Location: 1503 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607
A Quick Word:
As previously mentioned, one of the most famous Chicago sandwiches is the Italian Beef. Made famous by a couple long standing establishments, Johnnie's Beef and Al's #1 Italian Beef, many restaurants are opening and trying to compete. Patio, located near the UIC area, is about 1/2 a mile from Al's, making it easier for the west side campus to enjoy. The set up is very similar with vats of italian beef stewing away in its own juices and each sandwich being made to order, including whether or not you want your bread dipped or dry. Unfortunately, Patio's sandwich is sub par when compared to the other two Italian beef giants. Something was wrong with each part of the sandwich... bread way too soggy, peppers not hot enough, it can go on and on. The prices are about the same so Patio can't even win on the point. I mean, the sandwich is average and it does appeal to the west side of UIC campus. For those reasons, I figured a 3-mile rating would be fair.
What I Ate:
Why consider ordering an Italian beef sandwich when the Italian Combo exists? Patio's Italian combo is exactly the same as others... italian beef, an italian sausage, choice of sweet or hot peppers (I chose both) and of course, the option of having that italian roll dipped or dry. As you can tell by the picture, my sandwich was dipped... bad mistake, because Patio's bread for some reason didn't hold up at all. It was literally IMPOSSIBLE to pick up the sandwich and I had to use a fork. I was disappointed as well because the peppers were not spicy whatsoever. The meat, itself, was pretty tasty and cooked till super tender, but it isn't as good as some of the other Italian beefs in the city. The portion size was great and the cost was student friendly, but there were too many flaws to rate this sandwich more than average at best.
I have recently been introduced to this (maybe) new concept of dumping warm ketchup into a french fry bag. I saw it once in Greektown over the weekend, and now experienced it at Patio. Their french fries were unsalted and when asked for ketchup, it was ladled out of a warming pot and poured right on. It was interesting, and I can't really say if I like it better or not. The fries immediately become soggy, but the warm ketchup brings out a unique sweetness that I really enjoyed. They are messy to eat, so be aware before asking for ketchup.
- I believe they are Cash Only. Just be aware.
- Flashing zone for parking right outside Pompei restaurant (about 1/2 a block west of Patio)
- Don't come here for your first Italian beef sandwich. Chicago is known for much better places. This may be convenient, but the others are worth the drive.
How far would I walk for this food?