I try to visit Chicago at least once annually. It’s a great city. The Bears suck, but I digress. I like the bars and the live music scene. Reggies on 21st and State is one of the greatest bars-slash-live music venues in all of America. I have a buddy out there called Cunn Toddingham who is an extraordinary human being. (I’ll say more about Cunn in a later post; I’d eventually like to publish a multi-volume encyclopedia of his hijinks.) But the #1 reason to visit Chicago is the food. They have a sandwich there called an Italian Beef: it’s the greatest handheld food unit ever devised.
In between trips to Chicago, I get frequent hankerings for Beef. I’m based in Denver, which is more of a burrito town, so achieving Beef satiation can be arduous. (Worry not, loyal reader: I will break down the Denver Burrito Scene in painstaking detail in future posts to this forum.) Here are the top three Beefs of Denver:
3. Fontano’s, 1623 California Street
Meat is extremely flavorful. Peppers are spicy. The bread is not a proper Italian roll, it’s more of a French baguette, so I can’t go any higher than a #3 ranking for this Beef.
2. Chicago Style Beef & Dogs, 6680 West Colfax Ave
This Beef should be #1, especially because of the puddle of gravy it’s swimming in, but the roll was a little stale on this day. I can’t forgive that.
1. Mile High Vienna Stand, 258 Santa Fe Drive
The gold standard of Denver Beef. Nearly perfect. Look at that generous portion of giardiniera. I needed a shower after taking this thing down.