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italian beef sandwich, chicago style, where?

neposter Mar 13, 2010 09:09 AM

i just watched the food challenge on food network, the featured food was italian beef sandwiches.
are there any resto or delis that serve this particular chicago sandwich in the boston area?

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  1. StriperGuy RE: neposter Mar 13, 2010 09:13 AM

    Sadly, er, no. This sangwich is VERY particular to Chicago.

    1. jgg13 RE: neposter Mar 13, 2010 09:16 AM

      windy city eats in weymouth. they also have chicago style vienna beef dogs, etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jgg13
        StriperGuy RE: jgg13 Mar 13, 2010 09:38 AM

        I stand corrected.

        1. re: StriperGuy
          jgg13 RE: StriperGuy Mar 13, 2010 09:52 AM

          BTW, it won't show italian beefs but the two tend to track together .... there's a vienna beef iphone app that shows you vienna beef purveyors near you. Of course the 5th closest joint is in VA or something like that so the pickings are slim up here :)

      2. t
        treb RE: neposter Mar 13, 2010 10:12 AM

        In Chicago. Our area has plenty of excellent cuisine enjoy your new turf and new tastes.

        12 Replies
        1. re: treb
          Joanie RE: treb Mar 13, 2010 11:36 AM

          Geez, someone can't ask about a certain style of food if it isn't inherently New England?

          1. re: Joanie
            treb RE: Joanie Mar 14, 2010 01:43 PM

            It's not that but, sammy's like that or say 'beef on weck' are so inherient to their specific area that if you found one in BOS it would probably never measure up and thus the you'd be really disappointed. IMO if your living here, enjoy what's here and not where your roots are.

            1. re: treb
              deglazer RE: treb Mar 14, 2010 02:47 PM

              Yes but do you know anyone in New England who has a diet made up of even 2% New England food? The odd lobster roll, some fried clams, baked beans maybe twice a year. Chowder. The overwhelming majority of our restaurants serve food from other regions or lands. No reason why a talented team couldn't produce a worthy homage to Italian Beef, or anything else for that matter.

              1. re: deglazer
                treb RE: deglazer Mar 15, 2010 01:02 PM

                The burger was invented in NE. Probably 'steak pizzolia' may be a close substitute for Italian beef.

                1. re: treb
                  Ralphie_in_Boston RE: treb Mar 15, 2010 02:31 PM

                  Would you be happier if the OP referred to it as "D__o Beef"?

                  1. re: treb
                    MrsCheese RE: treb Mar 15, 2010 08:15 PM

                    Steak pizzaiola is not anywhere near close. Italian beef is not tomato-y. I think it's called Italian Beef because it has Italian dressing rubbed on it before cooking.

                2. re: treb
                  chickendhansak RE: treb Mar 15, 2010 11:24 AM

                  The OP spoke of watching a TV show and taking an interest in the food featured on it. Nowhere does the OP say they are from Chicago expecting Chicago-style food here.

                  1. re: chickendhansak
                    treb RE: chickendhansak Mar 15, 2010 12:29 PM

                    Here's part of the OP's statement. are there any resto or delis that serve this particular 'chicago sandwich' in the boston area. I assume the OP is aware that this sammy's roots are in Chicago.

                    1. re: treb
                      chickendhansak RE: treb Mar 15, 2010 12:34 PM

                      My point was that there is nothing in the OP's post to suggest that the OP is from Chicago, so no reason to believe this area is "new turf" to them or that this area is not where their roots are.

                      1. re: chickendhansak
                        yumyum RE: chickendhansak Mar 15, 2010 12:59 PM

                        Can't we all just take a chill pill? The board is super hostile today. Ides of March?

                        1. re: chickendhansak
                          treb RE: chickendhansak Mar 15, 2010 01:03 PM

                          You're right, good point.

                          1. re: treb
                            Infomaniac RE: treb Mar 15, 2010 01:40 PM

                            it's all the rain....a little sunshine will bring some happiness to us all.

              2. 9
                9lives RE: neposter Mar 13, 2010 10:50 AM

                I've never had a Chicago beef sandwich so I may be off base but have you tried the pork or lamb sandwich from Artu in the NE? Different meat, but it looks like they may make a reasonable substitute.

                In either case, Artu makes a great sandwich so it won't be a total loss..:)

                6 Replies
                1. re: 9lives
                  digga RE: 9lives Mar 13, 2010 02:41 PM

                  Dude, I respect you like hell, but not even close. Dude, you got juice running down your arms in Chicago. This coming from a vegetarian....

                  1. re: digga
                    9lives RE: digga Mar 13, 2010 02:47 PM

                    When you put it that way, clearly, I need a trip to Chicago..:)

                    1. re: 9lives
                      9lives RE: 9lives Mar 13, 2010 04:48 PM

                      Travel Channel has a show feauring the beef sandwich on now..Big Al's and Mr Italian...looks great!

                      1. re: 9lives
                        southie_chick RE: 9lives Mar 14, 2010 12:45 PM

                        That was Big Al's vs Mr.Beef, but the trouble I had with the show was that they were 2 different types of sandwich - one being more spicy that the other. So, if you don't like spicy, you weren't gonna love the Big Al's beef. I would get both at the same time, so I could have Big Al's for the spice & Mr. Beef for a chaser! Both looked good so I'd be happy with either one.

