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Jan 28, 2009 07:36 PM

Fleming's Chicago-Style Deli, Vacaville

If you thought Gumbah's was inconvenient ...


The Vienna Beef hot dog was entirely satisfying. I'm not a connoisseur or huge fan of Chicago Italian beef, but I might go back just for the giardiniera.

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  1. Hey, thanks for the reort. I was wondering about it when I stumbled across it a few months ago. They have a local bakery making the buns.

    So, is the giardiniera on the sandwich or served on the side as one poster said is the right way. Any peppers on the Italian beef?

    Flemings Chicago Style Deli
    179 Elmira Rd Ste C, Vacaville, CA 95687

    9 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      That would be me. It should be on the side. Also, Chicago Italian sausage sandwiches come exactly the same way as the beef (albeit less juicy), i.e., with green peppers and a dash of the Italian beef juice and the option of giardiniera on the side, and NO marinara sauce and NO mozzarella. I am sure any Italian beef joint in Chicago would be accommodating and add cheese and marinara to your Italian Sausage, but they'd secretly think you were ruining it.

      Another key point is, for some reason, Chicago-style places around the country can get the dogs and beef from Chicago but NOT the sausage. I spoke to a guy at a Chicago hot dog stand in Boulder, CO and he said he's been trying for years to get Chicago Italian sausage shipped to him and he hasn't been successful yet. I'd like to know where Fleming's source theirs. I bet it's from around here. The Italian sausage I find here tastes very different and not as good, IMHO, as the stuff we get in Chicago. The closest flavors are the ones at Fenway in Boston. New York Italian sausage tastes different from the SF, Chi-town and Boston versions as well. I presume it's a function of the region of Italy where each town's local immigrants came from.

      1. re: NoeMan

        I've gotten extra giardineira on the side, but every Chicago beef place I've been to generally asks if you want hot or sweet peppers (or both) and if you say you want hot, you get the giardineira on the beef sandwich or on the beef/sausage combo. So maybe that is a difference between beef and just sausage.

        Fenway Italian sausages from the vendors outside the ballpark are a mixed bag. In general, they will be various versions of sweet or hot (meaning fennel or fennel with red pepper). I've had a beef and sausage combo at a place in Salt Lake City, and they get everything, including the sausage from Chicago. I don't think there is a problem getting it in. They get theirs from "Red Hot Chicago"

        It seems like their sausage is Scala's.

        I personally prefer a mild/sweet sausage in the style of a Johnsonville Mild Italian (strong fennel taste, very savory) for a beef/sausage combo. Not a Northern Italy style Italian Sausage (no fennel, with just dominant salt and pork taste). I also think that sometimes hot sausages have a little bit less flavor for an Italian Beef, because I am already loading up on giardineira for spice, I don't need the heat from the sausage.

        I am just continually pissed that these great sounding Chicago places are opening further and further away from the Peninsula!

        Just a note for those traveling the world and not familiar with Chicago giardiniera- the hot pepper mix at the Pot Belly sandwich chain is pretty much it (mid Atlantic through Illinois + Texas).

        1. re: P. Punko

          Inside Fenway it was quite good and reminded me of home.

          Great source Punko.

          Al's #1 used ship it too per this old link, but I don't think at a commercially feasible price, so it is no longer on the newer website ........

          New site:

          1. re: NoeMan


            Most of the sausage in and around Fenway is of the style I think you like (and I prefer as well) just that the execution sometimes is hit and miss. If you sit in the "cheap" (not cheap) bleachers, you have many less choices for food in the stadium due to separate admission gate (not sure if they've changed that). So, the best variety is the street vendors. And now I am hungry and ready for opening day! Already have tickets to the A's-Sox (two dollar Plaza Reserved for the Wednesday day game). In Oakland, it is about Fruitvale tacos and Oakland Chinatown Banh Mi before the games.

            1. re: NoeMan

              I can tell you for certain Al's still ships. In my recent fantasy football championship game, I bet my rival from Chicago (I was born & grew up there) Al's beef if I won vs. California wine if he did. I won, and received two pounds of Al's complete with Gonnella bread, giardiniera & sweet peppers, and a lot of dry ice. Don't know what it cost, but it was very professionally packaged and I'm guessing it wasn't cheap (so I bought him some wine anyway).

              1. re: Deeg67

                Nice touch on the wine. and the package sounds great !

                1. re: NoeMan

                  When we have looked into shipping, shipping to Cali doubles the price in general. If you live on the East Coast or in the Midwest, shipping isn't that bad for items that have to come with ice packs, but once there needs to be a hunk of ice, it is at least a multiplier of two on cost (in general).

        2. re: rworange

          Giardinera came on the side, peppers on. Jus, they ask you if you want it on or on the side. Clearly they expect people to be picky, the order form has a long checklist and the clerk asked so many questions to make sure we got exactly what we wanted that it probably took two minutes to order two sandwiches. Clearly they take this stuff seriously.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            That's the right way. May have to burn some gas and get out there.

        3. Robert,

          Did you find the hot dog worth $4.50?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jeff

            I didn't give the cost much thought, so I guess. I liked it better than Top Dog, and a lot better than the more expensive Let's Be Frank dog.


          2. This place is no longer in business. We drove up today and found the space emptied. The sign outside said Chicago Style Deli and no mention of Flemings though.