Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jun 20, 2007 12:59 PM

Chicago Style Italian Beef

A friend of mine had a "Chicago Style Dinner" at his house last night, and he served us awesome food that he had shipped over from Lou Malnati's. The Italian Beef was sooo good and now I need to have more!!

I searched through the existing postings and didn't find any current postings about where to find good Italian Beef sandwiches in our area... so hopefully there are some places in DC/MD/VA so I can feed this new addiction.

Please let me know! Appreciate your help! :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What's Chicago style Italian beef like? If it's cooked and carved appropriately for a sandwich, perhaps the Italian Store in Arlington would know what you're looking for and might even have it. Give them a call.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MikeR

      I really don't think that exists outside of the Chicagoland area. It's a regional food. Like halfsmokes.

    2. Billy Goat Tavern has it on their menu, but I haven't tried it. I've pretty much only had burgers and breakfast sandwiches there.

      1. Port of Piraeus at 1225 I street has Italian Beef ("Hot roast beef au jus, grilled onions, and chopped pepperoncini, on French bread 6.49") on their menu. Never had it there though. I can't imagine they'd be able to duplicate the spices in the jus of a good Chicago Italian beef (primarily because there isn't much of an Italian community left in DC).

        I was going to suggest checking out the Italian American Festival July 8 downtown. It's at the church at 3rd and F NW in what's left of DC's Little Italy; basically, just the church. However, according to their website, no Italian beef.

        3 Replies
        1. re: monkeyrotica

          The Port of Piraeus Italian Beef sandwich is not worth crossing the street for. I've never been to Chicago, so I can't tell you how it compares, but even with my lack of standards it's just plain no good.

          1. re: Steve

            I believe you, but it would be more helpful if you could say what you mean by "no good" in this context.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              They just take some strips of beef that have already been sliced and put them on some bread. Not really seasoned in any way and not particularly fresh. I guess what makes it 'Italian' is that they put on onions and peppers. They should call it a Room Temperature Meatwich.

        2. Thanks for giving me some places to get started. I'll post back if I find anything good.

          1. I'll add Chicago style hot dogs to the list. Anyone know where I can find these or any other good hot dogs around the DC/NOVA area? I always try to pick-up a Chicago dog when I fly through O'hare.

            3 Replies
            1. re: buckeye

              M'Haute Dawg in Adams Morgan claims to serve a Chicago dog, but a lot of people disagree on the quality/authenticity, particularly over the greenness of their relish and the absence of celery salt and sport peppers. Not cheap either, so why bother?

              The local dog is the halfsmoke. Avoid the dirty water halfsmokes from Mall vendors and go to either Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street or Weenie Beenie in Arlington. I prefer the latter.


              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Perfect. I didn't know a good hot dog/half smoke stand existed in the area. I'll try Weenie Beenie out over the course of the week.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  For those w/ cravings for good halfsmokes, if you find yourself in Foggy Bottom late at night, you can also check out Manouche, who has a hot dog cart that he sets up outside the old Tower Records at 2000 Penn; he's far from fast, both because he grills the dogs when they're ordered and because he seems to be in business as much to chat with people as to make money, but the dogs are good, and in that area they're among the only late-night eats available. (Be prepared to be talked to, though: I went to undergrad at GW, on whose campus 2000 Penn sits, and when some college friends were in town a year ago, we thought we'd get a Manouche Dog for old time's sake; even though it was at least a decade since I had been there, Manouche remembered me and spent a good 10 minutes talking before he gave me my dog, much to the consternation of the rest of the long line waiting for late-night processed meat products.)