As Nick reported earlier this year, the opening of Mr. G's Beef in Logan Square means that the neighborhood finally has a natural casing hot dog to call its own. As you can probably tell by now, this is a big deal to us here at Serious Eats Chicago. But while having a natural casing hot dog on the menu is all well and good, this place is called Mr. G's Beef, after all. Would the namesake stack up, too?
I'm happy to report that the Italian Beef ($5.95, with fries) is pretty close to excellent. Like any self-respecting Chicagoan, I ordered mine dipped, with hot giardiniera, and I added sweet peppers for good measure. Except for the bread, all components of the sandwich are made in house. The beef is sliced nice and thin and has a solid, beefy taste. And the two types of peppers ($1.00 for both) were worth the upcharge: the spicy, vinegary giardiniera paired nicely with the roasted sweet peppers. My only complaint is that the whole thing could have used a little more gravy. A well-dipped beef should just about explode with juices when you bite in to it, and this one was just a little dry for my tastes. Nothing that a little extra gravy next time wouldn't fix, though.
Even though Mr. G's Beef isn't quite as good as Portillo's turned out to be, all is forgotten once you try their hand cut fries. Plenty salty and riding that crispy-soft line towed by the fries at the best minimalist stands, these fries are destination worthy in their own right. Not that Logan Square needs any more help in that department.
Mr. G's Beef
2715 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60647 (map)
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