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Bombacigno's J & C Restaurant -- One for Another Beefath

Bombacigno's J & C Restaurant -- One for Another Beefath
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  • Bombacigno's J & C Restaurant -- One for Another Beefath

    Post #1 - July 22nd, 2004, 9:54 am
    Post #1 - July 22nd, 2004, 9:54 am Post #1 - July 22nd, 2004, 9:54 am
    I had to meet someone for lunch yesterday in the West Loop. You know you are not with Chowhounds when they suggest eating in Union Station. I countered with J&C's Bombacigno's. Actually, this was my counter to his counter. I originally suggested Lou Mitchell's, which had been countered with Union Station. Maybe it was clever subconscious negotiating on my part, because once I thought of J&C, I knew that was where I really wanted to go.

    And boy was it worth it. J&C's beef is one of the few that is a variation on a theme, the way Al's is. That is, there is the standard version of Chicago beef, which is epitomized by Johnnies, and then there is the distinctly different beef that is Al's. J&C's while not exactly like Al's, tastes a lot closer to Al's than any other beef I've had in Chicago. They also use a different bun, from Dakota Pride. It is a crisper, lighter roll, almost like a New Orleans po' boy roll. The effect of this roll is that it both falls apart at the seams yet stays very crusty on top. In fact the J&C sammy is a big mess, and the best way to eat it is with scoops of bread, the way, say you would eat Moroccan or Ethiopian food.

    The other outstanding thing about J&C's is the cottage fries. Made to order, they also remind me slightly of Al's, with the same sweet flavor achieved from nearly burning the potatoes. The gilding of the lily here, though, is that the gravy from the beef seeps all over your basket, rendering a lot of the fries limp, but infused with essence of beef.

    Finally, like Al's, J&C's aint cheap. My beef, hot, fries, and bottomless cup of pop ran to nearly $10. Still, one of the best lunches in a while.

    Bombacigno's J & C Restaurant
    558 W. Van Buren Ave.
    Chicago, IL
    312-663-4114
    Last edited by Vital Information on July 22nd, 2004, 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - July 22nd, 2004, 10:10 am
    Post #2 - July 22nd, 2004, 10:10 am Post #2 - July 22nd, 2004, 10:10 am
    I ate lunch at J&C Bombacigno's on Tuesday, and have been a fan for years. I concur with all your statements regarding the beef (they also make a very good combo) and the cottage fries. My love for the fries was lambasted mercilessly a few months ago on the other board; apparently some people just can't handle the grease levels, which I find to be a major part of their charm.

    I also concur with your observations regarding the sandwich rolls; the one surrounding my chicken parmesan sandwich the other day threw in the towel after about three bites; but the crust stayed crispy and I just ate it like chicken bread pudding (which is tastier than it sounds).

    I also agree, it ain't cheap. I was thinking that Tuesday when my bill came to over $13 for soup, sandwich, fries and soda. But the food, which is all made to order as far as I can see, is still a good value.
  • Post #3 - July 22nd, 2004, 11:35 am
    Post #3 - July 22nd, 2004, 11:35 am Post #3 - July 22nd, 2004, 11:35 am
    I've long been a fan of J&C's Italian Beef. As they aren't open on Saturdays, though, they've never been eligible for inclusion in a Beefathon. I wonder how many other "lunch-only, weekday-only" types of spots might be out there - enough to someday warrant their own targeted, non-Saturday, review? One other that I know of is La Milanese . . . though it's a tossup there whether to go for the beef or the breaded steak; no doubt heartier eaters than me can do both.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #4 - July 31st, 2004, 9:23 pm
    Post #4 - July 31st, 2004, 9:23 pm Post #4 - July 31st, 2004, 9:23 pm
    Went to J&C's on Friday and had the beef. As a control, I had it dry and without peppers. The roll kicks serious bread ass. This is the best sandwich roll I know of. But the beef is rather limp and lifeless. Not unpalatable, and better than most beefs at non-beef specialists. But nothing to write home about, either. I think I'll try tarting it up next time with cheese and red sauce and see how that plays. (Of course, the hand-cut cottage fries were in their usual greasy great form.)

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