maybe the fact it reminded me of Potbelly is when you walk up to line to place your order, sitting there is a toasting machine ala Potbelly's. This is for their garlic beefs which get alot of love. They take a Turano roll and douse it with their garlic butter spread before layering it with beef and some cheese. It then takes a trip thru the toaster to warmup. They're very good, normally not a cheese on beef guy but I quite enjoy that sandwich. As far as the beef with hot goes I like that one too. Beef is homemade but it sits in the gravy for what seems like all day. I was expecting the not so thinly shaved pieces of it to be somewhat resistant but that was not the case. It was tender and the gravy had a little spice kick I liked. The giardineria seemed to be from a jar but it did the trick. Overall it's a very satisfying beef sandwich.

Beef with Hot from Beef Shack

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers:3


Score: 15/20

Beef Shack
2115 W. Main St
St Charles, IL 60174
(630) 443-9797

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Original Mr. Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Welcome back. today we visit a place with a familiar name that should be more known to most. When people, specifically out of town visitors, hear speak on Italian beef, many think Mr Beef. The most common is the old spot on Orleans made international by Jay Leno amongst others. There's also Mr. Beef and Pizza on Harlem which should probably be the more more well known one. Then there's the Original Mr. Beef out in Homer Glen. This is one you need to know.

Top Notch Beef Shack in Homer Glen, IL

The Original Mr. Beef has no relation to the others but there is a connection. Carl Bonavolanto Jr opened up a place with his friend in 1983 that would be called a nickname given to him by his buddies. Mr. Beef on Orleans was born. I've always been a big fan of Mr. Beef on Orleans but would have to admit it's golden years are behind them. That's obvious when you go to the Original Mr. Beef in Homer Glen. I was immediately brought back to the back dining room at the Orleans location when I tried a beef with hot from the Original. This is how they used to taste is what I remember saying. Not only was the sandwich stuffed but the bread was on point and the gravy had deep beef flavor. Thew actual beef was super tender and the peppers were the old mix I remember from back when. Not only is this the original recipe but they still make it with love and care. One of he best beefs I've ate of late.

Beef with Hot from The Original Mr. Beef

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 5
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 5


Score: 18/20

The Original Mr. Beef
12320 W 143rd St 
Homer Glen, IL 60491
(708) 645-0456

Original Mr Beef on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jimmy's Homemade Italian Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Back on the tour I'm happy to bring another somewhat new place to the batters box. When I say somewhat it's because Jimmy's Italian Beef has been available for over a year now. At first they were a place that served breakfast, lunch, dinner and more of a diner that also served Italian sandwiches but now they've ditched the morning and later in the evening hours (Open until 6p) and focused on being a Chicago style fast food shop. Located way west on Addison in Dunning it sits in a stretch of the area that is a part of Harlem Avenue's Little Italy neighborhood. Every once in a blue moon I'm at one of the social clubs near here when Jimmy's is open and will stop in for one when so. 

In Chicago's Dunning Neighborhood

Old school homemade recipe, no secrets of it are being given out but I can tell you right here right now what makes it good. Love and care. Cliche? Certainly but there's too many damn places serving beef made in a factory where it's pre-sliced and packaged and just ends up getting reheated served to us on a roll from Jewels. WTF! Why? Because in some cases it cost less and in others people are too lazy. If you're going to have "Italian Beef" in your places name it best be homemade. But even then it's not guaranteed to be good. However Jimmy's does it right and the result is a very good recipe which I hope all my loyal followers over here go check out. We have to give the places like this some business so they can stay just the way they are.

Beef with Hot from Jimmy's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 5
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4


Score: 17/20

Jimmy's Homemade Italian Beef
7542 1/2 W Addison
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 589-2100

Monday, July 29, 2013

Alboe's

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

So there's been an interesting development over the last couple months since I last saw y'all here. There seems to be what's almost a handful of new Italian beef places that have either opened or are about to open up shop. I had driven by Alboe's on Archer quite a few times but wasnt able to try them since I needed to be elsewhere. So welcome back folks, lets roll.

