Starting at 11:00 a.m., the sprawling suburbs that connect Jeffersonville and Utica will henceforth serve as the answer to the immortal question, “where’s the beef?” That’s when Parnelli’s Chicago Eatery will open for its first lunch service at 3548 East 10th St., continuing with its all-day menu until 9:00 p.m.
The beef in question refers to Italian beef sandwiches, a Chicago staple that has been feeding blue collar workers for roughly one hundred years. Parnelli’s honors the sandwich’s tradition by serving it three ways: dry, with the thinly-sliced beef lifted from au jus (or gravy, as Chicagoans know it); wet, which splashes the bun with a ladle of the jus; and soaked, which owner Patri Marconi describes as “literally dunking the bun in the jus.”
Marconi focused on authenticity when she developed the menu. That meant finding suppliers that carried neon green relish, hot giardiniera and, of course, Vienna Beef hot dogs. But as they rounded out the concept, Marconi and her husband Andrew began thinking about the Greektown joints they frequented back home. The consideration brought falafel and gyros to the menu.
“There’s been a lot of people online excited that we’re finally opening up,” Marconi boasts. Her fellow Chicago transplants have been checking for updated timelines and offering taste tests (for authenticity’s sake, of course). And while Marconi appreciates the enthusiasm surrounding Parnelli’s, there is one question that she finds strange.
“A lot of people think of pizza when they think of Chicago. But…it’s not like it’s all they eat.” A rotisserie broiler for gyros is one thing; a dough press, deck oven and prohibitive wait times for pizza are another. Take a sneak peek at the menu below. F&D