By the time I finished watching this fantastic video about Johnny O's in Bridgeport over on Grub Street Chicago, I had already planned my visit. I should point out that it wasn't owner John Veliotis's many stories that drew me in (even if they were interesting). Instead, it was the brief shot of a cook tossing a handful of shredded mozzarella onto the griddle and cooking it until it coalesced into one huge piece of bubbling, browned cheese. This glorious sight was then stacked on top of a freshly fried piece of breaded steak, which itself had been dipped in red sauce and then stuffed into a roll. Watch the whole video when you have the time, but fast forward to 2:40 mark to see the cheese. I'll wait.
Back? Okay. As you can imagine, when you add a piece of fried cheese to the breaded steak sandwich at Johnny O's, the result is a ridiculous mess. The question is whether it's one worth the calorie busting or not. The answer is... sort of. As great as that sheet of fried cheese is, the breaded steak isn't quite as juicy as the similar one at Ricobene's. Still, if you're in the mood for some gut-busting adventure, this is your sandwich. Just make sure to load it up with some spicy giardiniera, which nobly tries to cut through the grease.
3465 South Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60608 (map)