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italian beef sandwich, chicago style, where?

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

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

      2 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          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 :)

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

        12 Replies
        1. re: treb

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

          1. re: Joanie

            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

              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

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

                1. re: treb

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

                  1. re: treb

                    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

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                          1. re: treb

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

              2. 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

                  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

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

                    1. re: 9lives

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

                      1. re: 9lives

                        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.

                      1. re: digga

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

                        They are truly something special, for sure.

                    2. What exactly is an italian beef sandwich, chicago style?

                      1 Reply
                      1. 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

                          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. 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

                            Do they make their own giard ?

                            1. re: Nab

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

                              1. re: jgg13

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

                                1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

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

                                    1. re: Nab

                                      Ahh, now you speak my language! :)

                              2. re: celeriac

                                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. 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

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

                                  1. re: jefskil

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

                                    1. re: jefskil

                                      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

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

                                    2. 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.