Al's italian beef
Coming in to Chicago this weekend from NYC. I have a few estaurants on my list but was interested in trying al's. I saw it on man vs food. I noticed there are a few locations....is there an original location that is best? Should I avoid all together?
I've never even noticed the guard the food is soo damn good. Yes, Taylor St is the only Al's to go to, the other locations just dont compare, that's why it Als #1.
Best in the city? Generally speaking it is, but Johnny's in Elmwood Park comes real close too. Both Johnny's & Al's have great sausage, be sure to get either a combo (beef & sausage) or one of each. And even if your asked, DON'T ever get cheese on it!!
Leek & Vinnie and other experienced beef lovers; As to dipping vs. not.
When introducing a novice beef eater who experiencing a beef for their first time, my advice usually is dont get it dipped!
Somehow the soggy roll thing seems to be a turn off for them, and is an acquired taste/texture for that those of us that have been eating beefs for years on end. It just seems like each time I've introduced someone to a wet beef it doesn't seem to go over so well. So I would say dont get it dipped more than they already do normally, get a side cup of extra gravy, have them drizzle some on the inside of the sammich once they really get the taste buds going. Same thing with the hot giardiniera, get it on the side, have them drizzle the oil generously into the meat, and scoop in the veggies generously, but work their way into it. And I always tell them to get the sweet peppers!!
The Taylor Street location is not only best for the food, but also for the ambience, if you want to call it that. You stand and eat at the tables or rails along the walls, and back in the day there used to be an armed guard at the end of the counter making sure you saw his piece so there was no funny business. Don't know if that little touch still exists today. Al's is the best beef in the city hands down and the Taylor Street location is second to none. It used to be our dinner spot when we had Blackhawk season tickets for years.
The original location is the one on Taylor street. Consensus is that it's the best one. Now, whether it's the best beef in Chicago is a whole 'nother question ;) I like it very much. Order your beef hot and wet (dipped, with spicy giardinara) and get the fries. You eat it leaning over, elbows out, so the juices don't drip on your shirt. Mmmm.