“Gimme a beef hot, sweet, and wet.” That’s Chicago-speak for, “I would like my Italian Roast Beef with hot peppers, roasted sweet peppers, and an extra splash of gravy.”
So, you ask, “What’s the big deal?” Well, in a word, it’s extraordinary. But you’ve tasted roast beef before, how can that be extraordinary? Like everything else “Chicago”, it must have exactly the right ingredients, brought together in exactly the right way, and voila, you have extraordinary. Basically, it’s highly seasoned slow-roasted beef, shaved thin, and awash in a fragrant seven-herbs-and-spices au-jus that we Italians like to call “gravy.” It’s piled into a warm, crusty, stone-oven baked Italian roll and is really great with any or more of the traditional toppings--hot peppers, roasted sweet peppers, grilled onions and/or provolone. Once you’ve tasted one, you know mere words can’t adequately describe “a Beef.”
More than a century of taste!
Since 1893 the Chicago-style hot dog hasn't changed. It's a wonderfully balanced, flavorful meal on a bun. We start with a Vienna Beef natural-cased, hickory-smoked frank nestled into a steamed poppy seed bun with yellow mustard, neon green relish, chopped onion, tomato wedges, a kosher pickle spear, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. Oh, Yes! Don't mess with perfection.
So take a taste back into history. Savor the same flavors your great grandparents enjoyed and see for yourself why the Chicago-style hotdog continues to amaze and impress.
Ahh, thinking of our traditional Italian sausage brings back memories of being a “yoot” in 1960’s Chicago. Barbecues with friends and family would always include authentic rope Italian sausage sizzling on the grill, just waiting to be stuffed into a warm Italian roll with roasted peppers and grilled onions. Johnny says that our Italian sausage is by far the best in Alaska and probably better than many served by “suma dem bums back in Chicago.” And Johnny’s right. Whether you go with our mild or spicy Italian sausage with roasted sweet peppers, hot peppers, grilled onions, and/or provolone cheese, you’re in for a real and authentic treat. And if you’re like Johnny’s cousins from back East, we’ve got you covered with our Italian sausage done “red style” marinara and provolone.
Maxwell Street was actually an open-air market that existed in Chicago from 1871-1994. It featured delicious old world foods such as the Maxwell Street polish. It's a char-grilled Vienna Beef Polish that's dressed with mustard and grilled onions wrapped in a steamy poppy seed bun. It sounds simple, but the taste is hearty and delicious. There are some stands in Chicago that only feature this old time treat! Ask about our Hot & Spicy Polish!
OK, so brats aren't really Chicago, but heck, they're really good! We grill our 1/4 lb Johnsonville brats to perfection. Nestle them in either a french roll or hotdog bun. They're really tasty with steamy kraut or grilled onions.
When we were just young bad boys, so many of the best burgers at our favorite “burger joints” had one thing in common—heaps and heaps of grilled onions. So, when we created our signature burgers, we knew that the first thing we had to add to our all-steak burger was an insane pile of caramelized onions. Of course, all of those burgers from our “yoot” also featured really good cheese, so our basic Smother Burger features the same cheddar cheese used by all “da best joints.” And our Gogonzilla uses, well, top quality gorgonzola cheese, of course. And our Smokin’ Hot Chipotle is topped with jalapeno-laced jack cheese because some folks around here may have spent just a little too much time in Texas. But hey, whether the flavors come from the burgers we first fell in love with more years ago than we care to admit or the flavors come from unauthorized trips well south of Chicago (“Hey Ma, we’re goin’ out for burgers. We’ll be back in three days.”), our signature burgers simply rock. And if you want even more onions than usual on yours, just ask. We understand. For many of us, there’s no such thing as too much grilled onions.
Johnny says, "Wit salads, der are tree gottas. Day gotta be fresh. Day gotta be tossed. And day gotta fill up a big bowl." And who are we to argue with Johnny?! So, we make our salads to order from the freshest ingredients. Fresh made from fresh ingredients--fresh times two makes Johnny happy. And Johnny's idea of "presentation" is not some salad served in layers with the dressing on the side and then you have to mix everything up for yourself. No, "If all the right stuff is tossed together and it looks like it tastes good and den, hey, it tastes good when I take a bite, dat salad 'pre-zents' good." So naturally, we toss our salads. Johnny's happy again. Finally, Johnny says, "Some people may call salads rabbit food, but we ain't feedin' no rabbits here. We gotta give people plenya eats." So, we don't serve any namby-pamby side salads. At Johnny Chicago's you'll only get dinner salads that'll fill you up. Johnny would have it no other way. And if "da tree gottas" make you happy, then Johnny and we are happy, too. Mange!
Our fries and beer-battered onion rings are made to order. They never sit around getting old and cold in a holding bin. They’re hot, crisp, and delicious. And the sweet potato fries often caramelize slightly in the cooking process and taste simply w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. Plus, if you like spicy, try them all with our signature Spicy Chipotle Ketchup.
Are you familiar with shaved ice? Snow cones? All those ice and fruit-syrup concoctions that come with the straw with the little spoon at the end? Well, fuggedabout’em. Italian Ice ain’t nuttin like dem. Italian Ice is way, way bedda. Just like Gelato is the richer, denser, smoother, and simultaneously subtly but intensely more flavorful Italian cousin to regular ice cream, Italian Lemon Ice is, well, ice, but ice that is oh so fine, dense, and almost as smooth as ice cream and that perfectly balances tart and sweet. Outside of Chicago and Italy, there are very few places you can even find authentic Italian Ice made from a recipe rooted in over a hundred years of tradition and made in the exact same type of machine they use in the Old Country. But Johnny Chicago’s is in fact one of those rare places on our fine planet where you can find Italian Ice that is the real deal and incredibly delicious. So, what could be better than that.
Did the descriptions make you hungry? We understand. That happens to us all the time. But there's a way to fix that, you can phone us NOW!
Corner of 36th and Old Seward
11:00 to 8:30 Mon-Sat