 Newly opened sandwich spot in Garfield Ridge

The first thing I thought when I went in was "old school". This is how beef shacks used to be. You walk in and order with one of the old timers who have past experience in the Italian sandwich business. He yells your order into the open kitchen which is just to your left and the old timer in their gets it going. You can go in back and take a seat while watching some TV with the regulars while you wait for your order.

As we enter

My beef with hot didnt come out as quick as some others spots but I was fine with that. Reason being is they make their own and don't let it sit in the juices all day and thru the night. Its sliced then dropped in their extra beefy broth (gravy) for a quick swim. This is how I remember many of the long gone places on Taylor Street and elsewhere doing it in my youth. Also like back when was the size. It's the portion of two sandwiches (just over $7) and they add a little bit extra beef then there needs to be. This allows me to sample some solo and it was very good. Thinly sliced with a good roast beef flavor. The hot peppers were also top notch. A finely chopped blend of sport hot peppers, carrots, celery and spices.  "This is how they used to be" is what I said as I realized I'm now at that point in life. Breaded steaks were getting all the raves from the regulars who never left the neighborhood so I'll have to give one of those a try sometime soon.

Beef with Hot from Alboe's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 5
hot peppers: 4

Score: 17/20

Alboe's
6316 S. Archer
Chicago, IL 60638
(773) 498-4526

Monday, April 1, 2013

Marco's Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Lets start this review off like many others. Sorry about the delay. In all honesty I just hadnt had any beef cravings of late. They really do come and go by the boatload. Well when the taste for one did come, I made sure to get to a spot that I haven't doc'd on here. It had been a while since I last stopped thru Marco's Beef so I gave it a go while passing by. You might not get the vibe when looking at it from the outside but this place takes the time and care of making their own beef.

Image
Fullerton just west of Austin

From my standpoint it's still a better than average example of this style of sandwich served in this city, though not quite 1st team, it can be considered an essential role player and maybe even 6th man. The folks there are good people and they load up their tender thinly sliced beef. The gravy has a nice spice kick and the peppers seem to have a little bit of everything in them. A solid option to have if you're anywhere near.

Image
Beef with Hot from Marco's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4


Score: 16/20

Marco's Beef & Pizza
6008 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60639
(773) 745-1015

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Buona Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
chibbqking production

We're back it over here, sorry for the delay folks, yeah, yeah, I know it's getting old. But I love when I get emails asking when people can expect the next stop. Anyway I'm a little bit backed up but ready to throw some more beef shacks at you. Buona Beef started out as a small mom and pop shop back in the early 80's but today there's over 10 locations around the burbs.

A popular family chain around Chicagoland

I hadn't been to Buona in some time. The one I pass by often is on North avenue and not far from Johnnie's so it's hard to stop there when one of my faves is nearby. But I tried Buona again a few months back and came away pleasantly surprised. I got one from the location in Berwyn next to Gina's Italian Ice. The gravy might not of been as beefy as I like but the beef itself was cut thin and didn't get all clumpy which is a problem I have with some places, especially chains. Their somewhat unique giardiniera recipe had a spice most others dont and was a tasty version. The bread was fresh so that's always a good thing.

Beef with hot from Buona Beef

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 3
hot peppers: 4

Score: 15/20

Buona Beef
6745 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 749-2555
Locations throughout Chicagoland 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mr. Beef and Pizza

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
chibbqking production

Welcome back folks. A new month means a new beef shack to be scored. So today we head west over towards Harlem and Irving to check out one of the favorite spots for locals from around this way to eat in this neck of the woods. Mr. Beef & Pizza is on no ways affiliated with the Mr. Beef that every foodie visiting Chicago feels the need to visit. I'm not sure if there was ever a history but I am sure they have no relationship to one another these days. Also no relationship that I know of between this Mr. Beef and the one in Mt. Prospect.


Locals favorite since 1979 located on Harlem near Irving Park

I dont get here all that often but decided it had been too long at some point last winter so I headed on over to see what was up. They get some love from posters over at LTHforum who's beef tastes I trust and they were right. This is a good version of a Chicago classic. It's got a little more of a spice kick to it from the gravy more so than the peppers and they dont skimp on the beef. Bread is fresh and the peppers are good too. This is a good sandwich and one for a beef lover to seek out whenever in the area. See ya next time @chibbqking.


