Did you think I would go to Chicago and not get an Italian Beef? It doesn’t matter how short of a trip it is, there’s a place on every corner, so I will get an Italian Beef eventually.
Right before J and I left for Michigan on Sunday afternoon, her mom offered up one more meal. The night before, we were talking about the best burger on the south side when her step dad brought up Pluto’s. We drive by Pluto’s every time we go to her parents and any place with the word “beef” in the title is appealing to me.
J’s parents order from there quite often, so they had a menu at home and the lady working knew her mom by name. I passed on the burger and went straight for the Italian Beef. J’s step dad ordered the special which was three hot dogs and three things of fries, so I didn’t have to order fries. J got a homemade chicken fingers which came with fries and a chocolate malt while her mom got a salad. They also got an order of the jalapeno poppers for all of us.
After about five minutes, we piled in the car to go pick it up. We didn’t all need to go, but I always feel bad making someone else go after my food, so J and I went with her mom to get it. We pulled up to the drive through and J’s mom told the intercom who she was. The lady who knew her answered and told her to pull around to the window. The food wasn’t quite ready, but it was close.
The smell on the 2 minute car ride back home was too much. Those bags smelled like Chicago and I couldn’t wait to jump in. Pluto’s claim that they make everything on site including the Italian Beef. The hot dogs are Vienna Beef dogs which is just about the only way you can really claim it’s “Chicago-style.”
My sandwich was delicious. It took me a while to get into it. They wrapped the thing like five times in wax paper. I like my beef’s dripping wet with gravy. This one was a little dry, but still had some gravy near the bottom of the bun. The meat was just as good as anyone else in town, but the bun wasn’t as good as Portillo’s. Overall, it was a great beef sandwich. It was a good size. It was wider than most beef’s but a little short. Still, it was stuffed full with the meat which had a great taste. The oregano really jumped off the meat. The fries were regular crinkle cut fries. They were alright but nothing great.
J’s chicken fingers were also really good. They were definintely home made. The breading was not overpowering and there was actually more meat than breading. They weren’t really greasy either which we both liked about them.
J’s mom got her usual salad, but I’m not really sure which one it was. They eat there often and she’s ordered this many times. There’s not a better recommendation than repeat business.
J’s step dad got three hot dogs, but I’m not sure if he actually ate all three. The hot dogs were traditional Chicago-style with no ketchup and loaded with relish and tomatoes. It’s safe to say, no one left hungry. There were still a few fries and a couple jalapeno poppers left on the table.
Pluto’s hasn’t been there forever. They’re actually pretty new to a crowded field of Chicago-style eateries. J said this building was a Burger King when she was growing up in the area. A few years ago, the current owners overhauled the place and added TV’s to the dining room. They try to make it a place for people to watch a Bears game and enjoy a meal. I do love me some Portillo’s, but Pluto’s is just as good and a lot closer to J’s parents. I’m in disbelief that we drove by this place for so long without stopping.