Just like in the Pacific Northwest where you’ll see innumerable small restaurants with the word “Teriyaki” on them, in Chicagoland, you’re apt to see countless outlets with the word “Beef”, which is a reference to “Italian Beef”, thin sliced, slow-simmered, seasoned roast beef served on a roll. Make it a “combo” and they add an Italian sausage. Usually dressed with your choice of sweet or hot peppers, and the roll is slightly wet from the au jus. If you want it ‘wet’, ask them to dip it.
Bambino’s Beef is one such place in the Northwest suburban community of Cary, an hour plus on the Metra train from downtown.
Bambino’s features all the Chicago favorites, Chicago style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and gyros. The suppliers of the latter in local Devanco foods, which manufacturers gyros, sausage, beef, and burger patties for the trade and retail.
Hot dogs come from Red Hot Chicago, started in 1986 by a grandson of the founder of legendary Chicago hot dog giant “Vienna Beef”.
Bambino’s uses an all beef skinless dog from Red Hot, which is fairly indistinguishable in taste in texture, in my opinion. I always personally prefer a natural casing dog, with stronger flavoring.
But the beef by Devanco really stands out. It’s very flavorful and tender, tho one must acknowledge that although this product generally comes to restaurants pre-cooked, requiring only a warm-up, it’s easy to goof up that process, and many establishments do.
If you’re heading out of Chicago on highway 14, bound for Wisconsin, and feeling a might puckish, stop in Bambino’s for a beef. The 10” size will give you enough for a meal and more.