A signature food making its way to other cities and areas around the world is the goal of many chefs and food-conscious individuals. One of the most recent examples of this can be seen in the New York opening of a sandwich shop that focuses on a culinary creation that first became famous in Chicago, the Italian beef sandwich.
Not surprisingly, the owner of Hank’s Juicy Beef grew up in the Chicago area and his main recipe is family-based. Hank Tibensky has lived in New York for the past 10 years but only recently decided to try his luck in the food and restaurant business. The only connection he previously had with this segment of the industry was when his aunt’s family ran a restaurant that sold pizza and beef sandwiches.
The sandwich itself had previously been available in New York City, though it was part of a much more extensive menu. Tibensky’s shop in the Tribeca district focuses almost exclusively on the Italian beef variety and uses only sustainably-bred beef that’s sliced thin. That beef is then marinated, adding Italian spices for seasoning purposes before then adding giardiniera as a topping.
The dough for the bread used for the sandwiches is made in Chicago by a friend who owns a bakery. After then being shipped to New York, it’s then baked and used on such orders as the “Combo,” which merges the beef with sausage. Plans are on tap to add another Chicago-based item: a Vienna beef-based hot dog.