Of all the regional sandwiches from across the country that have gained universal popularity, Chicago never had one in the race until now. In a food market saturated with Philly cheese steaks, New England lobster rolls, and Louisiana po’boys, Chicago’s Italian beef sandwich can now be found among them at Hank’s Juicy Beef in Tribeca.
Though it’s super popular in Chicago, most of the rest of us have never heard of an Italian beef sandwich before. It consists of slow-roasted seasoned beef sliced thin and served on a thick Italian roll. It comes topped with either sweet peppers or spicy giardiniera (a pickled vegetable mix) and can be served dry or dripping with jus.
Hank’s founder Henry “Hank” Tibensky comes from a family of restaurant owners, as his aunt’s family ran a pizza and Italian beef shop in Chicago for 35 years. Aside from this new restaurant venture, Tibensky also hopes to eventually jar and sell his own giardiniera. To ensure diners get the true Chicago experience, Tibensky is importing his rolls from his uncle’s bakery back in Chicago and filling out the menu with other Italian and Chicago favorites like an eggplant Parmesan sandwich, Italian sausage, and a Chicago-style hot dog. You can even sample a signature beer, Hank’s Juicy Brew, created by Bronx Brewery, along with a selection of other beers and wines.