I recently had to make a trip to downtown Chicago for some business. I have been wanting to visit a legendary Chicago Food landmark that has been in business since 1946 on Chicago’s southside. This Chicago landmark is none other than Ricobenes on the Southside of Chicago.
I remember the first time I ever tried a Ricobene's famous breaded steak sandwich. I was at the Taste of Chicago almost 30 years ago. I had completely forgotten how delicious the sandwich was. I kept putting it on my bucket list that I wanted to go back to the original location while in Chicago. The problem is it’s not really an easy location to get to if you’re not close to the southside of Chicago.
The location is past Chinatown off of 26th Street on Chicago’s southside. The location has a pretty run-down massive parking area across the street from the restaurant. The parking area may leave some with hesitation to try this place out. The parking is under a massive bridge structure and graffiti is everywhere. The concrete that you are driving on is riddled with potholes.
I would like to give a heads up that if you are going to park in this area please be mindful of the potholes that could completely destroy your vehicle.
Once I entered the restaurant it was very welcoming. The restaurant is adorned with wood paneling and is very bright and open with large windows letting in natural sunlight.
The ordering process is quite simple. I walked up to two counters that both had signs saying order here. I went with the original breaded steak sandwich king size. I also got the hot giardiniera on the side. I also ordered a side of fries with my order.
I will say this price has definitely increased. This is no shock as it is like this everywhere. The breaded steak sandwich and an order of fries set me back $22.
I was going to eat my sandwich there at the restaurant but decided to make my way back home, due to the fact the restaurant was starting to get busy during lunchtime.
The restaurant is huge and there is ample seating even when it is busy.
I would also like to add that they have numerous other items on the menu which I’ve also heard are awesome that I will have to try on my next visit. I heard that their pizza is fantastic and also their eggplant Parmesan sandwich is also great.
It took me about an hour to get home with my sandwich because of traffic - though luckily was still warm and my fries were also still warm.
The sandwich was already cut into two halves. The sandwich is absolutely enormous. I could only eat half at a time.
My first bite was pure heaven. The flavor is that of a marinara flavor, then you are hit with the thin breaded steak that almost has a chicken flavor to it. The bread is Turano bread and is a perfect fit for a sandwich. The bread has just the right chewiness and firmness to make it soggy from the sauce.
The sandwich consists of a large flattened piece of steak that is rolled to fit the sandwich. The center of the roll steak is then filled with a large amount of mozzarella. I do not know if they make their own giardiniera, but it was delicious and definitely added flavor to the sandwich.
The fries had a flavor of fresh-cut fries that tasted identical to that of Gene and Jude's hotdogs.
I will say this is definitely worth a trip to try if you are just visiting Chicago for a vacation. I will also say this is definitely a try if you are a resident of Illinois. This is an extremely unique sandwich and is absolutely delicious. I think everyone should try the sandwich at least once.
I give Ricobenes a rating of 8 out of 10. It is definitely worth it to go take the drive down to the southside of Chicago and experience this deliciousness for yourself.
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