For a sports grub experience with an upscale twist, Jeff heads to Bull & Bear. His menu pick is the griddle salami sandwich with pickled tomatoes and cheese-covered salami. With personal beer taps at the tables and delicious Buffalo wings to boot, this spot is a go-to destination for game day.
One of the few places in the city to get "restaurant quality" meats for home cooking, this butcher shop prepares custom cuts and deli products and hosts butchering classes for curious carnivores. Adventurous eaters can find everything from prime steaks to offal to whole pigs for their next barbecue.
When Jeff Mauro looks for inspiration for turning dessert into a sandwich, he looks to the masters at Sugar Fixe Patisserie in Oak Park, Ill. These pastries put a spin on classic favorites; be sure to try the almond croissant sandwich filled with almond cream and topped with toasted almonds.
Established in 1946, Gene and Jude's helped shape the famous Chicago-style hot dog (perfect for any game day), which comes with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, celery salt, pickles and pickled sport peppers on a poppy-seed bun. These fan favorites are a must for any lover of good ole Americana.
Growing up in Chicago, Jeff Mauro would always stop by Danny's Deli for the fried meatball sandwich. This spot features all kinds of Italian favorites, including classics like rigatoni in vodka sauce and stuffed artichoke, as well as lesser-known dishes like pork neck bones.
Bobby calls Gibsons’ cuts (like the 48-ounce porterhouse) some of the "juiciest steaks around.” Also try the dessert: The Macadamia Turtle Pie features mounds of caramel-drizzled ice cream, while The Meaning of Life features five layers of chocolate cake, rich mousse and raspberry preserves.
The food at Mickey’s hasn’t changed a bit since opening day in 1972. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro loves the “very simple” cooking that characterizes Mickey’s dishes, especially the signature riblets. These bad boys come out tender and juicy, with an extra ladle of barbecue sauce for some added kick.
Jeff Mauro swung by Poor Phil's for a meal worthy of a Sandwich King. In addition to snow crab claws and lobster tails, try the Catty'Boy po' boy sandwich made with a blackened catfish that has the perfect level of spice.
As a Chicago (and Jeff Mauro) favorite, Calabria Imports has become synonymous with authentic Italian food. The original owner, Freddy, keeps customers coming back with The Original Freddy, a sandwich packed with grilled sausage, roasted peppers, melted mozzarella and Calabria's special red sauce.
Retro fanatics have their fill at Angel Food Bakery. Owner Stephanie Samuels has been bringing back old-school bakery favorites with treats like whoopie pies, homemade Twinkies and Thin Mints. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro thinks Angel's ultimate sweet sandwich is the chocolate-dipped s'more.
Although located in Chicago, Fish Bar's menu reads like a New England seaside fish shack. Despite the option of having oyster po' boys, lobster rolls or frog's legs, Sandwich King Jeff Mauro heads to his seafood staple: The Crabby Patty.
With a cafe in Elmwood Park and a takeout spot on Navy Pier, Massa is renowned for authentic paninis, pizza, fried dough and other Italian specialties. Jeff Mauro swung by for the Italian stuffed Panzerotti, and locals recommend concluding any date night here with authentic, otherworldly gelato.
When Jeff Mauro wanted to make the perfect schnitzel sandwich, he headed to Edelweiss for advice. The family-owned restaurant serves authentic German fare, like schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, wienerschnitzel and spatzle, in addition to offering an assortment of 16 imported beers on tap.
This Chicago steakhouse has uncovered the secrets to making an incredible steak sandwich. When Sandwich King Jeff Mauro samples the shaved prime beef sandwich served here, he calls it “the most buttery bite” of any steak sandwich he’s ever eaten. For dessert, the chocolate pie is a must.
Grahamwich in downtown Chicago cranks out some cutting-edge sandwiches. Though its menu is filled with the classics, you're not going to get them the old deli way here. Instead, Graham, who Jeff Mauro dubbed the "Sandwich Wizard," serves kicked-up renditions of Reubens, grilled cheese and more.