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Best Italian beef sandwich

Audience Choice, Elmwood Park, Food & Drink No Comments »

Johnnie’s Beef

Chicago is packed with places that have Italian Beef on their menu, but only a handful serve sandwiches worthy of the name. And of these Johnnie’s reigns supreme. The beef is tasty, the bread crust crunchy, the juice flavorful. Johnnie’s fries are just greasy enough to round out the meal. The ambiance at Johnnie’s is wonderful, too. In a world full of places that pretend to be what they are not, Johnnie’s remains true to its original design: enter in the east, wait in line, give your order to the crabby, overworked guy behind the counter, pay your money and a few moments later you are handed your food by another crabby, overworked guy and ushered out the west door. Spartan picnic benches are provided for those who prefer to dine on the premises.

Johnnie’s Beef
7500 West North, Elmwood Park
(708)452-6000

Audience choice:
Portillo’s
100 West Ontario
(312)587-8910
portillos.com

Best of Chicago 2011

Best neon sign to evoke the good life

City Life, Elmwood Park No Comments »

Horwath’s Restaurant
Driving along Harlem Avenue near the city’s western limits, it beckons like a beaming beacon of bourgeois bounty: a ten-foot-high, orange-bordered neon sign with white, flashing marquee lights that read “Good Food,” and pink lettering that spells “Horwath’s.” Underneath it, however, is the pièce de résistance, a giant blue-neon martini glass, the symbol of all things good, flashing into the night sky.

1850 North Harlem, (708)453-0413
(closed in 2004)
Best of Chicago 2002