Feb 052003
Authors: Christopher Ortiz

Attention Chicago fans … no I’m not talking about the Bears, the Bulls or the Cubs, I’m talking about fans of Chicago food. Boomer’s Beef, located where Big City Burgers was on College Ave., brings the taste of the Windy City to the Fort, and no, Old Chicago doesn’t count.

Opening in October, Tony and Dolores Emerich have brought a new taste to an already diverse dining locale.

Just like how Philadelphia is known for its Philly Cheesecake, Chicago is known for its Chicago-style sandwiches.

For those who might not be familiar with the sandwich, it starts off with thinly sliced Italian beef or sausage placed on Italian bread. The biggest characteristic of the sandwich is that it’s a wet sandwich. The bread is dipped Italian gravy – think of Au Jus sauce for a French dip. The sandwich is topped off with sweet or hot peppers.

I had the chance to try the sandwich at Boomer’s and with the warmth of the bread, the Italian gravy, the thinly sliced beef and especially the sweet peppers, it was one of the better tasting sandwiches I have tried in a long time – not as unique as the Philly but still different from most sandwiches around town.

When I think of Chicago food, gyros are not the first thing to come to mind but according to Mr. Emerich, Chicago food has a lot of Greek influence.

The gyro was for the most part like any other great gyro I had before, but it had the most distinct taste of Tzatziki sauce on it. Tzatziki is a cucumber yogurt (yep, I was just as confused as you when I heard it) but as weird as it sounds, it added a zing to the gyro.

The best thing I tried when I was there was a Chicago-style hot dog. An all-beef hotdog topped with sport peppers, tomatoes and relish wrapped around a steamed, poppy seed bun. Boomer’s also has equally good Polish sausage hotdogs topped with onions.

The best thing about Boomer’s is the authenticity everything has, most of the meats and ingredients are shipped from Chicago rather than a generic national supplier. Even how the restaurant is decorated has a very genuine Chicago atmosphere with pictures and memorabilia that makes you feel like the people that own the place have actually been to Chicago unlike some other places claiming to be from Chicago.

Boomer’s Beef

634 S College Ave.

495-0990 (they take call-in orders)

11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday – Noon to 4 p.m.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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