I'm not sure where this establishment has been for the last 20 or so years, but it's back- a few blocks from it's original location. I stopped in recently and the sandwich and fries are exactly as I remember.
Butch's used to be on the corner of 14th & Lake St. in Melrose Park. I grew up a block away and had plenty of their beef sandwiches. The Italian Beef they made was substantialy better (and different) than any others around at the time, and of course their fries were fantastic as well (similar to the skin-on version at Al's Italian Beef). The beef "juice" seems to have a bit of a tomato or barbeque sauce added to it, but it's not at all like the "barbeque beef" some hot dog stands serve, it's still brothy, but it has a slight tomato tang to it. I know some purists may be offended at the thought of this, but it makes for a fantastic sandwich. If your looking for a classic version this ain't it, but it's close enough to compare to the others out there. I'm not a giardenera guy, so I don't know how Butch's measures up in this category. They have a bunch of other offerings on the menu, but I didn't really bother trying any thing else...maybe next time.
I'm thrilled Butch's is back, next time I visit I'll make sure to ask the owner where they have been, or at least what drove him to open shop again. Check it out
1918 W Lake St, Melrose Park, IL 60160