Beef with hot from Mr. Beef and Pizza on Harlem

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4

Score: 16/20

Mr. Beef and Pizza
3719 N. Harlem ave
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 283-7444
Website

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Patio

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

The Patio is a Taylor Street institution. Located on the 1500 bock of the old Italian neighborhood near where many UIC students and newer trendy restaurants thrive today. Back in the day it was different, The Patio has been around since 1948 and remains strong with a new generation of customers today. Italian beef is their specialty but they are a complete Chicago style fast food locally owned place.


An old locals favorite on Taylor Street

Al's Original is the place that gets most of the love from both locals and tourists alike but dont discount The Patio's longtime recipe they use to make their own good version of a beef sandwich. The bread is always and the beef is sliced thin and they pile it on to the point where its just right. Anymore and it would be too much. The peppers while not my favorite are a unique blend but seem to be more like a diced relish recipe. Not to say that's bad, the mix is just very finely diced. All in all a very good sandwich and one I need to get back for another of soon. It's been a minute and I have no excused as for why.


Beef with Hot from The Patio

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4

Score: 16/20

The Patio
1503 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 829-0454

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Connie's Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Welcome back as we try to keep it going and remember to get the 'beef with hot' scores rolling. Today we head to Elmwood Park which is the home to one of the heavyweights in the beef game. Back in the day in Chicago there was an old beef place called Connie's Beef located at North and Narragansett. A couple years back Connie's decided to reopen in Elmwood Park on Grand avenue at 75th street. The current owners family took over the old Connie's in the 70's and then it shut down for a while and now it's back located in an old fast food building. I stopped in, oh maybe a year or so back and was happy with what I got.


Grand avenue in Elmwood Park

So they say these are all the original recipes from the original Connie's which was loved by many back in it's days at North and Narragansett. I thought the beef was the best part to this sandwich and that's a good thing. Mine was very tender and the type that doesn't fight back when you take a bite out of it. The gravy was above average but the peppers didn't quite do it. On top of the fact there barely was any it seemed to be just sliced jalapenos with red pepper flakes mixed in. Maybe there was more to it and I just got a little tablespoon full with certain ingredients missing. What sucked about there being a small amount of peppers was the fact they don't skimp on the beef. Many don't like the King of Beef's in Elmwood Park because of that. Overall I liked Connie's and am glad to have them back as purveyors of homemade Italian beef in Chicagoland. A nice option to have as your local beefing hole.


Beef with Hot from Connie's Beef

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 3


Score: 15/20

Connie's Beef
7501 West Grand Avenue
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
(708) 452-6500

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Marnell Drive In

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

I saw the old school neon sign below while driving south down Halsted one day and I was very tempted so pulled in the lot and pulled out my iPhone. I looked the place up on google just to get a feel for it and I found it mentioned in an old Tribune Article (you have to be a member to read all of it) from 1993 where Pat Bruno reviews his favorite stands for Italian sausage. I decided I would stop in and see where they were at today.


Halsted avenue in Chicago Heights

I didn't like the fact it was listed as Marnell Pita Drive In online or that when I went in, there was alot of Mexican food offerings on the menu. However I did like the fact they had on old school chimney where the smoke from the charcoal grill would go similar to that which they have at Enzo's also in Da Heights.


Notice the chimney...

Well I don't know why, but I ordered just a beef with hot as opposed to a combo or just their sausage. I wanted to see how it compared to the rest and score it I guess. The old school Drive In sign and fact they have the charcoal grill inside with the chimney to be seen outside are about all that was good on this visit. The beef was awful (I didn't eat but a bite) and for some reason, just like at Enzo's, when you ask for a "beef with hot" they give you sport peppers as opposed to the real stuff. Old timers from around this way wouldn't be happy. I'm not sure but I assume due to the lettering on the drive in sign, that they still make their sausage. So if theres ever a next time I'd try that. Maybe it's just past its prime. Too bad.


