Although I love NYC, I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Chicago. And, for the life of me, I can't find a single sign of an ITALIAN BEEF SANDWICH anywhere! The hot crusty garlic bread soaked with greasy juices, the spicy peppers sprinkled among heaping folds of meat, that first juice-dribbling bite … I need it. I need it now.
Whoa there, cowboy (or cowgirl) — don’t worry, Grub Street can help you out. We share your almost unnatural enthusiasm for the Italian beef sandwich, and here in New York, we get them at Defonte’s. It’s in Red Hook, so it’s a pain to get to, and once you do, there are no chairs to sit in. But you can take your intensely flavorful hot roast-beef sandwich — coursing with natural beef jus and covered with Italian pepperoncini — to go, or just wolf it down out on the sidewalk. And while they don’t normally serve it on garlic bread, the restaurant tells us they’d make an exception for anyone who asked. So go ahead — let those juices dribble.
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