Chicago's Taylor Street
I realize that question/response has kind of become the standard around here rather than old-school digging and discussion, but let's see if we can't kickstart things a bit here.
Found a great new place a few weeks ago that really deserves some attention. I mentioned it briefly in another topic, but the place really deserves its own thread. One of the fellows who used to run Luke's on Indian School and 16th street sold off his share of the ownership there and has opened up his own place called Chicago's Taylor Street on Scottsdale Rd. just north of the 202, and it absolutely nails Chicago sandwiches.
The flagship is an Italian Beef that would be excellent in the heart of Chicago, to say nothing of Phoenix. A generous amount of tender, flavorful beef, sweet peppers that are actually sweet rather than overcooked and bitter, a good tart, zippy giardiniera and flavorful juice with plenty of oil to carry the flavor. Only complaint would be the bread which is a little spongy for an IB, but the bread's the toughest part to find away from its home city. Best part, it's $5 (the most expensive thing on the menu!), which is absurdly cheap for what it is.
He does great work with a bunch of other Chicago classics as well, many of which are tricky to find. It's nice enough to see a Maxwell Street Polish, split and griddled to a nice brown, caramelized onions, mustard and sport peppers... but he even busts out a pork chop sandwich, which always seems to live in the shadow of the Polish at the old Maxwell Street stands, but makes an appearance here, of all places. He does two thin chops side-by-side on a long bun, which is a little atypical, but the flavors and the soul are there.
Italian sausage is similarly great, also split and griddled, and especially good if ordered with a splash of the Italian Beef juice (if he pegs you as a Chicagoan, he'll do this without the request... I wish he'd just do it for everybody, but I'm not going to complain :-) And the dog is skinless, but still well-done. He's been saying he's planning on bringing in some natural casing dogs, and hopefully he'll make good on that. If so, hopefully they'll catch.
There are some other odds and ends... a good greasy cheeseburger, Chicago hot dog stand tamales (if you've never had them, not in any way *remotely* Mexican) for those who grew up with them and love them, and a few other things. All ridiculously cheap.
Get over there and throw this place some love to ensure it survives. I'm really surprised by just how good it is, and I can't think of a better place to introduce somebody to an Italian Beef. Just please, please, order it juicy. Dry Italian Beef makes Mayor Daley (senior) cry.
Chicago's Taylor Street
914 N. Scottsdale Road
Tempe, AZ 85281
Will definitely hit this place since classes start again in two weeks. I haven't had a good half and half in a while so I'll try the best of both worlds. I miss Gene and Jude's terribly, so a good dog with sport peppers will be on the menu as well. As long as they don't serve Kronos gyro meat it'll get at least two visits from me!
Ha! No gyro to be found. A notable omission from the pantheon.
The dog is a Vienna/Royko dog (no celery salt, I believe), not a Gene and Jude's minimal style, FYI.
I should mention one downside is that the fries are standard frozen fare. But there's way too much good for me to get bent out of shape about that.