Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mini Italian Beef Crawl in Chicago

Johnnie's Italian Beef in Elmwood, IL - Combo Italian Beef
Johnnie's Italian Beef in Elmwood, IL - Combo with red hots and Italian Beef
Combo Italian - Beef and Red Hots

I am awarded the local badge on foursquare for Johnnie's Beef in Elmwood Park, IL. I visited a total of 4 times in 6 days, once it was twice in one day. Yup. I was addicted. I still miss it today. I was super inducing my system with Johnnie's Italian ice, a large at $1.96. The ice was soft and streamlined like fresh snow with the fresh lemon juice and a tiny bit of bitterness from the rind.

Johnnie's Italian Beef in Elmwood, ILJohnnie's Italian Beef in Elmwood, IL - the line at lunch
The line at noon it moves fast

Johnnie's Italian Beef in Elmwood, IL - Italian Ice

I had the Combo Italian beef twice - the sandwiches included two large red hots and layers of beef. I like mine with sweet and hot peppers, 27 cents extra for each. Johnnie's is truly one of my favorites.

Italian Ice - My favorite thing in the entire world

Johnnie's Beef
7500 W North Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
(708) 452-6000
Johnnie's Beef on Urbanspoon

Joe's Boston Italian Beef, ChicagoJoe Boston's Italian Beef, Chicago

I had a really fun time at Joe Boston's Italian Beef located in the West Side. The place is recently featured on Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate."

Thomas from Joe Boston's Italian Beef, Chicago

We were immediately greeted by Thomas, he was friendly and made us feel like long time regular customers. We shared a #1 $6.75 for Italian Beef Sandwich, fries and a soda INCLUDING tax. Ridiculously cheap.

Joe Boston's Italian Beef, Chicago

The price did not reflect the beef, it was superior, very lean and flavorful and generously stacked. Thomas, a sweetheart made us a bigger sandwich since we were sharing. We ordered the beef dipped so it was oozing with beefy goodness.

Joe Boston's Italian Beef, Chicago - fries

Thomas is definitely a character, chatting with us for 15 mins about the neighborhood, life, family, and his Assyrian hertiage. His name translates to "twin" in Assyrian. Thomas is a manager at Joe Boston's for over 20 years. It is people like Thomas that brings character and emotionally ties to a place. I may not remember all my meals in my lifetime but I will never forget Thomas.

Joe Boston's Italian Beef
2932 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 486-9536
Joe Boston's Italian Beef on Urbanspoon

I had Al's Italian Beef two years ago and it was my first taste of an Italian Beef sandwich. At that point I was in love - the complex giardiniera and greasy beef. Since then Al's had been feature numerously on different food related TV shows. The chalk board sign behind the register advertises opportunities to franchise.

Al's Italian Beef, Chicago

After eating at Johnnie's and Joe Boston's Italian Beef the spark at Al's had lost its luster. I am a bigger fan of the giardiniera than the beef. I like the chunkiness and herby flavor.

Of course, during the summer months Mario's Italian Ice (across the street) is open and there is nothing more refreshing than Italian ice for dessert. I had Mario's twice during my 6 day visit.

Al's No 1 Italian Beef
1079 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-4017
Al's #1 Italian Beef on Urbanspoon


Mario's Italian Lemonade
1068 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607


Lolia S said...

I've never had an Italian beef sandwich :(

foodhoe said...

congratulations on your impressive badge, you are very rigorous in your research, no? Those all sound so good, but I'm craving the lemon icy thing most right now.

Bonnibella said...

Foodhoe: I would love to have an Italian ice now. I wanted to go to Mr. Beef and Portillo's too but did not have any more stomach space.

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
Chrysanthemum by Bonnibella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at