At Jimmy's Place, everything is made in-house from scratch daily using family recipes for authentic Chicago-Italian food. Jeff Mauro went to this popular restaurant searching for the secret to its delicious bone-in Chicken Vesuvio to create an inspired Chicken Vesuvio Sandwich.
As Jeff Mauro learned on his visit to La Pasadita, their tacos stick to the basics with onions and cilantro and beef grilled over an open flame. All of La Pasadita's three locations on Ashland Avenue offer fresh-to-order plates the way the original owner, David Espinoza, made them in 1976.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Jeff Mauro's alma mater in Peoria, Ill., without visiting Schooners sports bar. Schooner's carries hot wings and fried corn fritters, and they go all-out in making the King Tenderloin sandwich by using a flattened 18-ounce pork patty served on a regular-size burger bun.
It wouldn't be Ricobene's without ordering its signature breaded steak sandwich. Jeff Mauro stopped by to try this hefty sandwich that's breaded skirt steak stuffed in a French roll, then topped with peppers, cheese and a homemade red sauce.
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.
This mecca of gluten-free treats offers giant cookie pizzas with endless topping choices (think fruit, candy, nuts) as well as doughnuts, cookies and cakes. The fudgy Salted Caramel Nutella Brownies are a particular standout: They loop together seemingly every sweet vice, meaning you’ll never miss the wheat flour. In addition to its gluten-free selection, the bakery also offers some vegan items.
Bar Toma’s location on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile makes it a go-to destination with for Chi-town locals like Jeff Mauro. Jeff dropped by for the one- and- only Bomba. Translated as “bomb” in Italian, this puffed puffed-up pizza dough is full of flavor, thanks to toppings like prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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.
This Chicago institution features recipes dating back more than 50 years. The highlight for Sandwich King Jeff Mauro is the corned beef made with a custom blend of pickling spices. Every order (about 1,000 each day) at Manny's Coffee Shop is topped with a golden potato pancake.
They say the bakery at this Chicago landmark is run just as it was in the '50s, using trusted family recipes for traditional Mexican treats like pan dulce, a soft and chewy sweetbread with a flaky decorative topping. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro used the spongy bolillo bread to construct a tasty torta.
For a true taste of comfort, Jeff Mauro turns to Silver Cloud's sloppy joe on a brioche bun. The secrets to its success: a 24-hour cooking time and pineapple juice. If you're in the mood for something else, try the chicken pot pie or grilled cheese.
Burger Boss brings a new level of dedication to burgers. Meat is sustainably raised and is served with eco-friendly containers and utensils. When Sandwich King Jeff Mauro visits the Burger Boss, he opts for the bologna burger topped with an adobo-chipotle honey sauce.
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.
On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Troy Johnson celebrates his love of a Wisconsin favorite with none other than beer-battered fried cheese curds. Also try the Old Fashioned House Burger. Made from local beef, it’s topped with fried onion, bacon, cheddar cheese, garlic sauce and a soft-cooked egg.
Jim's Original features the one-and-only Polish Sausage Sandwich that has been a Chicago favorite since 1941. But on Sandwich King, Jeff tried another favorite: the Pork Chop Sandwich. Unlike a typical pork chop sandwich, Jim's opts for leaving the bone in for a juicy, flavorful bite.