Hank's Juicy Beef

More than a sandwich—it’s a roast beef revelation

By Erik Mathes

Certain culinary combinations produce such a profound effect on the brain that you find yourself fantasizing about your next chance to savor them after your first bite. Hank’s Juicy Beef has mastered the art of creating these flavor profiles, with a lineup of meaty sandwiches (and an eggplant parm, to boot) that will enter your crave queue and never, ever leave.

Hank, the man behind the meat, is Henry Tibensky, a Chicago-area native who found himself in NYC over a decade ago with no place to score the beloved Italian beef sandwiches that were a staple during his youth in Oak Park, Illinois. After a stint in the law and finance, he decided to embark on a new career path as the Italian beef ambassador to the East Coast, opening his flagship spot in Lower Manhattan to introduce New Yorkers to his 21st Century take on a Windy City classic.

What makes Hank’s Juicy Beef special is the care put into the cooking process and the attention to detail when it comes to ingredients. The beef is slow-roasted using an old family recipe that Hank revamped for the modern palate. Then, it gets sliced ultra-thin and dipped in its own juices — au jus-style — before being piled on a Chicago-style hero roll.
But that’s not all; there are also toppings, for personalizing your sandwich. Add giardiniera, the pickled vegetable medley that Chicago’s Italian beef sandwiches are known for, along with some sauteed sweet green peppers—the crunch of the peppers plus the carrots and celery in the giardiniera (choose from mild or a not-too-spicy “hot”) creates the ideal complement for the tender beef and freshly baked bread. You can also add provolone cheese, but if it’s your first time trying Hank’s Juicy Beef, opt for cheeseless to experience the signature sandwich in all its purity—then grab one with cheese to go.

While beef will always reign supreme at Hank’s, don’t overlook the Italian sausage, sourced from a local butcher in Chicago. With a balance of savory and sweet, it harmonizes perfectly with the giardiniera, sauteed peppers, and melted provolone. For true meat-ballers, Hank created the combo of all combos: the Italian beef and sausage sandwich, which should be on every carnivore’s culinary bucket list. And, for your vegetarian friends, Hank put his Aunt Rose’s three-cheese eggplant parm on the menu, which deserves an entire write-up of its own.

Chicago's #1 Hot Dog, with "the works"

hours

Mon–Fri 11:30 AM– 9 PM; Sat noon–4 PM

price range

$7.95 (Hank’s Juicy Beef 1/4 pound sandwich) to $11.95 (Aunt Rose’s Eggplant Parm)
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