Italian beef in Evanston, Ill.

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danimal15
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2004/07/01 14:53:31 (permalink)

Italian beef in Evanston, Ill.

I'm always looking for a good Italian beef sandwich, but they're few and far between in Chicago's North Shore suburbs, where I live. That's why I'm happy to report that the one I had last night at Mustard's Last Stand in Evanston was top notch, right up there with the best. It was packed generously with lean, spicy beef, and the roll was the perfect combination of soggy and chewy. Only the sweet peppers disappointed - they were cold - a real no no in my book. The fries were also wonderful, though the serving size wasn't as big as I would have liked.

I've never tried the hot dogs at this place, but I know the Sterns really like them. Next time I will, if I can resist the Italian beef.
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    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/01 18:46:38 (permalink)
    Danimal, your posts suggest you are a polite person. Please ask them to heat those peppers for you first. I bet they have a microwave, and I bet they "will find it very difficult to say no to you." My brother lives on Estes at Ashland in the City, so I'm certainly noting your North Shore suggestions!
    #2
    tsores
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/08 21:47:20 (permalink)
    Just got back from a disappointing visit to Mustard's. The beef portion was generous but the quality was lacking. The beef had little flavor as did the gravy. There was scant gravy on the sandwich. The portion of fries was also generous but I would rate the quality as ordinary. The price of $7.67 for the beef, fries and a drink was reasonable.

    Based on this experience, I would not return for beef. Al's BBQ on Taylor is superior, IMHO.
    #3
    tsores
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/08 21:50:10 (permalink)
    Forgot to ask, are there any other beef suggestions in the Evanston/North Shore area. Al's is a bit of a schlep from Highland Park.

    Thanks.
    #4
    danimal15
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/09 16:41:27 (permalink)
    tsores,

    I'm sorry you didn't like Mustard's. I was very hungry that night, so maybe I overrated it.

    Dan
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    glennpan
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/09 16:57:51 (permalink)
    I realize that this is not North Shore, but Johnnie's Beef just opened another place in Arlington Heights on Arlington Heights Road just between Golf and Algonquin. The original Johnnies in Elmwood Park is thought to be either the best I-beef in the Chicago area (very spicy with a nice garlicky finish), or on a very short list. They also have tremendous home made Italian Ice for dessert. I went yesterday and a beef, fries, and an Ice only set me back $5.83.

    Tsores, I do like Al's too. Al's is one of those places that you either love or hate. many people don't like their beef because it tends to be rather oily. Their fries are very good. They are a touch overpriced these days with a beef, fries and drink running over $10.
    #6
    Luvstoeat
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/22 11:54:54 (permalink)
    Tsores,
    Although it may also be somewhat of a "schlep" for you, (IMHO) Goodies on Milwaukee just north of Golf Rd has a pretty decent beef sandwich as does Dengeo's on McCormick and (I think) Main St.
    #7
    jlobough
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2004/07/22 13:41:00 (permalink)
    Leave it to danimal to come up with a good topic.

    First of all, most of my favorite beef choices are in the city (Al's on Taylor especially). Like danimal, I'm often in search of a good italian beef choices on the North Shore (I live in Evanston). Often they can be mediocre at best. After hearing what danimal had to say, I'll have to go to Mustard's and give it a shot.

    My favorite place on the North Shore for italian beef is probably Herm's Palace in Skokie (on Dempster Street down the road from Poochies's). The meat is just right (not tough like shoe leather, not fatty), is not lacking in flavor, and the rolls and peppers accentuate the sandwich properly. I'm a fan of hot peppers myself, but you can get it with sweet, hot or both.

    Of course, my idea of what a good beef sandwich will be completely different than someone else's, but I still recommend that anyone interested in getting a good italian beef sandwich north of the city should head to Herm's.



