Chicago: Al's Beef

My prospective med school friend left early Saturday morning, which definitely wasn't enough time for us to properly hang out. My other friend, who was on spring break from pharmacy school, stayed until Tuesday. The two of us go way, way back to 6th grade, so of course I had to pull out all the stops and show her a good time around Chi-town.

We had a late start Saturday, afternoon, but we needed the extra time to mentally prepare ourselves for a day of pure eating. Our first stop was Al's Beef:

The original, of course. Nothing but the best for my friend. I'd tried to go once before when another friend was visiting, but thanks to my bad planning, we went on the one day of the week when Al's was closed.

This time, we were successful in getting through the front door:

Basically all counter space. If you want to sit down, there are a few tables outside. It was raining that day, so we opted to stand inside.

The fries were quite amazing:

Nothing fancy. Just some well-fried, well-salted, skin-on french fries.

The "holy trinity" (as I heard it once referred to as) of Chicago consists of deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and last but not least, Italian beef sandwiches. Every Chicagoan will give you a different answer regarding which place has the best of each. Al's Beef (the original) is hailed by some as having the best Italian beef sandwiches in the city:

Since my friend was on vacation and I was too by association, we bypassed the regular beef sandwich and went for the combo, which includes an Italian sausage. The sausage was a bit spicy, which was in itself good, but also a bit distracting from the beef. The sweet peppers were an awesome touch.

A good sandwich and if I lived in the area, I might be tempted to stop by once in a while. The way things are now, I'll probably only drop by if I had a guest who absolutely wanted to try an Italian beef sandwich while in town.

Al's Beef
1079 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-4017


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