Best Chicago beef in Minneapolis: the search begins

What do Philly, Miami, and Chicago have in common? They, unlike the Twin Cities, all have well-known signature sandwiches. Though we may not have a signature, we do have a stack of dives, bars, and diners trying to perfect these delights--but the question of who has the best of each is pretty hard to answer. At least it is in one sitting. But we figured starting with Uncle Franky's, a well-known Dinkytown hole serving cheap but delicious Chicago and Philly-style fare, would be a good start.

Whether it's a Chicago dog, a cheesesteak with whiz, or a Chicago beef sandwich, Franky's has you covered. Alas, there's only one lunch break in a day, so we decided to keep it Midwest and go after the Classic Chicago Beef--a mound of Vienna beef piled high with giardiniera on a Turano bun.

The best way to eat this Chicago classic is hotly contested. This occasion called for full dip in jus and, after serious consideration, a 50/50 mix of hot and mild giardiniera.

Saying this sandwich requires a full-on fork-and-knife job is an understatement, but the sandwich faltered in the flavor department despite its size. The beef was devoid of any spice or excitement, while the giardiniera had decent heat but lacked the snap and crunch from carrots and cauliflower to elevate the texture of the soft sandwich. The full-dip is usually a difference maker, but it doesn't matter when the jus is really just hot, brown, salty water. The sandwich ran only six bones, but next time I'd save my coin and invest in a Chicago-style dog.

Sandwich Rating: Hey, It's Nourishment. Needless to say, we're still on the lookout for great Chicago beef. Vote for your favorite in the comments section below.

Epic Sandwich copyright 2010 by Teddy Hobbins

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Uncle Franky's - Closed

1316 4th St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414


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