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Aug 17, 2008 09:39 AM

Authentic Chicago Style Italian Beef in Tampa

I've just relocated to Tampa from the Chicago suburbs and I'm looking for the best Chicago style Itailan Beef in the Tampa area. I've read some 3 year old postings, but would like to know if anything has changed.

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  1. Chicago Grill and Dog House in Largo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aynrandgirl

      Chicago Grill and Dog House is astronomically expensive and not very good. They charge about $8.00 for a combo (beef and sausage on the same bread), and when I asked for it dipped, their crappy bread fell apart. If this were in Chicago, it wouldn't make it, and taking an italian beef newbie here would cause that person to have a very low impression of Chicago.

      Put this in the same category as Mel's. Not very good and outrageously expensive. This place makes money off of Chicagoans who need a faint reminder of home and have nowhere else to go to get it.

      I have not yet found a credible beef in Tampa.

    2. I second Chicago Grill and Dog House. Well, actually I have never had their Italian beef sandwich as I cannot go there without eating a Chicago dog.

      Which burb are you from? My wife is from Park Ridge.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Little T.

        Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. I'm from Downers Grove. Lots of Italian Beef from Teddy's and Portillos.

        1. re: rkulovany

          I was just up in Chicago, actually Deerfield, visiting my sister. While there, she took me to Paradise Pup not too far from O'Hare and really enjoyed their Chicago beef. Also had it at another non-descript place and theirs had a overriding flavor of cloves to it. Did not like that at all.


        2. re: Little T.

          I had to wait for stars to align to finally get to Chicago Grill and that includes them rebuilding because of a fire - and I'm a fan. The owner was helpful and had a great sense of humor. The Italian beef was great and not expensive at all. If this place is serving anywhere near what an Italian beef is supposed to be, then I want to move to Chicago. Before this place, I'd only had this sandwich in the Chicago Airport and Placy's which is just a few miles away from this place. I liked Placy's but if I had a craving for an Italian beef, I wouldn't waste my time on Placy's after trying Chicago Grill.

        3. I still think that Fat Boy's on 94th Ave. N in St. Pete has an excellent Chicago beef sandwich. Give it a try.


          4 Replies
              1. re: rshally

                Fat Boys is closed - replaced by an Asian restaurant.

                Are they in a new location or gone altogether?

                1. re: Little T.

                  Not in google =(. I need an Italitan Beef!!!

          1. Went to a new place called Placy's just south of Morton Plant Hospital on Ft. Harrison in Clearwater, and hubby had a great Italian beef sandwich (homemade beef as well as the giardiniera). REAL nice owner (his family was in the restaurant biz a long time in Chicago). I had the Vienna dog, which had the snappy skin, poppy seed bun, and all the right condiments (except relish was not the neon green kind). We also sampled the meatballs and homemade red sauce - yum! Fries were fantastic, and the Italian ice went down easy. Here is their link:


            triff (who spent her first 38 years in Chicago & its burbs)

            3 Replies
            1. re: triff

              I can't attest to the authenticity of Placy's but I can tell you that I enjoyed the Italian Beef and my husband is often a member of the lunch crowd enjoying the giardiniera. He has raved about the hot dog as well, but I haven't gone beyond the Italian beef.

              1. re: TampaAurora

                That's on my list of must tries!


                1. re: RibDog

                  This was mentioned in another thread - Placy's is closed - Didn't want anyone to drive all the way out there for nothing.

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