    #8
    tsores
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/05/15 18:15:57 (permalink)
    I visited Johnnie's in Elmwood Park. I had a combo, fries and an Italian ice. It blew me away. The sandwich was perfect: tasty beef, good bread, roasted sausage, spicy ghiardenara(sp?). The Italian ice was delicious. The price is downright cheap at $3.50. Highly recommended.
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    Bdouvs
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/16 21:48:27 (permalink)
    You guys should check out DD Dogs on Noyes St. & Ridge Ave. just 2-3 lights south of Central Ave. Good prices, Great food, and Big portions. I've been going there for years. Pretty big with the Northwestern students
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/18 20:31:02 (permalink)
    Keep yer eyes open boys--Al's is opening up franchises all over the place. I'm in Des Plaines and there are three within easy driving distance from me: Two in Park Ridge (On Higgins near Cumberland, and one on Northwest Highway just south of Touhy, right around the corner from the Pickwick Theatre) and one on Rt. 83 south of Oakton (actually quite a bit south of Oakton, but I can't remember just where). Seems like the North Shore would be a natural for their next spot.

    By the way tsores, what about Michael's right in Highland Park? I've never had their beef, but everything else I've eaten there has been top notch.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/18 20:52:21 (permalink)
    Wow! Another chain.
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 19:42:50 (permalink)
    Al's #1 Italian Beef started out with a single family owned location on Taylor Street in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. They were firmly established in that spot for decades before well earned success allowed them to expand. I have been to several of their locations and can definitively state that the high level of quality has been maintained throughout the organization. In fact, the Stern's review of Al's on this very site is of one of their satellite locations as opposed to their original spot.

    IF you are suggesting, with your "chain" comment, that any restaurant with more than one location should not be discussed outside the Fast Food/Franchise forum, then I take serious issue with you. While I support a separate forum for most Fast Food/Franchise operations, I also feel there needs to be some common sense in making the distinction of what thread belongs where. As guidance we can use the "What is Roadfood" statement at the top of the home page. Except for the "franchise" clause, Al's, and it's other locations, meet every requirement listed therein.

    Further, let me pose the question, what defines a chain or franchise? Is it any restaurant with more than one location? If so, then Stroud's (2 locations), Kewpee Burger (4, give or take, locations), Gates, Arthur Bryant's and LC's Barbecue (all have 2 or more locations in the greater KC area) should be banished to the Fast Food/Franchise forum. I'm sure every serious Roadfooder could add to this list. A more reasonable approach would be to determine what goes in the FF/F forum not only by quantity, but also by quality and character, or lack thereof.

    IF, on the other hand, you were not suggesting that Al's should be considered a chain, unworthy of being considered in the more "pure" Roadfood forums, then never mind.
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    Bdouvs
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 19:56:28 (permalink)
    I've been to the Als locations on Taylor, and Lincolnwood Town Center. Truthfully, I don't see what the big deal about this place is. It's overpriced, the beef was like chewing on a rubber band, and the service wasn't great.

    I'd take Portillos, DD Dogs, and Mustards over Als any day, based on taste, price, and cleanliness.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 19:56:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

    Al's #1 Italian Beef started out with a single family owned location on Taylor Street in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. They were firmly established in that spot for decades before well earned success allowed them to expand. I have been to several of their locations and can definitively state that the high level of quality has been maintained throughout the organization. In fact, the Stern's review of Al's on this very site is of one of their satellite locations as opposed to their original spot.

    IF you are suggesting, with your "chain" comment, that any restaurant with more than one location should not be discussed outside the Fast Food/Franchise forum, then I take serious issue with you. While I support a separate forum for most Fast Food/Franchise operations, I also feel there needs to be some common sense in making the distinction of what thread belongs where. As guidance we can use the "What is Roadfood" statement at the top of the home page. Except for the "franchise" clause, Al's, and it's other locations, meet every requirement listed therein.

    Further, let me pose the question, what defines a chain or franchise? Is it any restaurant with more than one location? If so, then Stroud's (2 locations), Kewpee Burger (4, give or take, locations), Gates, Arthur Bryant's and LC's Barbecue (all have 2 or more locations in the greater KC area) should be banished to the Fast Food/Franchise forum. I'm sure every serious Roadfooder could add to this list. A more reasonable approach would be to determine what goes in the FF/F forum not only by quantity, but also by quality and character, or lack thereof.