Beef with Hot from Marnell Drive In

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 2
bread: 3
gravy: 2
hot peppers: 2

Score: 9/20

Marnell Drive In
849 S. Halsted St
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 754-1164

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bob O's

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Hello folks, I know I'm sounding like a broken record but my apologies on the updates. I have many 'beef with hots' to score on the board here and share for all to see but I've just been busy. Well anywoo we stay in the city today and head to the Northwest Side to check out a place at the western edge of Irving Park road within Chicago city limits. It's called Bob O's Hot Dogs and as you can guess they're famous for their dogs but later on became well known for their beef. I suspect many people that have never been nor heard of Bob O's just did so recently when it was featured, for their beef, on the Hungry Hound segment on ABC7 News.


a longtime favorite on Irving Park Road

I had heard of Bob O's but never been until it came rec'd by a fellow beef eater. One whom I know has got love for beef, he cant ever stay away, always getting into it etc... the true beefers know how it goes. When I had heard how Bob O's makes their own I knew I would have to go and was glad when I did. They decided to start pushing homemade beef after perfecting their recipe of boneless roasts which are doused in dried onion and garlic and roasted until ready and then kept overnight and sliced the next morning. I thought the homemade taste was very recognizable and made the beef taste great. Nearby neighbors are lucky to have a top beef option around them. Read more about Bob O's HERE.


Beef with hot from Bob O's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4

Score: 16/20

Bob O's Hot Dogs
8258 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 625-9840

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Original Nana's

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

We're back and today we got a cross post from @chibbqking. Do you ever have those days when you just want both a Italian beef and a dog? But not just any old of each? Legit representations! Well if you do I got the spot for you as today we head to the Northwest suburbs. You can ride all the way along Irving Park Road which is quite the ride for finding many different offerings of ethnic cuisine as you cruise it for miles on end from the lake all the way west past O'Hare. Once you get to the village of Streamwood you'll come across a spot which I consider to be the best place to get a good juicy beef and hot dog together.


a longtime locals favorite in Streamwood, IL

I randomly found Nana's one day a few years back when taking a summer roll down Irving Park Road. As I can remember it's colorful sign letting you know they do Italian beef and sausage as well as Vienna Beef Hot Dogs along with a packed parking lot had me inside in no time. They've been around Streamwood since it was a sleepy little community back in 1973. It says alot that there still there today because plenty of eating options exist today but Nana's remains King. Originally owned by the daughter of Gene (from Gene & Jude's) and now Mike DiSilvestro. They perfected the art of the Chicago style depression dog aka the Minimalist dog with fresh cut fries. More on the story of Nana's and their hot dogs HERE.


The Original Nana's famous Hot Dog with fresh cut fries

Over here at 'Beef With Hot' our focus is on the Italian beef so today we focus on Nana's offering of this signature Chicago sandwich. They make their beef in house and it's the best part to the sandwich I would say. It's sliced thin and comes in the perfect consistency as far as tenderness and the gravy is full of flavor too with high amounts of seasoning inside. You have the option for a mini beef in case you want to have one of their famous hot dogs too and the bread does not suffer from being served on a mini roll. This is one of the better beefs I've had and the same can be said for their hot dogs which are great as well. Thus making Nana's the best place to get both. Check it out.


The Original Nana's beef with hot

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4

Score: 16/20

The Original Nana's
1102 East Irving Park Road
Streamwood, IL 60107
(630) 289-2226
Website

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brando's Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Around sometime last year I was informed of a newly opened beef spot in Berwyn called Brando's. As many Italian beef focused food stops as Chicago has there arent tons that focus on da beef that open up. Many and most of the stands that have already been reviewed on here have been around a while. When a new beef place opens up it tends to be franchised Al's or maybe a Pop's or Buona. I had Brando's on my mind since I was informed about it but never made it until just last month. Lets take a look.


A newly opened instant favorite beef shack in Berwyn

Brando's is a family run business that feels like they've been there forever. The staff was joking around and obviously enjoyed each others company and there was a family there for dinner and a few regulars who came in and took orders to go. Brando's menu includes other options like pizza and whats supposed to be a very good meatball sandwich but this being my first visit I was there for the beef. I went with my usual beef with hot and also an order of the fries which came with heavy praise from those who had already been. What took me so long? I thought this was one of the better beefs I've had of late. The gravy had depth to it (wasnt from a can or a bag) and the beef was excellent, made in house and finely sliced, it melted on my tongue. Those were the best parts to it while the bread was very good and the peppers were ok. I doubt they make the giardinera on site but it didn't detract from this classic example of a Chicago style Italian beef sandwich. If they can be consistent it's gotta be considered one of the best.


