Chicago breaded steak sandwich

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Shane
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2005/01/18 12:41:33 (permalink)

Chicago breaded steak sandwich

Anyone have any thoughts on the Italian breaded steak sandwich?

Here in Chicago I love Ricobene's breaded steak. On the same roll as it's more famous local brother, the Italian beef, but a totally different vibe.

This sandwich is a great change from the beefs available everywhere in town. Comes with red gravy and is dressed like the more common sandwich with peppers and gardinera.

Is this unique to Chicago? Ricobene's has been aroung since the '40s.
#1

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    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/01/18 13:02:18 (permalink)
    Apparently, it is well represented in Kansas City as well

    see http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=316
    #2
    Shane
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/01/18 13:45:24 (permalink)
    I came across a radio piece on public radio the Stearns had done on Ricobene's, and Micheal sounded like he had never heard o this type of sandwich before, (he's from chi-town). I had read the KC thread a while ago, but the Stearn's got me wondering if the chicago version is unique or if this is common every where. No one in Chicago has one quite like Ricobene's (breaded, deep-fried, rolled up and then stuffed into the roll with red gravy)
    #3
    zataar
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/01/18 15:57:30 (permalink)
    The Italian Steaks that I grew up with in KC were rolled up with the red sauce, with mozzarella, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion and parmesan in some places. I definiteiy want to try one in Chicago the next time I'm there. It was something I wasn't aware of.
    #4
    diane ck
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/01/18 16:45:36 (permalink)
    I have had Ricobene's but I enjoy Luke's, which is northwest on Harlem in Chicago, better. Cant put my finger on it, maybe its the sauce I like more?
    #5
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/01/18 17:31:37 (permalink)
    http://www.redpac.com/photo/archives/cat_food.html
    I found this guy's pretty funny food foto blog. On October 26, 2004 there's a picture from ricobene's. In KC, it wasn't associated with one restaurant, but always in drive-ins. Ours looked just about like that picture. They just have a different name.
    Bill
    #6
    Shane
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/01/18 19:45:16 (permalink)
    So I need to go to Luke's! Where on Harlem, how far north?

    Is it then just a Chicago/KC thing? That would be weird, what's the connection?...
    #7
    lampwick773
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/02/05 07:06:10 (permalink)
    The "Breaded Steak Sandwich" is, generally speaking, a South Side thing here in Chicago... and more specifically, it is a Bridgeport thing, which, those of you familiar with the City of Big Waistlines will know as being the traditionally Irish/Italian/Lithuanian neighborhood famous for its Union Stockyard/Meatpacking past, its long list of mayors (the Daley's being the most famous), US Cellular Field (aka Sox Park, aka Comiskey), and its less-than-tolerant racial views.

    Those of you that live in Bridgeport will also know that while the "original" breaded steak ("the King") came from Ricobene's on 26th , the best place to get them is, in my opinion, Freddie's @ 31st and Union. There are some other joints in the neighborhood that also have them, but these are the two most accessible. Besides the sandwiches, both Freddie's and Ricobene's have really good pizza too.

    I haven't actually ever asked anyone how the breaded steak began, but judging it next to another local specialty, The Maxwell Street Polish,

    I'd venture to say that it is a result of our cultural melting pot. Especially when you consider that Steak Milanesa is another name for breading a steak, which are commonly found in taquerias, and that Mozarella and Jalapeno's are both considered "normal" items on a breaded steak at Ricobene's. The Mexican and Italian thing seems to have come together to produce one of my favorite Chicago delicacies.

    (and btw... in case you aren't familiar with the makeup of a Maxwell Polish, it's a Polish sausage - preferably from Bobak's, but Vienna is acceptable - with mustard, grilled (almost carmelized) onions, and sport peppers (little, pickled, green, hot peppers) on a hotdog bun, served best with semi-hot, greasy, fries from a steamed-up window, while a bum hits you up for change.
    #8
    westsidetommy
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/03/04 02:11:20 (permalink)
    Yeah, certainly a South Side thing. I grew up on the West Side and ate at almost every beefstand and hot-dog stand on the West Side and Elmwood Park and Melrose Park too and never saw a breaded steak until I became a Boilermaker and started hangin with guys from Bridgeport and Canaryville.

    Years back the guy that owned the Polish stand at Maxwell and Halstead was a Macedonian guy fom Oak Park, he had the sausages made specially, definately not Vienna or Bobacks. That was a long time ago when I knew the guy though, 1960s. Back when Dominicks was one store on North Ave. ;)
    #9
    Vital Information
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/03/21 12:28:31 (permalink)
    My favorite breaded steak is made at the aptly named La Milanese on May St. in Bridgeport. The problem with this place is they are only open for lunch during the week. Ricobenes is a very good second choice.

    Rob
    #10
    readjl
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/14 16:10:59 (permalink)
    I tries Ricobene's last night. It was pretty good. My question is what cut of beef are they using before it's breaded? I was thinking it would be cube steak, but it is definitely not. They use a much thinner cut. Then they fold it into the bun. The cut was not run throught a cubing machine and was very thin, which I didn't like too much relative to the breading.....but overall it was good.

    anyone know what cut of beef these Bridgeport establishements uses? I think it was just thin beef cutlet, or something, which is what? top round?
    #11
    tiki
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/14 18:11:26 (permalink)
    Could one of you folks give me a good description of this sandwhich---or a PICTURE? im a bit cinfused--its SOUNDS like a chicken fried steak with red sauce--is that close??--Rolled???? what kind of bread/roll? Garnishes?
    #12
    westsidetommy
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/14 18:39:20 (permalink)
    They take a flank steak and beat the bejeezus out of it until it's about a foot square and about 3/32 inch thick. Then it's breaded and deep-fryed. Folded up and put on Italian bread or roll and covered with red gravy.

    Some people like it with sweet-peppers, hot-peppers, mozzarella or provelone. I like it plain or with sweet peppers.

    The best I had was LaMilanese.
    #13
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/14 23:24:20 (permalink)
    Sure sounds like a chickenfried steak or a close cousin
    #14
    tiki
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/15 07:23:01 (permalink)
    Sounds GOOD!---it IS a very close cousin of chidken fried eak---but i have nver seen Flank CFS---should be greeat. I am now looking forward to EATING one ---with peppers please!---btw--breaded--i am assuming this is with bread crumbs not flour?--like a veal cutlet--which leads me to beleive that this is also a CLOSE cousin of the Veal parm Sub.
    #15
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/15 09:05:33 (permalink)
    Tiki, scroll up to my old post and you can find a picture in that guy's food blog.
    Ours in KC were thin cut, almost like what some call a breakfast steak.
    #16
    tiki
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/15 10:31:19 (permalink)
    Thanks Bill---you know it LOOKS alot like a Veal Parm sub too!
    #17
    readjl
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/16 10:32:43 (permalink)
    OT: my brother had dinner with a food service, wholesale guy last night. This guy said to never, ever eat at Arby's. Their beef starts out as liquid, then it gets solidified, then sliced.
    #18
    UncleVic
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    RE: Chicago breaded steak sandwich 2005/04/16 11:22:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by readjl

    OT: my brother had dinner with a food service, wholesale guy last night. This guy said to never, ever eat at Arby's. Their beef starts out as liquid, then it gets solidified, then sliced.


    Sounds like another urban legend in the making...
    #19
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