    IF, on the other hand, you were not suggesting that Al's should be considered a chain, unworthy of being considered in the more "pure" Roadfood forums, then never mind.

    Here's the deal, and it's really quite simple. I see absolutely no reason for there to be any fora strictly for fast food, chains or franchises. The Sterns have lauded fast-food chains, themselves. What is a franchise? It's a business, and if it is a food franchise then it is a restaurant business. Some fast food places are good. Some aren't. Some chains suck. Some are terrific. Some franchise places are well done. Others suck. And of course, it is a fact that plenty of non fast-food, chain and franchise places are pretty awful, too. I do not care where a place is part of a chain or is a franchise operation. I do not give even a bit of a darn about it.

    Now, to get on to what is really important -- I'd give my eye teeth for an Italian beef sandwich. I've never been fortunate enough to have had one, but from the descriptions I;ve read, and from things I've been told, I want one very, very badly.
    #15
    jeepguy
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 20:48:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bdouvs

    I've been to the Als locations on Taylor, and Lincolnwood Town Center. Truthfully, I don't see what the big deal about this place is. It's overpriced, the beef was like chewing on a rubber band, and the service wasn't great.

    I'd take Portillos, DD Dogs, and Mustards over Als any day, based on taste, price, and cleanliness.
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 20:58:53 (permalink)
    Point #1: Bdouvs, sorry you had such a negative experience at Al's. I suppose it happens that you can occasionally get a bad sandwich just about anywhere. The fact that you got a bad sandwich each time you visited two different locations seems almost inexplicable. Personally, I've never had a negative food experience at Al's. It's pretty amazing that you were served a "rubber band" like sandwich given that paper thin sliced beef soaked for hours in au jus should by nature be almost melt in your mouth tender. But I guess it happens. Although I've been to both Mustard's and Portillo's many times, I've never had the beef sandwich, so cannot comment relative to Al's. I would however characterize the Italian Beef at Johnny's in Elmwood Park as just about the best this town has to offer. Al's by comparison, IMHO, is pretty darn close.

    Point #2: Michael, your point about there being good and bad in both the franchise/chain world as well as the world of the independent owner is well taken. It would seem we are at least somewhat in agreement here.

    Let's make the assumption that an unworthy Ma & Pa store would either not be recommended in the first place on this site or, if it were erroneously given a thumbs up, it would be shot down by enlightened and informed posters in a reasonable and thoughtful manner. Following this dismissal, discussion of the restaurant would more than likely cease other than the occasional opportunity for ridicule.

    On the other hand there are some folks who simply can't take a hint. The typical Fast Food/Franchise place does not belong on this site. Yet, for a while, in spite of the protestations of true Roadfooders, there was almost nonstop discussion of businesses of this nature. Perhaps if you mentally renamed that forum "Soulless, Impersonal, Places Offering Poor Quality Food and Bad Service at Too High a Price" it might make more sense.
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    jeepguy
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 21:00:43 (permalink)
    When i was dating my wife three years ago she lived in a crappy Racine St Apt. We walked over to Al's a couple of times and stood at that filthy stainless steel counter while we ate Italian Beefs. I guess for us, eating while sitting down is much more pleasurable than strolling down Taylor in January trying to eat a wet,Combo with fries in one hand with a drink in the other! I liked Al's, i like Portillo's, i like Johnnie's but i don't like eating while standing up or walking. I'm not in such a hurry to do so.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/22 21:08:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

    Perhaps if you mentally renamed that forum "Soulless, Impersonal, Places Offering Poor Quality Food and Bad Service at Too High a Price" it might make more sense.

    Nope. If someone does not want to read about any particular sort of place then there is a very simple option.
    #19
    saps
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/28 14:54:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

    Al's #1 Italian Beef started out with a single family owned location on Taylor Street in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. They were firmly established in that spot for decades before well earned success allowed them to expand. I have been to several of their locations and can definitively state that the high level of quality has been maintained throughout the organization. In fact, the Stern's review of Al's on this very site is of one of their satellite locations as opposed to their original spot.

