ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Italian beef sandwich may have originated in Chicago, but here’s the top 5 best Italian beef sandwiches in Rockford, according to Yelp.
Italian beef dates back to the 1930s and consists of thin slices of seasoned roast beef served on a French toll. Sometimes, the sandwich is dipped in au jus or topped off with Chicago-style giardiniera, mozzarella, or Italian sweet peppers.
But what’s the difference between Italian beef and a French Dip? The spices are mainly what makes the difference, with Italian beef being wet-roasted in garlic, oregano and other spices. Once the roast is cooked and sliced, it is reheated in the beef broth for hours.
The sandwich is said to have been created by Italian immigrants to Chicago’s Union Stock Yards, and was introduced at weddings and banquets, according to Scala’s Original Beef and Sausage Company.
According to customer reviews, DiTullo’s Italian Market and Cafe, at 2207 E. State Street, serves the best Italian beef sandwich in Rockford. Open since 1995, DiTullo’s is known for its authentic Italian ingredients.
Chicago-based Portillo’s ranks as #2. Located at 6090 E. State Street, Portillo’s is one of Chicago’s most famous fast-food chains, founded in Villa Park in 1963. The original “Dog House” stand often accompanies grand openings whenever the chain opens a new location.
Rockford’s original Uncle Nick’s ranks #3. A sandwich stand that opened in a former gas station downtown, at 918 E. State Street, Uncle Nicks is a famous after-bar destination. The business expanded to a second location, in a former Checker’s burger stand at 5404 E. State Street.
Buddy’s Burgers, a hamburger restaurant at 6551 E. Riverside, ranks as #4 in serving the city’s best Italian beef.
Giordano’s, a Chicago-based pizza chain known for its deep-dish pizza, ranks #5 on the list of best Italian beef in Rockford.