Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, September 28

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Review Thu Jun 17 2010

Who's Got the Beef?

Is there any other sandwich that typifies Chicago as much as the Italian beef? Are there any words more poetic than saying "Sweet Hot Dipped Combo" to your friendly sandwich-maker?

We're going to be on the prowl for the best Beef in the city, visiting as many joints as we possibly can to find that perfect mixture of giardiniera to bread texture to meat juices to... well, overflowing beef.


Recently, as the above photo attests to, we paid a visit to Fontano's Subs on Jackson in the Loop to begin our journey.There was a definite disconnect between the juiciness of the beef and the sogginess of the soft Italian bread, most likely interrupted by the mistakenly placed piece of mozzarella cheese on the bottom of the roll. Beefs should be free to stew in their juices, allowed to destroy the roll it sits on in the process. No cheese please! The beef itself seemed just a tad on the cold side, and could have used a little more kick or time to "cook in its own natural juices" as Fontano's menu states.

But a beef is still a beef. A "4" out of "10."

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Mike Gebert / June 21, 2010 2:09 PM

Within the city, be sure to hit Chickie's on S. Pulaski.

Jason / June 22, 2010 4:30 PM

A little non-traditional, but a favorite of mine that's not Portillo's would have to be Pizzaco on Ashland & Addison. Make sure to put it on garlic bread.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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