Re:Italian Beef..in NJ!
I went to Red's for lunch on Friday. I gave it a B. First of all, the "large" hot beef sandwhich, fries, and bottle of diet soda came to $15. I know the rent has got to be paid, and the food is homemade, etc etc, but the sandwich and fry order were small. It just didn't seem like good value to me.
The beef was very good, but I don't have much to compare it to. I was only in Chicago two times ever, most recently about 20 years ago, and as far as I can remember I didn't have a hot beef, just a deep dish pizza and a game at Wrigley field. I did have a hot beef about 5 years ago at a short-lived place in Linden calls J's Beef.
The beef here was better than J's, but there just wasn't that much of it. The vegetable mix dressing and roasted pepper went well with the sandwich. The fries were good too, but a rather small order for $3.25. And, altho they do have Boylan sodas, they don't have any fountain sodas. Much as I like craft beers and craft soda, give me a fountain diet cola (any brand) with a fast food meal and I'm happy. I can have Boylan sodas at home, I can't have a fountain cola at home.
I fell into a conversation with an older couple at the table next to me, and thier opinion was pretty much the same as mine. If a "large" sandwich seems like too small to a couple about 80 years old, it must indeed be too small.
In short, since it's unique in NJ, I'd go back if a craving for a Hot Beef Sandwhich hit me, but my socks are still on.
Since I was in the area, I made shopping stops at Calandra's Bakery and the new Corrados Market (smaller than the original, but more "gourmet" oriented, although I hate that word) on Rt 46 in Fairlfield. So it was a good food day all around.