Bring on ‘The Bear’ by making meaty, juicy Italian beef sandwiches

Jul 01, 2024 140

BY: Aaron Hutcherson

FX’s “The Bear” was, for many viewers, a first introduction to the deliciously messy Italian beef sandwich. In the show’s first season, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) is a fine-dining chef who comes home to Chicago to take over the family’s beef stand following his brother’s death. The show, which returns Wednesday for its highly anticipated third season, provided a close-up look at the inner workings of a restaurant whose sole purpose was preparing the meaty, juicy sandwich.

For those of us who grew up in the Windy City, this dish is as iconic as deep-dish pizza and our uniquely topped hot dogs. It has been beloved for decades, served not only at local institutions such as Al’s #1 Italian Beef and Mr. Beef (after which the restaurant on the show is modeled), but also in buffets at parties and, if I remember correctly, in school cafeterias.

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