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 Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera

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  • Total Posts: 115
  • Joined: 3/15/2004
  • Location: Albuquerque, NM
Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera Thu, 03/25/04 5:01 AM (permalink)
Ok I had to bring this up, as i don't live in Chicago and have only found Charlie's for Italian beef in my grocery isle, to try and fit my sandwich exploration needs. First off, is this brand on the grocery shelves in Chicago?.., and if so how does it compare to Chi-Town locally avaliable Italian beef? I'm gonna try my own home version of Italian beef really soon (when I get a slicer), but I think this brand will fit my needs for I've found it quite tasty. There is a website for them which I haven't explored yet at One other comment/question is: Can I get some Chicagoan input on a proper Giardiniera mix, I've read sport peppers are a key ingredient some places and seen them totally ommited in others...fill me in...Good eatin

    • Total Posts: 115
    • Joined: 3/15/2004
    • Location: Albuquerque, NM
    RE: Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera Sat, 03/27/04 4:01 AM (permalink)
    I'm very surprised to have not heard some debate in the proper Giardiniera issue..not sure how many Chicogoans there are here though... maybe I just need to be more patient. Celery, carrots, califlower, red peppers, pickles, pepperoncini...or sport peppers? Any thing else? Any thing less?
    I guess it's not like mayo vs. Mircle Whip.

      • Total Posts: 4
      • Joined: 12/23/2005
      • Location: Hudson, NH
      RE: Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera Fri, 12/23/05 9:35 AM (permalink)
      Yes, there are LOTS of small places where you can get Italian Beef in Chicagoland. Many of these do not cook their own beef, but buy the prepared roasts from distributors. That does not make them bad, just consistant. I had one owner tell me that the spices for the seasoning that comes with the commercial roasts is none other than common pickling spice! It does seem to give the authentic flavor.

      I crave this food after living there for three years, and I have tried it at home in other locations. Just get some good cooked roast beef sliced very thin at any Deli counter, soak it in beef broth with the spice overnight before heating, and heap large amounts on a good Italian roll with sauce to please. Do not cook the meat at high heat, just warm it up so that it stays tender.

      If you are ever in Albuquerque, there is a place called "Sweet Peppers" just off Central (Route 66) in downtown that is authentic. Run by a guy from Chicago.

      As for Giardiniera, that is a subject dear to the hearts of Chicago natives. There are varieties made there that are not available other places. Some have it sent to them while living in other places from friends and relatives!

        • Total Posts: 1609
        • Joined: 2/6/2005
        • Location: jacksonville, FL
        RE: Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera Tue, 12/27/05 6:20 AM (permalink)
        I found Papacharlie at Walmart and thanks to this forum knew what it was. While the meat and "gravy" is very good IMHO something was missing..... aahhh yes! sauteed some bell peppers and onions with italian seasonings and added to the meat mixture, lots of "gravy" on the roll..much better.....but still...something was missing... CHEESE... yea yea I know stop screaming SACRILEDGE!!! Its a personal thing! Toss on a couple spoonfuls of "LUBI'S" hot pepper medly and a squirt of ketchup open a bag of saltNvinager potatoe chips and a cherry coke and it's an all american style meal... I've also used soft taco shells (with a whole lot less"gravy") and taken the aforementioned concoction international....

          • Total Posts: 5055
          • Joined: 5/20/2003
          • Location: Tallahassee, FL
          RE: Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera Tue, 12/27/05 9:44 AM (permalink)
          Hot Giardiniera

          2 green bell peppers, diced
          2 red bell peppers, diced
          8 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
          1 celery stalk, diced
          1 medium carrot, diced
          1 small onion, chopped
          1/2 cup fresh cauliflower florets
          1/2 cup salt
          water to cover

          2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
          1 tablespoon dried oregano
          1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
          1/2 teaspoon black pepper
          1 (5 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
          1 cup white vinegar
          1 cup olive oil

          Place into a bowl the green and red peppers, jalapenos, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. Stir in salt, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Place plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
          The next day, drain salty water, and rinse vegetables. In a bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and olives. Pour in vinegar and olive oil, and mix well. Combine with vegetable mixture, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days before using.

            • Total Posts: 2
            • Joined: 10/26/2005
            • Location: Waukegan, IL
            RE: Italian Beef: Papa Charlie's & Proper Giardiniera Sat, 12/31/05 2:21 PM (permalink)
            The best Italian Beef sandwich in Chicago is Portillo's. Everyone goes here and they are the best around. Another good one is Tuscany in Chicago. Their combo is really good. You just gotta make sure they dip them well.
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