-Grubbing in Chicago
Italian Deli Fare in Logan Square
The Bear is back for a second season on HULU / FX so I figured now was as good of a time as ever to share some Italian beef content. As longtime readers know I used to have a sister blog to S’C’&C called “What’s Your Beef?” where I reviewed all of the Italian beef sandwiches in town. Ok maybe not all of them but all of the ones worth trying which are the spots where they make their beef from scratch as opposed to taking it out of a bag. Eventually I ran out of places to review as there's been a long period where we’re losing more Italian beef stands than we’re gaining. I’m talking about the specialist spots and not places like Portillo’s or the mom and pop hot dog stands that use beef from a bag. I’m referring to places like Rosie’s Sidekick on California which has been making Italian beef in house since they first opened which wasn’t that long ago but it was at least a couple years before The Bear made Italian beef trendy on a national stage. For the first time in what feels like forever, Italian beef is getting its due and new school spots like Rosie’s are slowly starting to pop up.
Rosie’s is an Italian deli that makes their Italian beef in-house. There tends to be two types of Italian beef, three if you include the factory produced stuff. Beef from Italian beef stands and beef from Italian delis each have their own characteristics with deli beefs tending to be a thicker cut similar to roast beef. Rosie’s does what I would describe as a deli style beef. Another characteristic of deli style is sometimes to slice the beef to order before giving it a quick bath in the gravy. The beef stands tend to have more traffic so it doesn’t sit in the gravy as long and thus doesn’t need to be dropped to order. Rosie’s beef is very similar to hot roast beef. I’ve had it as is with hot peppers and it’s pretty good but I prefer “The Couch” which is a lesser seen combo when it comes to Italian beef. The Couch consists of beef and meatballs plus marinara and cheese and your choice of peppers. Rosie’s makes great meatballs (baked not fried) and the beef works well with them. I’m not sure it makes a meatball sandwich any better but it doesn’t make it worse. But if I had to pick between the two I would get the meatball over the beef. Then again meatballs just work better with marinara and cheese.
While all of the hot sandwiches I’ve had here are of a high quality it’s the pizza bread I've been most impressed with. They take baked on site muffuletta bread and top it with marinara and mozzarella and your choice of any two toppings before a trip to the oven. I decided to try one with meatballs and giardiniera and came away with a new neighborhood option when I want pizza or something similar. I wouldn’t call family owned Italian Delis like Rosie’s a dying breed but they’re certainly close to going on the endangered list so make sure to support your local spots while they’re still around as they’re fading fast.
2610 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647