-Daily News

A taste of 2 cities
By Larry Lipson
Restaurant Critic

 

Friday, January 14, 2005 – This city is full
of people from somewhere else who constantly rave about their hometown
food.

For some unknown reason, Burbank has been chosen to house two interesting new
eateries specializing in food from out of town. Taste Chicago specializes in
Italian beef sandwiches and hot dogs while South Street features Philadelphia
cheese steaks.

Both are fast-food spots. You know, the informal type of place with the
counter where you look up at the big menu board, make your choices, pay in
advance and either get your food right away or take a number and wait until
somebody brings it to your table.

Taste Chicago, owned by actor Joe Mantegna and his wife, Arlene, falls into
the first category.

With three visits under my expanding belt, the last with my Chicago pal Roger
Baer, I’m glad I’m from elsewhere and can live a happy and healthy life without
regular indulgences of these sloppy sandwiches.

True, a once-in-a-while visit wouldn’t hurt. Admittedly, there is something
about the Italian beef sandwich ($6.95) with peppers (mild, sweet or hot) that
could be habit-forming.

One could make the same case for the Chicago-style hot dog ($3.50) with
everything piled on it.

“That’s how they do it,’ says Roger gleefully, as he examines it carefully,
then takes a large bite out of the Vienna of Chicago frankfurter on a poppyseed
bun.

“It’s a pretty decent dog,’ he remarks thoughtfully, “but it could have more
snap.’ Afterward he opines on the Italian beef sandwich. “It took two bites to
get to the meat,’ he criticizes, “but once you get there, it’s good.’

In summary, he reiterates that the meat could have been spread out more and
thinks that the sandwich could use a daub of spicy mustard.

Larry Lipson co-hosts “What’s Cooking?’ a restaurant, wine and food talk
show that airs from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesdays nationally on Cable Radio Network
(CRN) and National Radio Network (NRN), heard locally on KPXN-TV (PAX) Channel
30 SAP; Adelphia Santa Monica on C 74 SAP; Adelphia San Fernando Valley on
Channel 1/97 SAP and 25; Time Warner West Valley on Channel 6 SAP and 960;
AT&T on Channel 6 in the Valley and Channel 44 SAP in Los Angeles; Charter
Communications on Channel 33 SAP; Adelphia Lancaster on Channel 37; Adelphia
Simi Valley on Channel 8; Charter in Hidden Hills/Malibu/Agoura on cable FM
97.5; Avenue TV Cable Ventura on Channel 83; Charter San Gabriel Valley on
Channel 34 SAP and Channel 56; Time Warner Canyon Country on Channel 960; Time
Warner South Pasadena on Channel 6 and 960.

Contact Larry Lipson at (818) 713-3668, larry.lipson@dailynews.com

TASTE CHICAGO
Food:
Where: 603 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank.
Phone:
(818) 563-2800.
Hours: Open for brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks from
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, to 10 p.m. Friday.
Recommended items:
Sandwiches (Italian beef, beef and sausage, sweet peppers and egg),
Chicago-style hot dog, Eli’s Chicago cheesecake, frozen custard.
How
much:
Everything under $11 except barbecued ribs. No alcohol.

SOUTH STREET