Al’s Beef & Chicago Italian Beef Sammich

Al’s Beef is another must try spot in Chicago like Lou Malnati’s.  It’s a small little shop on the corner of Ontario and Wells. 

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Al’s Beef is one of the few times I’ve been to the same spot twice on the same trip.  I never do that cause I don’t want to waste calories intake on the same restaurant.  However, I will try the same food at different restaurants like how I ate pizza at 3 different pizza parlors in Chicago and 5 different ones in New York.  Carbnivore.

Al’s Beef Chicago
The decor

Anyway, the restaurant seemed to be popular cause both times I went there was only a few seats open as you can tell by the above picture.  It totally has a mom and pop shop feel to it.  The workers were all cool and they had loads of suggestions like telling me to “F off and don’t come back”.  I was kind of stunned cause I expected excellent service like that in New York not Chicago.  What happened to the Midwest hospitality?

Now, the food.

  1. Nacho Fries – The jalapenos and melted cheddar cheese on top of freshly cut potatoes.  The potatoes definitely tasted fresh.  It wasn’t as crunchy as McDonald’s fries then again McDonald’s fries aren’t fresh.  My love for starch made me consume a good portion of the fries and I left with a feeling of disgust.  I felt disgusted with myself cause I didn’t finish the whole serving.
    Al’s Beef Chicago
    Nacho Fries
  2. Al’s Beef Italian Sandwich – I pretty much ordered it the way it’s supposed to be ordered, which was “I’ll take a Beef, Dipped wit Hot and Sweet” asap.  The sandwich came wrapped and dripping wet with the Au Jus aka Al’s Gravy aka Au Jizz, which is nothing more than the beef juices from the prep.  The sandwich definitely was savory and came with a lot of comforting flavors.  The beef was tender and juicy while the bread was soft and soaked.  The major issue I faced with the sandwich was consistency.  The first it was a damn good sandwich and the second time it wasn’t the same.  It’s kind of like the “chase” stage in the dating game.  Once you get what you want, you’re kind of just over it.
    Al’s Beef Chicago
    Italian Beef Sandwich

Overall, Al’s Beef is definitely a must try when in Chicago.  There are multiple locations around the US but it’s not the same as having it in Chicago.  It’s the same reason why pizza is only good in New York, why tacos and LA dirty dogs are only go in California and why Chicago hot dogs are only good in Chicago.    However, don’t ask for ketchup on hot dogs in Chicago.

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Al’s Beef Chicago
Wall of Fame
  • 6/10
    Service - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Flavors - 7/10
  • 5/10
    Decor - 5/10
  • 5/10
    Ambiance - 5/10
6/10

Summary

Al’s Beef has a mom and pop shop feel to it with it’s tacky furniture. The sandwich definitely was savory and came with a lot of comforting flavors. Al’s Beef is definitely a must try when in Chicago. The major issue I faced with the sandwich was consistency.

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