Where’s the Beef?!

Hey Suckies:

Well the NFL draft is over and so are the Chicago Bears. It looks it will be another 100 years before the Cubs win another title. The Chicago Bulls should just stop playing basketball and the White Sox, let’s see?

Ok, enough about sports, coming up on the Friday Podcast with Kevin Matthews and crew, we talk about something very important, should men, guys ever share desserts when dining with other men, or anyone for that matter?  Call and leave the podcast voice mail, 312-380-9784.

Speaking of food, we have asked Kevheads living in Chicago, where you eatin’ beef these days? I have decided to eat nothing but Italian beef every day, for the rest of my life, I love beef, a great beef sandwich makes the best farts ever. What food makes you fart, I mean real deep rumbling farts? 312-380-9784.

Ok, let’s see who we think, got the beef?

Al’s #1 Italian Beef


1079 W. Taylor St., 312-226-4017

Tasting notes: Savory and garlicky. Wetter shards of beef, dug the contrast of oily and crunchy celery from giardiniera. Gonnella roll holds up finely. Still the standard bearer 76 years later.

Max’s Italian Beef

5754 N. Western Ave.,773-989-8200

Tasting notes: Flavors of oregano and black pepper coming through, sweet ribbons of red peppers, though beefiness more neutral. Digging the plastic tub of hot giardiniera oil on every table.

Mr. Beef & Pizza

3917 N. Harlem Ave.,773-283-7444

Tasting notes: They’ve got the balance here right. Not too spicy, not too oily, well balanced. Resonant beef taste, sturdy bread, flecked with red chili seeds. Unaffiliated with Mr. Beef on Orleans.

Jimmy’s Homemade Italian Beef

7544 W. Addison St.,773-589-2100

Tasting notes: Great bread from Sicilian Bakery on Cumberland — light, crisp, crumbed, not overbearing. First visit yielded better beef than second, when it almost tasted of sliced prime rib.



9732 Irving Park Rd., Schiller Park, 847-671-0033

(Also locations in Wicker Park and Harwood Heights)


4700 W. Cermak Rd., Cicero, 708-656-0911

Tasting notes: Lean sirloin comes in thin sheets, piled on light D’Amato’s bakery roll. Hot peppers more vinegary than oily. Jus is terrific, among the better gravies I’ve sampled.

Bubba’s Place

6333 Ogden Ave., Berwyn, 708-317-5100

Tasting notes: Beef cut thicker than at others, more sliced than shaved. Substantial in size, including thicker roll. Enjoyed the slick giardiniera of jalapeno, carrot and celery.

Johnnie’s Beef


7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park, 708-452-6000

Tasting notes: The most well-rounded sandwich. Beef retains bite, tingle of spicy, crunchy and colorful hot peppers. Bread soaked up ideal amount of jus. Italian frozen lemonade chaser doesn’t hurt.


4100 W. Madison St., 773-265-9000

(Also at 7007 S. Pulaski Rd.)

Tasting notes: Thicker beef slices, almost like gyro shavings, but with the tenderness of deli roast beef. Appealing, beefy bouquet, with palate after burn from hot peppers.

Joe Boston’s’ Italian Beef

2932 W. Chicago Ave.,773-486-9536

Tasting notes: Beef shavings less moist than others, but flavors are robust. A detritus of spices embedded in meat; tangy hot peppers wake the sandwich up.


10337 S. Kedzie Ave., 773-239-1243

(13 other Chicagoland locations)

Tasting notes: You get a lot of beef here, lightly flecked with red chili flakes. Thicker bread provides chew. Whole thick slices of hot jalapenos and soft wrinkled sweet peppers.

Dukes Drive-In

8115 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, 708-599-0576

Tasting notes: Dotted with green, red and black spices. Stuffed to brim with finely shredded beef and long strips of green peppers. A sweet aroma to the sandwich, like a carrot-heavy mirepoix.



100 W. Ontario St., 312-587-8910

(33 other Chicagoland locations)

Buona Beef


6745 Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn, 708-749-2555

(13 other Chicagoland locations)

Tasting notes: Peppery beef on the thicker spectrum of slices. Sturdy Turano bread remains crisp even after dip. Chopped olives are welcome variant to hot and tart giardiniera mix.

Mr. Beef on Orleans

666 N. Orleans St., 312-337-8500

Tasting notes: Less moist but nonetheless flavorful sheaths of beef. Even dipped, not as wet and so maintains structural integrity, like a solid roast beef hoagie. Crusty bread adds pleasant chew.

Portillo’s in River North:

Where do you beef? 312-380-9784, leave us voice mail, better yet, listen, every Friday here at www.dahl.com Kevin Matthews and crew, “That’s good”


Jim Shorts/Sports Director


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