                    2. re: digga
                      StriperGuy RE: digga Mar 13, 2010 03:40 PM


                      1. re: digga
                        C. Hamster RE: digga Mar 16, 2010 09:23 AM

                        I have never seen an authentic Chicago Italian Beef in these parts.

                        They are truly something special, for sure.

                    3. c
                      Chris B. RE: neposter Mar 14, 2010 12:50 PM

                      What exactly is an italian beef sandwich, chicago style?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chris B.
                        StriperGuy RE: Chris B. Mar 14, 2010 01:00 PM

                        Let me wikipedia that for you:


                      2. w
                        wmceaton RE: neposter Mar 14, 2010 01:01 PM

                        Your best bet is to make one yourself....there are some pretty authentic recipes on Allrecipes.com....I don't know of any place that makes these around here.
                        I have the same problem with Beef-on-Weck that I get in Buffalo...some have tried to duplicate it...but have failed.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wmceaton
                          MrsCheese RE: wmceaton Mar 14, 2010 01:54 PM

                          It is really easy to do it yourself in a crockpot (I grew up on these). Rump roast, rub with Good Seasons dry italian dressing mix and as much crushed red pepper as you prefer. Add a cup of water and cook all day. Shred with a fork (some people slice, but I grew up on shredded). Serve with pepperoncini. Be sure to dip the top of your bun in the juices.

                          I know recipes belong on the Home Cooking board, but I'm telling you this because I think if you want the real thing, you're not going to find it in Boston.

                        2. c
                          celeriac RE: neposter Mar 15, 2010 10:05 AM

                          The one time I tried it the beef at Windy CIty in Weymouth it was perfectly serviceable, but not great. I would say if you're trying italian beef for the first time, you might be better off waiting until you can try the real specimen. On the other hand, if you're a lover of italian beef and looking for a fix, it might do the trick in a pinch, as it did for me. I would say the hot dog I had there was better.

                          Domenics, the excellent sandwich shop in Waltham, is making a variant on the theme, which I still have yet to try. (I hang my head in shame.) As you can read in this thread, it seems to be more inspired by Italian Beef than fully emulating it, so again it's not a good specimen to judge: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614664

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: celeriac
                            Nab RE: celeriac Mar 15, 2010 10:30 AM

                            Do they make their own giard ?

                            1. re: Nab
                              jgg13 RE: Nab Mar 15, 2010 10:38 AM

                              I could be wrong but I believe they use vienna beef's stuff

                              1. re: jgg13
                                cannedmilkandfruitypebbles RE: jgg13 Mar 16, 2010 05:29 AM

                                yeah, they use just about every Vienna Beef product made- including their giard.

                                1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles
                                  Prav RE: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles Mar 16, 2010 06:54 AM

                                  Sorry, what is giard? A google search only gives me "giardia" related results.. :-/

                                  1. re: Prav
                                    Nab RE: Prav Mar 16, 2010 07:41 AM

                                    Italian-American achar. =)

                                    1. re: Nab
                                      Prav RE: Nab Mar 16, 2010 08:33 AM

                                      Ahh, now you speak my language! :)

                                    2. re: Prav
                                      jgg13 RE: Prav Mar 16, 2010 08:27 AM


                              2. re: celeriac
                                jgg13 RE: celeriac Mar 15, 2010 10:40 AM

                                I'd agree w/ this. I really like their dogs. I like the "perfectly serviceable" description of the beef - I've had worse in chicago and I've had better. When I'm jonesing for a beef I'm perfectly satisfied at WCE but normally when I'm there I get the dogs (I like the various concoctions that he's put together, some are really good)

                              3. j
                                jefskil RE: neposter Mar 16, 2010 09:39 AM

                                I only read through about 1/2 of these, but isn't this basically a french drip just with 'italian' seasoned au-jus ?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: jefskil
                                  jgg13 RE: jefskil Mar 16, 2010 10:38 AM

                                  They're along the same lines, but not really the same thing.

                                  1. re: jefskil
                                    StriperGuy RE: jefskil Mar 16, 2010 11:13 AM

                                    In principle yes, but in execution, not even close.

                                    1. re: jefskil
                                      yumyum RE: jefskil Mar 16, 2010 02:14 PM

                                      As a MAJOR fangrrrrl of the French Dip I have to say it's a thing of beauty with a provenance all its own. It's an LA creation and the latest Saveur mag (LA edition) does a whole treatise on the magical sammy here --> http://www.saveur.com/article/Travels...

                                      I've not had an Italian beef, but the main similarity I can see (beyond the obvious beef on a roll) is the juices running down your arms.

                                      1. re: yumyum
                                        StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 16, 2010 03:00 PM

                                        Hmmmm, perhaps I've never had a proper French Dip.

                                    2. p
                                      phatchris RE: neposter Mar 16, 2010 02:32 PM

                                      I remember getting Italian syle roast beef at the deli as a kid. Now I know its not the same seeing as it was deli sliced, but it did have an Italian seasoning rub on it.

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