Son of a Beef was first brought to my attention by a poster over at LTHforum. Located not far from 26th and California by the Cook County jail they've been open for about a year now, maybe less than that. I've stopped in twice and while I haven't been brave enough to see if their Italian Beef truly is homemade I have ordered a couple other interesting items off their menu.
Chicago style fast food stand in Little Village
On my first visit I went in with the intent to try one of their state fair style hot dogs that was showcased in the post where I learned of the place. But then after browsing the menu and spying carne asada fries on it I switched up my plan. I've only seen this San Diego specialty at a few spots in town and that's too bad. Basically this popular regional eat is nachos using fries instead of chips and when done right it can be really good. Think about it, take your favorite fries and throw your favorite steak taco meat on top with some guac and other common toppings, whats not to like?
Carne Asada Fries
While these weren't quite up to par with the other offerings I've tried they did have some good stuff in them. Specifically the fries which come fresh cut and seasoned. The steak seemed to be either steak-umm meat or some thing to that effect. The toppings were just ok. Not bad but nothing special. Then there's the tornado dog which is made by taking two wieners and putting a stick thru them. They then wrap a drilled potato around the outside and deep fry the entire thing. You can get them Chicago style but that isn't ideal for eating the thing. Actually there's no good way to tackle it. I tried mine with chili, cheese, and raw onion and still had to eat it with my hands. When I did this I was immediately transformed back to the State Fair which we attended a couple times in my youth.
Tornado Dog with Chili and Cheese
Son of a Beef
2524 S California Ave
Chicago, IL 60608