Monday, July 9, 2012

Are you man enough for this review? Downtown Orlando's Italian Beefstro

Is there a more manly sandwich than the Chicago-style Italian beef? Wussies, step aside. Manly men proceed with reckless abandon and take a thick, chewy Italian-style roll and stuff it full of thin slices of seasoned roast beef - dripping with meaty juice. Now take that sandwich and dip it (or double dip it) back into the same juice the meat was cooked in until the roll softens and absorbs more meat flavor. Finally, man up and top said sandwich with "hot" giardiniera Italian sweet peppers and serve. That's a meaty sandwich. That's a manly sandwich.

Eagerly feed.

The Italian beef sandwich dates to at least the 1930s in the union stockyards of Chicago. Italian men would bring home tough, less desirable cuts of beef from the day's slaughter and slow-roast the beef in a spicy broth to tenderize. Once stuffed into Italian bread loafs, gruff, manly hands no doubt grabbed the sandwiches and eagerly fed.

The most manly sandwich in Orlando.

If you think you're man enough to handle such a sandwich and don't want the trouble of traveling to Chicago to indulge, allow me to direct your manly appetite to Italian Beefstro on the corner of Colonial Drive and Parramore Avenue near downtown Orlando.

A family-run business.

Italian Beefstro is an family-run business in a less than family-friendly section of Orlando. But men - have no fear - as the property couldn't be more charming or well-maintained. Inside there are artistic, faux painting effects on the walls, iron scroll work around the elegantly-styled menu boards, and for men who like to watch sports while they eat, several well-placed flat screens. The place is clean and tidy. There's even a pretty little fountain amidst the outside, courtyard-like seating area.

But on to the food...

With 10 different sandwiches on the menu, there's something for any man, but I went with the namesake sub - the Italian Beef ($5.99 whole). I ordered mine "wet," but there are varying degrees of juiciness depending on your taste from wet (quickly dipped in juice) to juicy (even wetter) all the way up to soaked (soggy). Other choices include bell peppers and the Chicago classic giardiniera peppers. Of course I went with the peppers.

It's sometimes a chore to bite through a thick crusty roll (especially when it will barely fit into your mouth) but once dipped into the salty, spicy juice, the roll softens a bit and takes on the meat's flavor. With a wonderful mouth feel, it's a sandwich like no other.

The beef sandwich can also be served with a grilled Italian sausage stuffed in with the meat. Okay, the manly quotient just got upped!

There are also several hot dogs on the menu,with the Chicago Dog featured prominently, and 6 or 7 salads (I guess for chicks?) but I didn't see any men partaking on my visit.

Man up and head to Italian Beefstro.

If you think you're man enough, I strongly recommend you try Italian Beefstro. It really is a great little stop for the testosterone loaded set - you won't find a more manly sandwich anywhere.

2 plus 2 1/2 men out of 5

Hours are Monday through Friday 11am to 6pm, Saturdays 11am to 5pm and closed Sundays.

Italian Beefstro on Urbanspoon


Lilah said...

Looks delicious!
Orlando Property

Ashley K. Edwards said...

I drive by this place all the time and have often wondered about the food. Will definitely have to stop in one of these days (wish they were open for dinner).