Papa Geo's Brings Taste Of Chicago To Vegas.
BY: Al Mancini.
When most Americans think about Chicago cuisine, deep-dish pizza is usually the first delicacy to come to mind. But like most metropolises, The Windy City has a wide variety of fast food that its natives love, and much of the rest of the world has never even heard of. Fortunately for Chicago expatriates and other connoisseurs of the city's fast food living in Las Vegas, Papa Geo's recently opened its doors. It's owned and operated by George, Angela and Tony Gross -- a family of Chicago natives who have decided to give everyone a taste of their favorite hometown delicacies. Here are a few of the house specialties.
Panzarottis: While this cousin of the calzone may be best associated with Southern New Jersey, they're also popular in Chicago's Little Italy. But Angela learned how to make them in her hometown of Bardi, Italy. At its roots, it's little more than a fried, inside-out pizza: dough stuffed with mozzarella and sauce that's then submerged in a deep fryer. They're simple, artery-clogging deliciousness.
Breaded Steak Sandwich: If you've ever eaten a chicken parmesan sandwich and thought it would be even better with beef, this is the meal for you. Reportedly invented in a restaurant called Sarah's on the South Side of Chicago, George Gross discovered them as a kid at a place called Ricobene's. They consist of thin slices of steak, lightly breaded and fried, then served on a roll with tomato sauce. It's so simple and delicious it will make you wonder why you didn't think of it.
Beef Pizzaiola Sandwich: While Philadephia has the cheesesteak, Chicagoans prefer their sliced beef sandwiches topped with either sweet relish known as giardiniera, or hot peppers. At Papa Geo's, they offer both, and we recommend taking advantage of that fact and combining them.
Chicago Tamale: In Chicago, these chili-filled corn meal tamales have been a tradition for more than 60 years. Originally sold out of hot dog carts, they're served on hot dog rolls at the town's infamous Gene & Jude's. But the Grosses offer them up on their own, to be eaten with a knife and fork. They do, however, recommend accompanying them with a hot dog.
Chicago Dog: There's no place on earth that can compete with Chicago when it comes to loading up a hot dog. At Papa Geo's, they bury their beef franks in mustard, onions, relish, hot peppers, tomatoes, a dill pickle spear and celery salt. The only thing the chefs refuse to put on this dog is ketchup, although they will begrudgingly offer you some on the side if you ask nicely.
5597 South Rainbow Blvd., 702-440-6490