Atomic Combo – Roma’s in Portage Park

I have a new favorite Italian combo.  I don’t declare that lightly.  I’ve held strong to my previous favorite for decades – the one I grew up with…and maybe the love had grown stagnant…because I was opting for the combo less and less…simply getting beefs.  This past weekend I went searching and got my groove back thanks to the Atomic Combo.

Roma’s Italian Beef & Sausage is a neighborhood legend on the corner of Cicero and Hutchison.  It’s been around for 45 years.


The beef is flavorful and delicious and the giardiniera is ridiculous.  Fred, the owner, makes it in house:


I liked it so much I bought a jar to go:


Fred cares about the quality of his hot peppers like he cares about his beef – and the dedication results in flavor.

Wrap a Hot Doug’s hot sausage in Roma’s Italian beef; add mozzarella and giardiniera and you’ve got the Atomic Combo.  A majestic mountain of tastiness.


A closer look at how the sausage nestles in there amongst the beef:



The sausage, the beef, the gravy, the giardiniera, the bread all play together like a hot symphony.  I sat there in amazement, devouring this pure wonder.  Terrific fries, too.  I cleaned my plate – every last scrap.


I wanted to applaud when I’d finished, but my hands were messy.  Instead, I polished off my enormous cup of Mountain Dew and pondered the future.  This combo is a game-changer for me.  I’ll be going back on a regular basis, traveling just to get this sandwich.  It’s worth the trip.  Roma’s is my new place on the North Side.


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