A Sneak Peek at the Italian Beef Burger Coming Tomorrow to B Side
“Italian beef is my favorite sandwich in the world,” Nate Anda says as we stare at his latest burger creation, debuting Saturday when the new B Side opens in Mosaic District.
When Anda, chef and butcher at Neighborhood Restaurant Group, first opened Merrifield’s Red Apron in March of last year, the Italian Beef sandwich was part of his launch lineup. Unfortunately, it didn’t perform as well as the other meat-centric creations and a menu change nixed it from the mix just six months later. “Not everyone has the love for it that I do,” he laments.
But a man’s passion for Italian beef can only be suppressed so long. So this time, he’s bringing it back…with a twist.
Anda says it took him “about five minutes” to come up with the idea for the burger at Red Apron’s new next-door neighbor. A hybrid of the Chicago original and Anda’s own Original, the Italian Beef Burger sandwiches herbed jus-soaked, seasoned-roast beef between two patties made from a brisket, short rib, sirloin and round blend. “It’s the exact same burger as The Original,” he says, referencing the OG Red Apron creation. “It’s just split in two.” Along with the meat, both beef patties are covered in their own Fontina blanket and Anda’s giardiniera mix of serrano chilies, cauliflower, onion and red and green peppers. And just like a true Italian beef, Anda dips the bottom bun in that deliciously-seasoned jus right before throwing it all together. The key, Anda says, is toasting the bun to caramelize it so the bread maintains its integrity through the meal.
Thanks to the toasting, even with the jus-dipped bottom, the new burger is not that messy. Sure, you’ll need a couple of napkins if you’re too good to use your pants, but nothing too extreme. In fact, compared to the more traditional Original next door, it’s borderline immaculate. But despite the Odd Couple of burgers at Anda’s adjacent joints, there’s one thing –the most important thing– they do have in common: they’re both delicious.
So, with the Italian Beef now joining Anda’s all-star burger lineup, which also includes The Partisan’s Triple Stack, what’s his favorite of the bunch?
“I can’t choose, they’re like my children,” he says. But after further thought, he tips his hand slightly. After eating The Original at Mosaic last week, Anda says he thinks he may have eaten that Red Apron burger for the last time…
The brand new Italian Beef Burger, along with a whole lot more meat, a 200-bottle-and-can beer list, 150 wines and full bar (oh, yes, believe that), will debut at B Side in Mosaic tomorrow at 4 p.m.
B Side | 8298 Glass Alley, Suite 105 | Merrifield