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Forget the French Dip, we're talking real-deal Chicago Style Italian Beef!

creamfinger | Dec 15, 201301:52 AM

Maybe the best sandwich I've eaten in New Jersey! Ok, well maybe that's a stretch, but the Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwich at Red's Flips & Dips in West Caldwell really is truly fantastic.

If you've never had an Italian Beef sandwich (or Chicago Italian Beef), think French Dip, but take it a step further and top it with a crunchy, spicy celery giardiniera. It's not for everybody though; it's a messy hands-on experience; so if you're the type that eats BBQ ribs with a knife and fork, then an Italian Beef sandwich probably isn't for you. Red's sandwich is made with slow roasted top round that tastes like prime rib; it's fantastically tender, sliced paper thin and dipped in an incredible beef jus that they make from the beef drippings. It's served up in a really good French bread roll, and covered with a celery relish that would make cardboard taste good. They offer a regular and a spicy version (which is quite spicy, but it's my favorite). You can also add cheese and roasted red peppers for an extra fee.

In addition to the Chicago Style Beef, Red's also makes some of the best French Fries I've had in a long time. They're cut skin-on and fried twice (as it should be); and then properly salted.

If beef isn't your thing, Red's also has a BBQ chopped chicken sandwich that's out of this world. I have to admit I was skeptical about this one at first. In my experience NJ just doesn't get the whole BBQ thing. Maybe the idea of smoke that doesn’t come from an industrial complex is just too foreign. The chicken is slow roasted like the beef, shredded and drenched in a tasty BBQ sauce that’s not too sweet. They top it with cole slaw and serve it on a brioche bun that’s even better than the French bread used for the beef sandwich.

I've been told that the chili and the turkey burger are also excellent, but I've never made it past the Chicago beef and BBQ chicken, so it's not something I can personally confirm.

It should be said that Red’s isn’t cheap; a sandwich, fries and drink will run you around $15, but in this case you really do get what you pay for.

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