    IF you are suggesting, with your "chain" comment, that any restaurant with more than one location should not be discussed outside the Fast Food/Franchise forum, then I take serious issue with you. While I support a separate forum for most Fast Food/Franchise operations, I also feel there needs to be some common sense in making the distinction of what thread belongs where. As guidance we can use the "What is Roadfood" statement at the top of the home page. Except for the "franchise" clause, Al's, and it's other locations, meet every requirement listed therein.

    Further, let me pose the question, what defines a chain or franchise? Is it any restaurant with more than one location? If so, then Stroud's (2 locations), Kewpee Burger (4, give or take, locations), Gates, Arthur Bryant's and LC's Barbecue (all have 2 or more locations in the greater KC area) should be banished to the Fast Food/Franchise forum. I'm sure every serious Roadfooder could add to this list. A more reasonable approach would be to determine what goes in the FF/F forum not only by quantity, but also by quality and character, or lack thereof.

    IF, on the other hand, you were not suggesting that Al's should be considered a chain, unworthy of being considered in the more "pure" Roadfood forums, then never mind.

    Here's the deal, and it's really quite simple. I see absolutely no reason for there to be any fora strictly for fast food, chains or franchises. The Sterns have lauded fast-food chains, themselves. What is a franchise? It's a business, and if it is a food franchise then it is a restaurant business. Some fast food places are good. Some aren't. Some chains suck. Some are terrific. Some franchise places are well done. Others suck. And of course, it is a fact that plenty of non fast-food, chain and franchise places are pretty awful, too. I do not care where a place is part of a chain or is a franchise operation. I do not give even a bit of a darn about it.

    Now, to get on to what is really important -- I'd give my eye teeth for an Italian beef sandwich. I've never been fortunate enough to have had one, but from the descriptions I;ve read, and from things I've been told, I want one very, very badly.


    Hoff, if you're anywhere near Columbus or Dayton, I'd bring some Italian beef from Johnnie's up to you on my next business trip out that way. I've got a guy that sells me homemade hot giardenera (and pickles) out of his old Lincoln Continental. Good Stuff.
    #20
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/28 18:26:41 (permalink)
    Mr. Roadhouse,
    While I can wax rhapsodic about the origins, history, proper preparation and preferred vendors of Italian Hot Dogs, a food indigenous to NJ, I haven't a clue as to what an Italian Beef Sandwich is. However, my stomach is inclined to believe it's something I ought know about.

    For the Great Unwashed who do not know the ins and outs of this Chicago specialty, would you mind elucidating?

    Additionally, if there's anyone here who can explain what Beef on Weck is, I'm embarrassed to note that I could also use that information.

    Once I gain this new knowledge, I'll be able to go on with my life. Thanks,
    The Bear
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/28 20:43:43 (permalink)
    First of all, "Mr. Roadhouse" is my father's name. Please, call me Buddy.

    An Italian Beef Sandwich is comprised of roast beef cooked well done and then sliced razor thin. The sliced beef is then marinated for quite some time, perhaps hours in an au jus comprised of beef drippings, stock and a variety of herbs and spices commonly associated with Italian cooking. While I do not know the exact recipe for the au jus, I would assume it contains, among other things, oregano, dried basil, thyme or rosemary as well as good old salt and pepper.

    The soaked beef is then piled up on a hunk of good, chewy Italian bread. Now, if that were the end of it, it would still be good but fairly ordinary. The next few options are what make the Italian Beef sandwich hop. Option one: wet or dry? If you ask for a wet sandwich, they will dunk the entire sandwich into the au jus for several seconds allowing it to soak up a fair amount of the juices. Nearly impossible to eat but oh so good! Option two: sweet or hot peppers. If you go with sweet, you'll get a pile of sweet bell peppers that have been soaking endlessly in the au jus. You could chew them without your teeth if you had to and the flavor is a delight. If you go with hot peppers you'll get a sizable helping of giardinara (I never did learn how to spell this darn stuff), a sort of Italian hot pepper relish. I've seen it made with a wide variety of veggies, including bell pepper, cauliflower and mushrooms; recipes vary. The whole thing is wrapped up in white butcher paper to help it retain some form when you open it up for consumption.

