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Oct 14, 2012 11:04 AM

Birmingham - ISO Italian Beef

I've searched but come up empty-handed. Maybe someone knows of a hidden gem where I can find a real Chicago-style Italian Beef sandwich in or near BHM. Thanks.

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  1. I don't think I've seen it on their menu, but I'm sure that T-Bones could make you one to order. They make awesome sandwiches and looks like they have most the ingredients. Not sure if they have the au jus for wetting it though. It's be worth a shot at least. Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sheilal

      That's close enough that I may give it a try, although without juice or giardiniera, it wont be the same. The worst thing that can happen is I eat a sandwich.

    2. I swear I came across this recently but in the meantime, there is always Al's in Cullman. I thought their italian beef was pretty decent, but I do not have any comparison from Chicago.

      I went because I was in the area. I'm not sure this is a destination spot.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dax

        Thanks. Cullman is pretty far, but I play golf up near there every once in a while so will hit it on my way back. I've decided that my weekend will involve this:

        1. re: G200

          Agree it's far and not a destination place. They do ask if you want the giardiniera on it.

      2. A place recently opened in Trussville that has Italian beef sandwiches on the menu. It's Lulu's Chicago Style Eatery. Here's a link

        Please report back if you go.

        5 Replies
        1. re: sheilal

          That is the one I read about somewhere!

          1. re: sheilal

            That's what I'm looking for. Thanks. I'll report back soon.

            1. re: G200

              I visited Lulu's on Thursday and was thankful to get my Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich.  I was not disappointed , but there was one thing I think they can improve on.

              They fixed the sandwich just the way I like, dunked and with hot giardiniera.  I didn't recognize the giardiniera as the jarred Dell' Alpe brand, so maybe they make their own.  Regardless, it was great.  There was plenty of oregano from the first bite, the signature of the IB "sammich". The beef was thinly cut and generously piled on.

              My one gripe is that the bread was nothing special.  When I'm in Chicago, I always get my sandwich dunked in the juice.  I like my bread to be able to soak up the juice, but still stand up to it.  An Italian bread or even a French bread would be better suited for this.

              I had their homemade chips with the sandwich.  They too were tasty.

              Overall, I very much enjoyed Lulu's and will go back.  In fact, I have plans to go tomorrow with my family.  Now that I've found an Italian Beef, I'm going to make up for lost time. Thanks for the tip, sheilal.

              1. re: G200

                Thanks so much for the report! Can't wait to try this place. My daughter lives in Chicago and we always go on a culinarily cullture exploration when I go to visit. I've never had an Italian beef there, so I've have to get one here and then there so I can compare. I've triedmany deep dish pizzas in Chitown (Giordanos, Uno, Gino's) and look forward to trying Tortugas' version. Do you have a comparison?

                1. re: sheilal

                  Unfortunately, I don't. I typically don't order the same thing time and again, but when I make it to Chicago (always for fewer than 24 hours), I always get an Italian Beef. I can't help it!

                  By the way, I did go back to Lulu's on Saturday, this time with my family. I found out that they essentially "mport" everything from Chicago, including the giardiniera and the Gonnella French rolls. I'm still not convinced that there's not a better roll out there, but I really admire their pursuit of authenticity. My wife and I can't wait to go back!