I love Italian Beef and there’s really only one place in the world to get it. Italian Beef is a Chicago specialty. Other places will try it, but the only places that get it right have roots in the Windy City. My girlfriend and I did some grocery shopping for a cook-out we were going to later that night and needed to find something quick for lunch. Her family eats at Frankie’s quite often and she knew it would be something that would be right up my alley.
Frankie’s is located in a strip mall along 95th Street in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. When you walk in to Frankie’s, there’s a counter right in front of you to order with a dining room off to the side. The menu board is above the counter and I was scouring it trying to find the Italian Beef. I finally noticed an Italian Beef daily value and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I got the Italian Beef sandwich with fries and a Pepsi. The sandwich is exactly what I miss about Illinois. Thinly sliced seasoned beef was piled into a crusty hoagie roll with mozzerella cheese. One bite and I was back in food heaven. The beef was thin and juicy with a little extra au jus to make the crusty roll just a little soft. If I had to complain about anything, it would be there wasn’t enough au jus. I love my bun just soaked, but I’m not complaining. It was nice just to have access to a true Chicago-style Italian Beef on the proper bread. The fries were out of the bag fries, but they at least went a little fancier with seasoned fries. The order was a pretty good size and the combo of the beef and fries was enough to fill me up. My girlfriend even offered me some of her sandwich and I just couldn’t. I was full.
The sandwich that she offered me was the Italian Chicken Breast. They char-broil the marinated chicken breast then put it on a roll similar to the one they put the Italian beef on. The pile on lettuce, roasted sweet peppers, mozzerella and tomoates. She also got the daily special that adds on fries and a drink. The char-broiled chicken is a great taste. It gives you the same flavor you would get if you cooked it on a grill at home. Her sandwich was too much for her and she offered some of it to me. Like I said, she used to eat there quit often and after this meal, I can see why.
Frankie’s is everything I miss about Chicago cuisine. It’s classic Italian with that Chicago twist. They have a menu of pasta, hot dogs, hamburgers, beef, and so much more. If you’re visiting Chicago, I would at least recommend you find a place like Frankie’s, but if you’re feeling adventerous and you’re flying in and out of Midway, find Frankie’s. You won’t be disappointed.