Brando's Beef with hot and fresh cut fries

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 5
bread: 4
gravy: 5
hot peppers: 3


Score: 17/20

Brando's Beef
6838 Windsor Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 788-2333
Website

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mickey's Drive In

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Mickey's Drive-In of Bellwood was recently featured over on chibbqking. An excerpt from the post reads "Places like Mickey's are a rare breed these days in and around Chicagoland. Its not a chain or franchise and its been family run since it first opened in 1959. They've been a big part of the neighborhood ever since Mickey Sangiacomos' wife Ann bought a used car lot on Manheim (that was an A&W stand before that) for $500 with a loan from the Bellwood bank. Its still in the same lot today." You can check out the entire story On Mickey's, featuring a few other of their food items by clicking HERE.


a locals favorite in Bellwood, IL

Featured in there was their homemade Italian beef which was not scored and indexed because I wanted to do that here. My favorite part about the beef with hot at mickey's is the fact that it comes in a mini size. Personally I don't think it's one of their better options. Not horrible just not something I would order again especially when they do up an amazingly great fried polish. The beef, bread and peppers were all ok but the gravy was seriously lacking. It tasted almost as if it was some of that instant mix beef broth crap you see at da Jewel's. But do let me stress again this doesn't mean Mickey's aint awesome, it's the shit, just not their beef with hot.


Mini beef with hot from Mickey's Drive In

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 3
bread: 3
gravy: 2
hot peppers: 3

Score: 11/20

Mickey's Drive In
635 Mannheim Road
Bellwood, IL‎ 60104
(708) 547-7866‎

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fabulous Freddie's

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Once again sorry for the delay. Lot's of stuff going on but I need to get the beefs with hot rolling and will get three beefs up on here next month, for real this time. It was about two years back I made what is still my most recent visit to Freddie's over on 31'st street in Bridgeport. They actually had a fire about a year back and will reopen soon after they are done remodeling. It's a long time fixture in the neighborhood with its late nite service and ginormous sandwiches.


a locals favorite on 31st street in Bridgeport

That last visit I ordered both a classic breaded steak, a southside thing, and a giant beef with hot. While I cant remember the exact prices the place is cheap and stays open late so you should have an idea of what it's like. Popular with both the blue collar workers and neighborhood lurkers. You get what you pay for as far as quality, quantity wise you get a whole lot more than you paid. The beef was almost impossible to eat as one but also so packed together it was hard to pick off a piece of thinly sliced roast beef. Not my favorite but a staple in the Bridgeport area that I hope opens back up soon. We (as a city) dont need another Potbelly's popping up and taking up space.


Big Beef with hot from Fabulous Freddie's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 2
bread: 3
gravy: 2
hot peppers: 3


Score: 10/20

Fabulous Freddie's
701 W 31st Street
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 808-0147

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mr. Beef on Orleans

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

We're 34 beef joints in and I finally decided it was Mr. Beef's time. No I didn't just go there for the first time recently I just wanted to get some of the lesser known places up on the board and scored first. I've been going to Mr. Beef since I can remember. When people (tourists) talk beef it's usually a discussion of Al's or Mr. Beef. Mister has been getting big love since I've been around in life and since it's a pretty close car ride from where I grew up it was in my regular rotation during my youth. Especially high school days when it was a favorite food stop of me and my friends. I don't get there nearly as often as I used to but did get back recently to be able to score a beef fairly.


a locals and tourist favorite on Orleans street


As you enter, order to the counter at your left


Randy (RIP) was freaking me out my most recent visit

During my youth of the 90's Mr. Beef was most likely my favorite beef at least on the northside. Then for a while I felt like they had a fall off in quality and weren't putting out the same beefs as when Scala's used to be right down the street back in the day. Some people said it went down hill while others claimed their allegiance to Dom and the boys. My most recent visit was everything I remembered Mr. Beef to be. This time around the beef was tender and thinly sliced and their gravy had the taste I was used to when eating a beef with hot from MB. I've always been a fan of their hot pepper mix and enjoy the fresh celery, its not as hot as other mixes but goes well with the beef and gravy. Since Mr. Beef is so big with tourists you usually don't have to worry about the bread which is delivered fresh daily. I'm not quite on Jay Leno's bus but I've always been a big Mr. Beef guy and I'm glad my latest visit was what I remember it for and that's a good beef sammich. They need to stay consistent since they rep the IB and many out of towners judge all beefs by theirs.


