photo credit: John Ringor
Pop's Italian Beef & Sausage
Pop’s is a primarily suburban chain throughout Illinois and Indiana that serves Italian beef, burgers, hot dogs, and other fast food items. They tout “the art of a beef sandwich,” with signs around the store highlighting the ways you can customize your order. And they truly differentiate between levels of soppiness here. You’ll want to get your sandwich wet, or at least dipped, because the bread (like the beef) is quite tough. The meat is chewy, and the overarching flavor is “salt”, which isn’t helped by the massive pile of giardiniera on top. The lone Chicago location of Pop’s doesn’t have any seating, though there is standing-only counter space and a patio out front. While a dry sandwich is manageable to eat indoors, the outdoor tables are a good call so you can comfortably make a mess as you try to wrangle your wet Italian beef.