Welcome to “Chowdown Showdown,” a weekly feature where we take one type of food and ask readers to nominate their favorite places in Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn and Palos. This week we chowed down on the South Side favorite--the Italian Beef. We tallied the votes on each respective Patch site and Facebook page.
Real South Siders know their Italian beef sandwiches, and these three proved worthy competitors.
Evergreen Park Patch - All hail king of the Italian Beef! Pappys was my absolute favorite. We got a few suggestions, including Rosangela's, who was in our Patch Pizza Playoffs, and Souzy's, but this one won the crown. You want a South Sider's Beef? Chow down on Pappys beef, the way South Siders like it: dipped with sweet and hot peppers. - 5 Stars
Oak Lawn Patch - Wow! Being from the North Side, this beef knocked me on my butt. Perfectly spiced with a nice combo of sweet and hot peppers and dipped in gravy, this was a real South Side sammy! 5 Stars
Palos Patch - It was the texture of the beef in this sandwich that put it over the edge for me. It was piled thick, but still as soft and tender as could be. The flavor was right on point. Beef, peppers, giardiniera . . . What's more South Side Chicago than that? 5 Stars
Evergreen Park Patch - I really loved how well this beef was seasoned. The sweet peppers were a good touch, topped off with mozzarella cheese--a lovely take on the classic Italian beef. The fries were also seasoned to perfection and some of the best I've tasted in a while. 4.5 Stars
Oak Lawn Patch - I really liked this sandwich. The sandwich was wonderfully framed in a french roll with a generous amount of beef, mozzarella and peppers. The gravy was delish. 4.5 Stars.
Palos Patch - Tony's won out over Pop's in our local vote. I agree with my esteemed colleagues that it was the seasoning of the beef that made this a great sandwich. I can see how this one can become addictive. The beef was moist and the bread just thick enough to hold in all that juicy goodness, just the way an Italian beef sandwich should be. 5 Stars
Frankie's Beef, Pasta and Catering - Oak Lawn
Evergreen Park Patch - This classic Italian beef was really toned down compared with its competitors. Very minimal sweet peppers, no suprises, no extras. 4 Stars
Oak Lawn Patch - We got a lot of recommendations for the chains in Oak Lawn like Portillo's and Al's Beef, both of which make great Italian beef sandwiches. Frankie's won out in the mom-and-pop category. I've had some fantastic pasta at Frankie's. Usually I get my beef on toasted garlic bread with mounds of peppers but I did not want to overwhelm my colleagues. A solid sandwich but I think I'll stick with Frankie's pasta. 4.5 Stars.
Palos Patch - This was a very solid sandwich. I could have used a bit more juice, but the flavor was good and it would fulfill any Chicagoan's craving for a classic Italian beef. 4 Stars
And the winner is . . . Pappys from Evergreen Park! Made like a true South Side beef, Pappys provided all of the flavor, a good grade of beef, and a generous helping of sweet and hot peppers.
Read past 'Chowdown Showdown' Readers' Choice winners: