When you walk into a Chesterton restaurant, the last thing you’re thinking about is whether or not you’re ordering a food item right. After all, the priority is getting some delicious food on your table, right? Now you may be wondering – is there a right or wrong way to do it? Well, depending on what you’re ordering, there could be. Or rather, there are considerations to make before you order. Case in point: Italian Beef.
Italian beef, in a nutshell, is simply roast beef that’s long simmered in a deliciously seasoned “gravy,” cut thinly, then generously piled into a hinge-cut French roll. Sounds simple enough right? Now, here’s how you should be ordering Italian beef if you’re in Indiana:
Sweet or Hot?
You have two options for the pepper toppings when you order “beef” in a restaurant. You can say “Sweet,” and you will be served with a sandwich topped with slivers of green (or sometimes red) bell peppers that were slowly roasted until they’re soft. Often, they’re simmered with beef.
You could choose to be brave and ask for “Hot.” Prepare yourself for the spicy combo of pickled serrano, carrots, celery, jalapeño, green olives, garlic, onion, and cauliflower which were all perfectly steeped in oil.
Of course, you can choose to ask for both! No one can blame you if you want to have a taste of both on your Italian beef.
Here’s what you should know. If you’re planning to enjoy your Italian beef like a native of Indiana, you shouldn’t ask for cheese. However, if cheese is an absolute requirement for your sandwiches, then, by all means, ask for it. You’re probably going to get mozzarella or, if you’re lucky, provolone.
Dry, Wet, or Dipped?
Yes, this is a question that you might be asked when you order Italian beef. If you’re not from the area and it’s your first time ordering this, you may not know what to say. Here’s how you can look at it: How soggy do you like your sandwich to be? You’re probably thinking, who would want a soggy sandwich? Well, thousands of people in Indiana, actually. You wouldn’t really get it until you give it a try. But anyway, here’s how the three are different:
Dry: The beef is just taken from the au jus and let drip dry before being plopped into the bread. There won’t be additional gravy on the sandwich. That means you won’t have grease on your fingers, and there’s less risk of you leaving the restaurant with stains on your outfit.
Wet: The beef goes straight from the au jus into the sandwich without drying it, so you get really juicy meat and sandwich. Then they’ll add a dollop of extra gravy so that the entire interior of the bread is soaked. You need to eat your sandwich real fast before the sandwich disintegrates. It’s a messy sandwich but a really tasty one, so it’s really worth it.
Dipped: Now, here’s how this is done. The entire sandwich is gripped in the tongs and dunked right into the au jus. The bread will be melting by the time you eat it, and this could be the messiest thing you’ll ever eat. Be prepared for juices running down your arms! You might have to join the other locals doing the “Chicago Lean” to keep your clothes clean.
There you go. Now you’re all familiar with how Italian Beef is served in Indiana, you’ll be ready to order one or more at some of the best Chesterton restaurants. Of course, you can always try other excellent items on the menu, too, but you should never miss the chance to try Italian beef Chicago-style.
George’s Gyros is one of the best places to get Italian beef, gyros, burgers, and more in Chesterton. Check out our menu or drop by to enjoy a culinary experience you’ll only find in Indiana!