TanJu hits Mr J’s


Well. I have to admit. I was pretty darn excited about reviewing this place. Mr J’s is a dive that I was introduced to when I was working a couple of years ago. My bosses loved the place, and I quickly learned why. I wanted to introduce Tancy to delightful treat that is their Italian beef.

imageSo Mr. J’s is really a tiny dive located in a not so great part of town. At first I thought it was just a drive through, but Tancy and I found out that there is a small seating area. Mr. J’s has been open for twenty four years.

Since I highly recommended the Italian Beef, that is what we both ordered. They are also known for their Chicago dogs, Italian sausage,  and the waitress mentioned their gyro: which I believe Tancy wants to try. She might like gyros as much as I like Italian Beef.  I do love gyros, and I happen to be a huge Uncle Nick’s fan.   The waitress informed me that people like their gyros BETTER than Uncle Nick’s, so now I am tasked with finding the REAL Truth in the gyro debate.

How you order it depends on your likes.

I ordered mine Dipped, with mozzarella cheese and spicy giardiniera. Quite frankly, in my opinion there is no other way to eat it.

I, too, love my Italian Beef dipped.  I like nice soggy bread. The bread is a good hearty roll that might have been toasted before it was dipped; I am not sure.  I just know that it was perfection.  I ordered mine with mozzarella cheese and NO giardineria.  Quite frankly, in my opinion THIS is the way is CORRECT way to eat an Italian Beef.  

We found out that they make the Italian beef in-house. And it is OBVIOUS!  The flavor is out of this world. The beef is tender and juicy and all kinds of deliciousness.

2016-02-15 13.15.13If you are looking for a meal that is easy to eat this is not your meal. You have to just get in there. Your hands will be sloppy when you are done. And it will be oh so worth it. Trust me. This is coming from someone who doesn’t like to get messy when eating. Remember…. I eat a messy cheeseburger with a fork.  (She is a wimp) You can’t really do that with this sandwich. So throw caution to the wind and get messy. 

(I love how very unattractive this picture is…. but you get my point.)

imageThe restaurant is old but clean. I truly appreciated that. I don’t mind old. I mind dirty. There are just a handful of tables, and it was not busy when we were there.  If it had been, it would have felt cramped, but we got lucky.

They do not have a regular soda machine, and you buy your drinks from the coolers.

The fries were okay.  They certainly do not come close to the hand cut fries that we have raved about from other places.  It is obvious that they come from a frozen food bag off of a Sysco truck or something similar.  Given the posters on the wall, I would guess that the chicken strips and other deep fried foods are also.

Bottom line is though, you do not go to Mr.  J’s for the fried foods,  you are there for the AMAZING homemade Italian beef.  RUN, don’t walk and get one; you will NOT be sorry.  You might want to go during really bright sunshine… or take a gun… or a large scary guy with you.  It is on Kishwaukee after all.



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  1. Beth Reply

    I look forward to the gyro comparison. I ADORE gyros. And, ironically, Chicago gyros are better than those from the Greek village here!!!