    The advantage to getting an Itallian Beef Sandwich at the original Al's location on Taylor Street, is that Mario's Italian Lemonade stand is right across the street. You go into Al's and get the food while your buddy goes to Mario's and gets the Italian Lemonade or Italian Ice. You meet in the parking lot and dine on the trunk of your car. It's a little hunk of Heaven in the middle of the city.

    As for Beef on Weck, I have only a basic knowledge of that local delicacy. As I understand it, you get nicely sliced beef (thicker than our Italian Beef) on a hard roll, called "Weck" (Weck is short for something, but again this is somewhat out of my realm). I believe it is served with a horseradish sauce of some sort. Apologies to the real aficianados of this sandwich.
    #22
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/28 22:57:53 (permalink)
    Buddy,
    Thanks for the tour through the Italian Beef Sandwich. I now consider myself well informed. It sounds great.

    While I don't get to Chicago very often, I'm putting your suggestion (Al's) on my list, along with the other places I've heard about here. By the time I get there, perhaps I'll know if I'm getting it hot or sweet, though I'm leaning toward hot.

    I'm also thinking I'd like it soaked with the au jus. As I'm not from Chicago, would it be OK if I ate it with a knife and fork? I guess not, huh?
    Again, thanks.
    The Bear
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/11/29 00:00:47 (permalink)
    If you can find a place that'll serve it with a knife and fork, more power to ya!

    Other Italian Beef places to consider if you're in town:
    Mr. Beef on Orleans in the city-Jay Leno's favorite place (that may or may not be a recommendation for you).
    Johnny's on North Ave. in Elmwood Park-discussed above.
    Buona Beef, numerous locations primarily in the suburbs-never been but they've been around along time, so I figure they're doing something right.

    Along with Al's, these are the best known places for an Italian Beef Sandwich. There are hundreds if not thousands of tiny Mom & Pop hot dog stands all over the city and suburbs that sell Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and Italian Beefs. If you have the time and the appetite, take a chance, try one out. It's hard to find a bad Beef Sandwich in this town.
    #24
    Matheos1
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/12/07 21:34:45 (permalink)
    To the person who likes Al's Beef: WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Now I know why bad fast food places stay in business. Its because people like you eat Bad Food!
    I went to Al's Beef and the sandwich was horrible! Not only my sandwich but my buddy's as well, so it was not a fluke.
    To respond to the "Al's beef soaking for hours" it actually makes it a bit tougher pal.
    We got the Big Als beef and it was smaller than Portillos, DD Dogs and most all other Beefs out there.
    The Juice was awful! It was so oily that it was just dripping like a sloppy 2 a.m. Burrito!
    I have no idea who Al knows in the media that made the restaurant so popular.
    Hope this helps those who stay away from the Big fast food chains and want quality foods.
    Also, Al's is trying to take hot dog business from Flukys across the way and was giving away hot dogs with each order. The hot dogs were barely edible. I guess you cant screw up a hot dog even if you tried. But again its the same idea, the food over all is bad.
    #25
    berndog
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/12/07 22:53:03 (permalink)
    I've always wanted to try a Chicago beef at Al's or one of the other places that have been recommended here. The closest I have gotten is to get one at the Billy Goat at the jazz food court while changing flights at O'hare. It is delicious, and I look forward to getting into the city some day to try some of these places.

    ScreenBear, Buddy gave a pretty good desription of a beef on weck. It is a Buffalo specialty, and is comprised of medium-rare cooked beef, sliced thin and served on a kemmilweck (spelling?) roll. This is a round roll, like a hard roll but on the soft side. It is topped with caraway seeds and salt and really makes this sandwich different. The horseradish is not usually served on it, but available with other condiments if you like to add some. The main difference is with a beef on weck, the beef is typically freshly sliced for your sandwich from the roast beef, rather than soaking in juices.