beef with hot from Mr. Beef

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 4

Score: 16/20

Mr. Beef
666 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60654-3916
(312) 337-8500

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dukes Drive In

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

And we're back! Sorry bout that boys and girls, woman and men I've just been really busy with the other site and life. To make up for the few months I have missed I will post three 'beef with hots' in July. Today were headed to Bridgeview which is the home to the Chicago Fire and not too far away from their stadium is the even more famous than the Fire, Dukes Drive In. They've been the locals favorite since they came around in 1975. Dukes has also been one of my favorite stops when out that way since my late high school days when I first passed upon while driving down Harlem. It's a family run business that has been doing it the right way from the get go and never switched over. This Duke's (Drive In) is not affiliated with any others. Even though it's called Duke's Drive In they no longer have drive up service. It became Duke's when Duke himself purchased the stand that was well known for their burgers and hot dogs.


a locals favorite in Bridgeview, IL

Dukes intention was to make the place famous for homemade Italian beef and sausage sandwiches. Duke's still makes there own Italian beef daily, cooking, trimming and thinly slicing it every morning. So it should come as no surprise that Duke's puts out a great Italian beef. I would be totally happy taking a first time beefer to Dukes because every part of their sandwich is above average. The beef and gravy are done right, thin slices that melt on your mouth sitting in a tasty gravy thrown on a fresh bread that make a great sandwich. As far as the hot peppers, they make them in my preferred style which is fresh. Thinly sliced fresh jalapeno and celery are thrown into oil and seasoned with spices including red pepper flakes. I love the freshness taste and crunch of the celery. Duke's is a well known place on the southside to show off your muscle cars and old school cruisers while eating one of Chicago's signature sandwiches.


beef with hot from Dukes Drive In

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 5

Score: 17/20

Duke's Drive In
8115 South Harlem Ave
Bridgeview, IL 60455
(708) 599-0576
Website

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jack & Lou's

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Hello again loyal readers. My apologies for not getting a beef with hot to you last month. I was busy enough trying to keep S'C'&C running smoothly that I forgot all about BWH. I have a few places waiting to be posted and I'll start with one of them today. I first found Jack and Lou's in Melrose Park while cruising down Manheim Road a year or so back. Since I have been to or know of pretty much every worthwhile beef joint in Chicagoland this came as a surprise to find a spot I had never been to or even heard of, and it looked legit. So I pulled a U-Turn and made my way into the parking lot and went on in for a beef with hot. The place is straight out of the 70's with it's sign and looks outside as well as the feel of the place inside.


a locals favorite in Melrose Park, IL

When I walked in I was greeted by a couple of dudes working the counter and they said what up and asked what I was going to be having today. So I ordered my usual order at Italian beef shacks, a beef with hot and browsed the rest of the menu. They had the usual suspects including what looked to be a damn good meatball sandwich being ate by the guy in the large room next door to the ordering area. It took me to another time as the wide open area was filled with small tables with a few chairs around them each and a couple dancing poles for what I imagine were entertainment purposes only. Oh, the stories this room could tell. I had some high hopes for da beef but in the end it was an average sandwich. Most certainly not bad but I was thinking this could be the last gem of beefs that I had uncovered. If the beef itself was a little more tender and didn't resist when pulled apart the sandwich would of been great. So it's possible I caught them on an off day or maybe got the last of a roast that was cooked a few days before. I've had worse but there are also better. I'll give them another try and look forward to testing some of their other offerings that looked good on my first visit.


