Re:Vitaioli's Cucina Pazzo (WI)
I visited yesterday afternoon about 4:30 and bought a hot dog, an Italian sausage, and an Italian beef. All came with fries and the base price was $13.00.
They use 1 hot dog - a natural casing Vienna beef, and my guess is that it's probably a steamed 8/1. Instead of getting a Chicago dog I ordered a regular hot dog with mustard and extra pickle and since it came on a plain bun the poppyseed bun is apparently reserved for the Chicago. They were generous with the Chipico pickle spears as I was given 4, and the dog was everything I expected it to be. I was wondering if it was going to be the skinless variety so the casing was a pleasant surprise.
I'm not normally a beef eater at places like this but figured I'd give it a try. They make their own with bottom round from Sorg's in Darien, a cradle-to-grave operation with a good reputation that I can personally attest to. I ordered it wet and they didn't skimp on the jus; the roll was pretty much a soggy mess when I was getting to the end and I was even given a small container of extra in case I needed it. Personally I felt it could've used maybe just a touch more salt and seasoning but someone more familiar with beef sandwiches would be able to provide a better opinion.
I'm saving the Italian sausage for last because I liked it best. Some people get them with red sauce and others like them wet, but I like them dressed just like a dog. The sausage was split lengthwise and I suspect it might've been grilled, but as I was eating it in the car I couldn't really tell. Regardless, it was excellent. Nicely spicy without being overpowering and the roll (same as used for the beef) was outstanding. Lightly crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, and I wish I'd thought to ask who the baker is. The sausage comes from a Milwaukee/Chicago purveyor and I think the name might start with "Gr", but I can't remember. CSD, does this sound like any company you know?
No Polish sausage on the menu, though. I asked and was told that it's a "we'll see" thing. They also have pizza but that'll have to wait for another visit.
It took probably 15-20 minutes to fill my order but there were only a couple of people working and the phone rang with pizza orders at a consistent rate, so another set or 2 of hands probably would've speeded things up.
I can see 3 potential customer bases: the 3-season people from Illinois, the high school kids, and the people living nearby. Vitaioli's is located downtown while all other fast food is out on the perimeter (Subway on the north end and McD, Taco John's, and Culver's 2 miles east of town by I-90) so there's a bit of a captive audience here, too, especially since many homes are within easy walking distance. I can't imagine a worse time to go into the restaurant business but the family has experience and the products I had were good, so I think they have a chance and I hope they succeed.