Any Chicagoan would tell you that their Italian beef sandwiches are perhaps the most underrated gastronomical delight in the country. But the classic sandwich is now getting its chance to shine outside of the the Second City. One of the few eateries bringing the Italian beef sandwich to New York is new arrival Hank’s Juicy Beef, a sandwich shop in Tribeca.
Hank’s started off at street events like festivals and open air markets, but now the restaurant has found its permanent home. Hank comes from a long line of Italian beef devotees. His aunt operated a Chicago beef sandwich and pizza restaurant in Chicago for 35 years.
Watching the creation of an Italian beef’s sandwich makes its appeal to Chicagoans clear. The slow roasted beef seasoned minimally, then cut into paper-thin slices. The sandwich is dunked into savory au jus, then finished with spicy giardiniera or sweet peppers.
“There’s no other sandwich like it,” says Hank’s owner Henry “Hank” Tibensky. The closest thing is the Philly cheesesteak, and that’s not even really like it.”
The menu will be short, and is set to include eggplant parmesan (which Hank says is “just as good as the juicy beef”), Hank’s signature giardiniera, which he plans to jar and sell, Italian sausage, and eventually, Chicago-style hot dogs. Beer and wine will also be available, including a house specialty brewed beer.