Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Feb 19, 2008 02:26 PM

commando raid on chicago

stayed up late last nite surfing this board. was drooling over some of the great joints that were discussed.namely,italian beef,corned beef,italian sausage etc. bottom line,i was so jacked up over these threads that i decided to DO something about it.
got up at 5 a.m. got to the cincinnati airport at 6 and was in the air to o'hare at 7:15. arrived at 8:20 and was on the cta train at about 8:30 -headed downtown.first stop was steve's deli on w.hubbard st. got there at about 9:15 and guess what! they are not yet open for business-despite what someone on one of the deli threads said. a real bummer! next time-steve"s.
went from there to manny's(my back-up).walked about 6 blocks in about 10 degree weather-far too cold for this kentucky boy-but i was on a mission and rejected the cold in favor of visions of manny"s offerings.rolled into manny"s about 9:45-after another 6 block jog from the bus stop.
folks,i gotta tell ya,it lived up to all the hype from the board! place was rather empty at that hour and i had a chance to chew the fat (literally) with the counterman about my mission and he proceded to slice me samples of just about everything at his incredibly good were all of his offerings that i went into brain-lock when he asked me what i had decided on.after fumbling and mumbling 2 roast beefs on rye,a pastrami on same and a pair of corned beefs ditto were what i came up with.
so,loaded down with my booty-and i do mean loaded down-i lit out to the train stop for harlem and north avenue-destination the capri italian food store for 3 lbs. of both mild and hot salciccia.
then up the street a couple of blocks to dominic"s for a coupla boxes of chateau bread dumplings-like the ones that my late aunt fixed for her bohemian husband. i've looked all over and cincinnati for months for these.good luck. these people down here look at you like you"re from venus when you ask for them. no clue whatsoever.anyway,i scored them at the big D. now for the grand finale-JOHNNYS- at 75th and north in elmwood park-directly across from dominic" there at 11:30-before the lunch crowd and rapped with the counter guy again about my nutty mission and guess what-MORE SAMPLES! the beef,the sausage the gyros,etc. running tight by now so i ordered 2 beefs, 2 combos and a gyros to gnaw on at the airport. had him put both sweet peppers and their great gardiniera on all the sandwiches and they wrapped them plenty good for the plane.dashed back the 4 blocks to the bus stop and hopped it to the harlem train stop. was back at the airport at 12:20 in plenty of time for my 1:50 flt. am very fortunate that my wife works for the airline or else this kind of extravagence wouldn"t be possible for me.
as i sit here pecking,i pause occasionally for a nip of my combo from johnny"s-great,even if not piping hot.
just thought someone would get a kick out of what a retired nut case from kentucky does when he has WAAAY too much time on his hands.wife gets home from her 3 day flying trip and will sure be happy with her corned beef! ciao! art p.s. shot right thru security without even a glance at my booty. i did however get a few upturned noses in my direction on the plane when the odors began to waft from the overhead. oh well!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow! That is chowhound dedication.

    1. Great story - Thanks for sharing!

      1. Your adventure certainly put a smile on my face!!! There should be some sort of award given to artmo!!

        1. Johnny's does not sell gyros.

          3 Replies
          1. re: tonyg

            tonyg is right. the joint where i got a gyro to go was about 4 blocks n. of the train stop in oak park .can't remember-mikeys or mikes-something like that. across from the tennis courts where i played as a kid-many years ago. a nostalgic quick walk by them on the way to a bus north on harlem to north ave. brought me by this place. almost was tempted by their beef-a guy there just bought one,but i stuck with my plan to head for johnny' the way-the gyros never saw the airport-ate it on the o'hare line train. absolutely killer! sorry for the mislead guys don't miss anything!! thanks. art

            1. re: artmo


              Glad you enjoyed. I believe it's Mickey's you are referring to. I used to live right down the street on Erie and would go there frequently. They do server an excellent and ample gyro.

              1. re: tonyg

                Lol - did you get your Gyros "for to bye bye!"

                I went to Mickey's about a year ago after a five year absence. Same guy barking the same orders in the same fashion.
                BTW - their beef sammich used to be thick cut, and pretty chewy stuff.

                Me- "One Gyros to go with everything, please"
                Mikey's guy - "One gyro for to bye bye!"