    In Rochester, we have a delicious sandwich made by Red Osier, a fancy restaurant which specializes in prime rib dinners. Red Osier has stands at the local ball park and the War Memorial where minor league hockey is played and various concerts are held. They serve thinly sliced roast beef which is dipped in a vat of hot aujus before being put on the roll. There are no spices in the juice, so it is more like a french dip roast beef sandwich than a Chicago beef, but the beef is extremely tasty and very tender. If you like it really juicy, they will dip the inside portions of the roll as well.
    #26
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/12/07 23:27:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Matheos1

    To the person who likes Al's Beef: WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Now I know why bad fast food places stay in business. Its because people like you eat Bad Food!
    I went to Al's Beef and the sandwich was horrible! Not only my sandwich but my buddy's as well, so it was not a fluke.
    To respond to the "Al's beef soaking for hours" it actually makes it a bit tougher pal.
    We got the Big Als beef and it was smaller than Portillos, DD Dogs and most all other Beefs out there.
    The Juice was awful! It was so oily that it was just dripping like a sloppy 2 a.m. Burrito!
    I have no idea who Al knows in the media that made the restaurant so popular.
    Hope this helps those who stay away from the Big fast food chains and want quality foods.
    Also, Al's is trying to take hot dog business from Flukys across the way and was giving away hot dogs with each order. The hot dogs were barely edible. I guess you cant screw up a hot dog even if you tried. But again its the same idea, the food over all is bad.


    Gee whillikers, how long you been lurking there waiting to pounce? I think you sprained my neck.

    Well, I'm sorry you've had a bad experience at Al's. I've been eating there on occasion since the mid 80s and always been satisfied. I have had beef sandwiches at other establishments so I do have a point of reference on this topic. I would agree that the mythos of Al's does exceed the actual quality of the food but, it is still one of the better examples of the genre here in Chicago.

    You mention Al's trying to take business away from Flukey's--just which location are you talking about? I'm not familiar with any Al's location that is near a Flukey's. As for the hot dog itself, for those not familiar, it is served with the fries wrapped up along with the dog ala the beloved Gene and Jude's (same range of condiments, too). If you're used to getting the dog and fries in separate portions, the squished nature of Al's hot dog can be a little disconcerting. While I have eaten an Al's hot dog, I don't think Flukey's has anything to worry about. It is merely an add-on menu item for those who might want something other than an Italian Beef Sandwich. Kind of like ordering the fried chicken at Original Pancake House. It may be on the menu, but why would you go there for that?

    Finally, thanks for the kudos, berndog. I had seen the description of Beef on Weck not too long ago on Rick Seback's PBS program "Sandwiches You Will Like". Glad something from that show stuck.
    #27
    the grillman
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 632
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    • Location: Saint Charles, MO
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/12/07 23:39:15 (permalink)
    Italian beef being one of my favorite sandwiches, I had to ring in on this one. (one recent 5 day trip to Chicago, I alternated italian beef and chicago dogs every meal but breakfast for 3 of the days...a little excessive, but the memories...

    Been to Al's, Johnnies' etc, as well as Portillo's and Buono Beef. All are good, although for some reason, I prefer Portillo's and Buono to Al's. Less grease as well, but not a scientific experiment. Al's is the most typical roadfood experience, but when in the 'burbs, try the others. You won't be dissappointed.

    I do prefer the sweet peppers to the hot.

    At any of these places, the combo (beef AND italian sausage on one sandwich) is the roadfood of kings, folks.

    Then there is also that typical Chicago sandwich I haven't seen anywhere else, the egg and pepper; good for meatless Friday's I guess. Also tasty!
    #28
    Matheos1
    Junior Burger
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    • Joined: 2005/12/07 21:16:00
    • Location: Skokie, IL
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/12/12 02:25:44 (permalink)
    Hey,
    Al's is giving away Free hot dogs at the Lincolnwood towncenter in Lincolnwood,IL to compete with Fluky's across the food court. Pathetic!

    #29
    phatphil
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 668
    • Joined: 2005/09/25 18:41:00
    • Location: loxahatchee, FL
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    RE: Italian beef in Evanston, Ill. 2005/12/13 22:23:11 (permalink)
    if you want great italian beef in evanston just hop the dempster st. canal a few hundred yards into skokie and herms will hit the spot
    #30
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