Beef with hot from Jack & Lou's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 2
bread: 4
gravy: 3
hot peppers: 3

Score: 12/20

Jack & Lou's
2001 North Mannheim Rd
Melrose Park, IL 60160
(847) 451-0074

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tony's Italian Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

Today we head to da southwest side down Pulaski all the way to 80th street right there by Midway. Tony's Italian Beef is an old neighborhood favorite introduced by an old friend who used to work for Mike Madigan down near West Lawn where Tony's resides. This is a true Chicago style sandwich place that features an extensive menu including breakfast and about 20 other different sandwiches including beef and sausage along with breaded steaks and other offering like chicken and breakfast sandwiches served in French buns too. You can bet they got hot dogs, hamburgers and all the other things you would expect to find at a Chicago style fast food joint.


a locals favorite out by Midway

Their slogan goes by "When Was the Last Time You Had a REALLY Great Sandwich?" but I like to use another saying to describe it - Tony's "the safest place to eat in all of Chicago". I will set the odd's at 5/2 that you will see at least two if not quite a few CPD in their enjoying some rest and relaxation from the streets while putting down one of Tony's really great sandwiches. In the summertime you can eat your beef outside at the stand up counter along the exterior of the place and you can hear the planes landing at Midway airport fly right over you. In case anyone was wondering about good spots to grab Italian beef and other city favorites catered for Super Bowl Sunday or otherwise, Tony's is a really good bet.


It's all pretty damn good...

Tony's will get it's time in the limelight over at Smokin' Chokin' & Chowing in an article that will feature many of it's menu items offered some of which are top notch amongst their peers around the city. But over here it's all about da beef. The best part of da beef over at Tony's is the beef itself. This is a good thing since that's the most important part of the sandwich, ya know? Definitely their #1 seller, they go thru a bunch on a daily basis and so thus it's always sliced fresh and never sitting long. I think the bread is ok and the gravy is legit, the peppers are different. They are without a doubt made fresh with a heavy blend of jalapenos, very small pieces of celery and quite a few garbanzo beans with lots of oil. I don't know of anywhere else that uses these in their giardinaria mix so this is definitely unique. I don't really care either way about the blend I just wish it was hotter. All in all this is a very good beef and the fact it's stayed the same over time is great. They also have a location in Palos Park. I would recommend Tony's to anyone who likes them a good Italian beef sammich and finds themselves out that way by Midway.


Beef with hot from Tony's Italian Beef

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 3


Score: 15/20

Tony's Italian Beef
7007 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 284-6787
Website

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Enzo's Beef & Sausage

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
a chibbqking production

So I drove by Enzo's on Chicago rd. out in Chicago Heights not too long ago while out on work and remembered what I was told by an old colleague, which that it's worthy of a stop. So I decided to stop in and try a beef with hot and upon doing so it was like going back to an old beef joint from the 70's.


In Chicago Heights, IL

Inside they had cafeteria seating with an old ice cream parlor next door connected from within. The old menu was painted on the wall with the standards like Italian beef, sausage, meatball sandwiches, hot dogs and Polish sausage along with a charred salami (I assume) and sloppy Joe's. The menu also had a "Combo #2" with sloppy Joe and Italian beef. It was very cool that they had an indoor grilling pit area seen below where some items like the sausage were grilled over charcoal. I should of got a combo but I always get a beef with hot on my first visit to a beef joint which is a rare thing these days since I feel like I'm winding down trying all of the ones deemed worthy of doing so in Chicagoland. So its always nice to find an old spot that's new to you.


The Old Menu is still up on the wall


Indoor fire grilling pit from back in the day which is still used

Well, the sandwich was alright. I asked for a beef with hot and it came with sport peppers which I don't mind on a beef but I prefer them with giardineria. The beef was a little above average, it was like a roast beef, not shaved thin, so a little thicker but I ate the whole thing happily. I guess this place was a favorite back in the day when Chicago Heights had a strong Italian presence. There are still a few of the old school pizza spots located along Lincoln Highway U.S Route 30 as well as some real old bar's from back in that day. You should check out S'C'&C for updates from those spots coming soon.


Beef with sport peppers from Enzo's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 3
bread: 4
gravy: 3
hot peppers: 2

Score: 12/20

Enzo's Beef & Sausage
1710 Chicago Road
Chicago Heights, IL 60411-3405
(708) 754-7040
 
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