Review By: Stefanie Parks –
When you’re new to Chicago, there are certain places that everyone says you HAVE to try. Al’s Beef is one of them… Not only is it a Chicago staple, it’s won tons and tons of awards, including Best Sandwich in America by Esquire Magazine and America’s Top Ten Sandwiches by Travel and Leisure Magazine (to name a few), has been featured on TV shows such as Man vs. Food (Hi Adam Richman), and has been frequented by more celebrities than I could possibly count or name. I’ve had Al’s several times before, but was having a craving on my week-long trip back to the Chi and really just needed a beef and sausage combo with hot and sweet peppers. And that’s exactly what I got.
Of course, I chose the coldest night in two years to head over to Al’s. Even though it’s only a few blocks away, the wind and cold was brutal. Especially since I had lost my one and only hat the day before. But, I made it and I must say that it was well worth braving the sub-zero temperatures.
My experience at Al’s Beef this time was especially cool because after telling them about 24 Dollar Burger, they wanted to give me the whole tour and they even let me make my own sandwich. So, I piled on the beef, sausage, and peppers, gave my sandwich a nice little dip in their delicious (and famous) sauce, and I was ready to eat.
I sat with franchise owner, Michael, who told me about the whole history of Al’s as well as his history with the restaurant. It was very cool to chat with the owner (he’s owned the Al’s at 610 W. Adams for three years), but to be honest, it was a little hard to concentrate on anything but the beef and sausage combo in front of me.
For those of you who have eaten at Al’s Beef before, you not only know how delicious it is, but you probably also know how messy it can be. Trying to have a conversation while concentrating on getting every single bite in your mouth rather than on the floor, your lap, the table, or elsewhere, is not an easy feat. Somehow though, I managed and was able to enjoy my conversation with Michael as much as I enjoyed my sandwich.
All I can say is that I’m not sure which I love more, the sausage or the beef, so being able to combine the two of them into one sandwich… Well, really what more could a girl ask for?