We are TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Please watch for a new location in 2017.

GLOSSARY

The city of Chicago has its very own lingo when it comes to food and Spallas's Chicago Italian Beef is no different. Here's a couple'a terms that'll help you around our menu and when you get here.

 

BEEF

Also “Italian Beef”;  A hot, juicy sandwich of Italian-spiced, slow-roasted beef, thinly sliced, warmed in the Italian-seasoned “gravy” (pan juices) on a roll of good, Chicago Italian bread.   Beefs are ordered stating the level of wetness and type of peppers desired, as in: “Beef. Wet. Hot”  or “Combo.

 

BREAD

It HAS TO be Chicago's Turano or Gonella bread, or the sandwich will sog out, mush out, and disintegrate.  It's made for a wet, juicy sandwich that holds together.

 

CHICAGO STYLE

Hot Dogs and Sandwiches with a specific set of toppings that deliver a specific flavor profile together.

 

COMBO

An Italian Sausage topped with Italian Beef and peppers, usually sweet.

 

DIPPED

Beef sandwich totally dipt in the gravy,  but doesn’t get gummy or fall apart because it’s special bread.

 

DOUBLE DIPPED

Like it sounds, also called “soaked”, resulting in a big wet football of a sandwich!

 

DRAGGED THRU THE GARDEN

Term meaning ALL the Chicago Dog toppings on your hot dog:  The Poppy Seed Bun, Mustard, Tomatoes, Onion, Relish, Pickle, Sports, Celery Salt.

 

FRIES

Standard in Chicago to get fries with a hot dog, not chips.   Even more standard that they are loaded on top of your hot dog and inevitably some end up inside the hot dog.   If/when we get a fryer, we’ll load ‘em on top!  In the meantime, we have KILLER Mac & Cheese and potato salad.

 

GIARDINIERA

Chopped peppers and garden vegetables marinated in olive oil and Italian spices.   Mild Giardiniera is made with green bell peppers.  Hot Giardiniera is made with hot sport/serrano peppers and crushed red pepper.

 

GRAVY

1.  The natural pan juices made from roasting the beef.  Luscious, rich, Italian seasoned beef juices (au jus).  Beef sandwiches are wet, soaked or dipt in Gravy.

2.  Anything on anything is GRAVY in Chicago: there’s red, pink, white and beef!

 

GRAVY BREAD SPECIAL

Chicago Italian bread soaked in the beef gravy…  juicy, soft and chewy.  Also called a “Soaker”.

 

HOT

Shortcut term for ordering Hot Giardiniera on your beef or sandwich.

 

KETCHUP

Not allowed on hot dogs in Chicago unless you are 17 years old or less.

 

MAXWELL STREET

Home of the “Maxwell Street Polish”, a Polish sausage topped with grilled onions and yellow mustard.  Maxwell Street is one of Chicago’s oldest immigrant neighborhoods, on the near west-side at Halsted & Roosevelt Road.  Home of Jane Addams HULL HOUSE, an historic and famous settlement house for immigrants transitioning to American life.   Heavily Jewish in the late 1800’s, when open air markets (flea markets) were gaining popularity.  Chicago Blues started here, and the Great Chicago Fire went north and east of here, sparing Maxwell Street.

 

ORDER, HOW TO

Beefs and Combos are ordered stating the level of wetness, kind of peppers, and if you want cheese, though it’s not as common in Chicago as a steak & cheese is here.  Order like this “Beef. Wet. Hot”  or “Beef. Wet. Cheese.  Sweet & Hot.”

 

PEPPERS

Sauteed green bell peppers as a topping to a beef, sausage or combo.  See “How to Order”.

 

PIZZA PUFF

Deep-fried puffs of molten pizza sauce and cheese.  *don’t currently carry

 

POLISH

Shortcut term for ordering a Polish Sausage sandwich.  Larger and slightly coarser grind than an hot dog.   All-beef kielbasa, natural casing with a snap. Typically ordered on a hot dog bun with grilled onions and mustard.

 

POPPY SEED BUN

Staple ingredient in a Chicago Dog.  Hot Dog BUN with poppy seeds. Mmmm.

 

SAUSAGE

Shortcut term for ordering an Italian Sausage sandwich, as in: Sausage with peppers.   Variations include wet or dipt bread (in gravy), giardiniera topping.

 

SOAKER

A Gravy Bread Special.

 

SPORTS

Sport Peppers: a small, hot, green pepper, pickled in vinegar.  Vinegar-y hot, but not too hot.

 

STAND

Chicago’s term for a place you get hot dogs or Italian beef sandwiches.  Typically small, casual, and outfitted with counters that you STAND at and eat your sandwich.  You gotta stand, not sit and get comfy: Eat it and beat it!  Plus, standing allows you to lean over the counter and not drip gravy on your shirt! In Chicago you gotta stand, not sit and get comfy!

 

STANCE

Standing up, leaning with forearms or elbows on the counter, eating you beef so any gravy you lose (you shouldn’t) drips on the counter, not your shirt.

 

TAMALE

Popular side dish at Chicago beef stands… Small masa covered rolls of Mexican flavored meat; steamed.   *don’t currently carry

 

WET

Wetness  level of bread for your beef, sausage or combo.  Wet is very juicy, but not as juicy as bread dipt or soaked in the gravy.

 

VIENNA BEEF

The OFFICIAL brand of Chicago’s Hot Dogs, Polish, and other meats and condiments.  Spalla’s uses Vienna’s all beef, natural casing franks and polish.

 

 

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