So what’s your one meal you’d eat if you could only choose one on a desert island (much more fun than your last meal before an execution)? For me, it’s a Chicago-style Italian beef/sausage combo with sweet and hot peppers.
I’ve loved that meal for decades and have tried to hit all the joints when I lived up and near Chi-town. I even worked at Plush-Pup for a spell in Park Ridge, and I was the guy who cooked the huge beef roasts for their I-beefs – studded with garlic and covered with aromatic Italian seasoning.
So for my birthday this year, Susan was out of town, so I thought I’d treat myself – I ordered the beef/sausage combo meal (eight meals) from Portillo’s online. Holy cow was it amazing! Rich, fatty gravy, flavorful beef, sausages that you finished on the grill, hot giardiniera and sweet peppers that were just like I remembered (I’ve tried to make sweet peppers myself, but the Internet approaches all fall flat). And that crusty but not too crusty bread. I was in heaven!
So what did Susan think when she returned? Not a fan – to her, the gravy what chemically tasting. I get it – they had to put some preservatives in there for making in huge batches and freezing. It wasn’t 100% as good at what you’d get in a nice seedy joint in the city, but it was DAMN close! And if Susan wasn’t interested, then more for me, right?