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Authentic Chicago Style Italian Beef in Tampa

rkulovany Aug 17, 2008 09:39 AM

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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    aynrandgirl RE: rkulovany Aug 17, 2008 11:39 AM

    Chicago Grill and Dog House in Largo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aynrandgirl
      streetsmart RE: aynrandgirl Dec 12, 2008 05:46 AM

      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.

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      Little T. RE: rkulovany Aug 17, 2008 03:14 PM

      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.
        rkulovany RE: Little T. Sep 3, 2008 06:39 PM

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

        1. re: rkulovany
          RibDog RE: rkulovany Sep 3, 2008 07:13 PM

          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.
          TampaAurora RE: Little T. Mar 20, 2009 10:07 PM

          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. r
          RibDog RE: rkulovany Aug 17, 2008 03:44 PM

          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: RibDog
            rkulovany RE: RibDog Sep 3, 2008 06:40 PM

            I will RibDog, thanks!

            1. re: rkulovany
              rshally RE: rkulovany Sep 5, 2008 12:12 PM

              No Dought...FAT BOYS!!

              1. re: rshally
                Little T. RE: rshally Sep 29, 2008 07:45 PM

                Fat Boys is closed - replaced by an Asian restaurant.

                Are they in a new location or gone altogether?

                1. re: Little T.
                  surfereddie RE: Little T. Jun 11, 2010 10:27 AM

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

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            triff RE: rkulovany Oct 7, 2008 01:45 PM

            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
              TampaAurora RE: triff Oct 7, 2008 01:59 PM

              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
                RibDog RE: TampaAurora Oct 7, 2008 03:34 PM

                That's on my list of must tries!


                1. re: RibDog
                  Little T. RE: RibDog Jun 13, 2010 07:18 AM

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

            2. Lauracooks RE: rkulovany Jun 15, 2010 06:33 AM

              There is a Beeef on the menu at DATZ in tampabut I have not tried it yet

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                cjanducci RE: rkulovany Jul 6, 2010 05:27 PM

                Olde Town Pizzeria in Brandon and the one in Plant City have the best beef sandwiches we have found. After 30 years in Chicago my husband can't go more than a month without one. it's like being home...they even have a choice of green peppers or the little hot peppers....

                Olde Town Pizzeria
                3011 James L Redman Pkwy, Plant City, FL 33566

                Olde Town Pizzeria
                115 W Bloomingdale Ave, Brandon, FL 33511

                1. s
                  swiegner RE: rkulovany Nov 6, 2010 04:33 PM

                  Some Publix have the Scalas Beef Kits
                  the one in Brandon had but now no

                  ask you meat manager in Publx


                  1. askdrtodd RE: rkulovany Nov 7, 2010 02:02 PM

                    If you're referring to the Italian Beef Sandwich, there's a street-food-van-mobile thing that comes to the pour house downtown on certain nights, they pride themselves on being the best, etc etc. I ate one and enjoyed it, but having only visited Chi-town a couple times I can't say I'm a worthy judge. You could call pour house and ask what nights they come, I'm not 100% sure.

                    1. Mnash5 RE: rkulovany Nov 12, 2010 08:22 AM

                      I had the same problem when I first moved here. I can't speak much for Hillsborough but in Pinellas the best beef by far is Randy's on 580. In Dunedin. He used to be on Tampa Rd and 19 in Palm harbor but has recently moved. It's on the north side of the road near Patricia(highland) ave. Might want to call 1st to check hours he's normally only open for lunch.

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                        biko01 RE: rkulovany Apr 1, 2011 06:12 AM

                        For an authentic chicago beef sandwich try maria`s pizza in hudson. Small place ,hard to find,has great pizza,and the best beef sandwiches i`ve had since leaving chicago.

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                          austinjh RE: rkulovany May 7, 2011 01:49 PM

                          i had an italian beef (wet with giardiniera and cheese) at hot willy's in ybor today and i thought it was really good. i've never been to chicago nor eaten an italian beef before, so it may not live up to certain standards, but i suggest checking it out.

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                            RibDog RE: rkulovany May 24, 2011 12:25 PM

                            I had an Italian Beef sandwich from Cesarina's Italian Deli on East Bay Dr. in Largo today. For a twelve inch sandwich with onions (sry, don't like green peppers) and provolone cheese for $8 . I had a most difficult time finishing the sandwich in one sitting. While the bread, which they make themselves, had a little more bite to it than the rolls in Chicago, I really enjoyed the sandwich. Give it a try and see what you think.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: RibDog
                              Little T. RE: RibDog Aug 12, 2012 06:47 PM

                              They will make a half sandwich if you ask.

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                              andy huse RE: rkulovany May 24, 2011 01:47 PM

                              I tried Hot Willy's and the Chicago dog place on Treasure Island. Willy's was the better of the two due to a toasted bun, but both tasted essentially the same. This is what i have a problem with--- importing kits and such from Chicago just does not do the trick. These Chiacgo wannabe places mean well, but it tasted institutional to me--- only the peppers impart any real flavor.

                              Unless someplace is willing to start from scratch, you'll only get a bunch of bland, banal sandwiches. A place like Datz could probably produce something great, but I have yet to taste one that impresses.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: andy huse
                                RibDog RE: andy huse May 24, 2011 04:06 PM

                                Try the one at Cesarina's, I think you might be surprised.

                              2. l
                                Little T. RE: rkulovany May 26, 2011 07:11 PM

                                "Hot Dogs on Main" in Dunedin also does Italian Beef. Have not tried but their Chicago Dawg was pretty good. Nice folks too.

                                There is some other place I saw Italian Beef but now my memory fades me.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Little T.
                                  Little T. RE: Little T. May 26, 2011 07:15 PM

                                  You know what? The Italian Beef at Gatsby’s was really good I thought. Served on a large, tasty fresh baked roll - not your typical hoagie roll that gets all soggy.

                                  The service, however, was terrible the one time that I have been.


                                  1. re: Little T.
                                    RibDog RE: Little T. May 27, 2011 05:32 AM

                                    Dang, $10.95! It better be good for that price. IMHO

                                  2. re: Little T.
                                    RibDog RE: Little T. May 27, 2011 05:30 AM

                                    Do you think they make it fresh or get it in already cooked from Vienna or somebody?

                                    1. re: RibDog
                                      Little T. RE: RibDog Aug 12, 2012 06:50 PM

                                      Which place? Hot Dogs on Main = yes. Gatsby's, I am not sure but didn't taste like Vienna. Not even sure if Gatsby's is still open.

                                  3. s
                                    starr58 RE: rkulovany Aug 10, 2012 06:06 PM

                                    There is a place in Sarasota (on Tamiami Trail) called Little Joe's and it is very good. It even serves Jay's Potato Chips too.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: starr58
                                      seminole phil RE: starr58 Aug 11, 2012 08:21 AM


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                                      nalla RE: rkulovany Aug 12, 2012 07:43 PM

                                      What is "Chicago style" in Italian beef?

                                      I dont like what it is in politics.

                                      I know a couple old time ethnic markets

                                      Brothers and Sons..

                                      1. m
                                        michaeltbeck23 RE: rkulovany Jul 15, 2014 06:20 PM

                                        mels diner-busch blvd. tampa

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