I’ve been friends with the Mick for about 17 years. I introduced him to Italian beef only in the past couple of years. How it is possible for me to avoided introducing him to this world for over a decade, I’m not entirely sure; but, when Mike wanted to accompany me on this week long beef hunt, I allowed him the pleasure of deciding which location would be reviewed next.
He chose Buttittas Pizzeria in Fishers. Since 1966, the Buttittas have had a family tradition. I assume the tradition is making pizza and selling it. I have lived in this area for a long time and hadn’t heard about Buttittas until I started reading through every menu on Urbanspoon looking for Italian beef. The waiter was very proud to say that they make everything in-house, however, did admit that the giardiniera was not. Regardless, Buttitta’s is a quaint little family shop with a great deal of character. It could really use any sort of Facebook presence as well as an update to their website.
The beef came with broth on the side, French dip style. I was impressed that they do call it broth and not French dip or au jus. The broth was rich and had a deep brown hue. It was hearty and had good flavor. The bread is described on the menu as Crusty Bread. It certainly delivers. Well, the top delivers; the bottom isn’t as crusty, so I flipped the sandwich over making the crusty top into the bottom. This worked extremely well. The bread held up well to the addition of the broth. The sandwich was not fully dipped, but I assume it would hold up well to a full dip. Further research is always needed. The beef was a spectacular array of spices. You could really feel every bite. It had a nice peppy zing to it. The beef wasn’t shaved, per se. Rather, it seemed to be more of a pulled beef, slow cooked. The end result was a juicy beef with good texture for a sandwich. As mentioned, the giardiniera was Supremo Italiano, with 2 pepperoncini’s added for good measure. I will never understand why restaurants put the giardiniera on the side when you’ve clearly asked for it, but that’s a small matter.
I rate the sandwich 4 out of 5 stars. The areas that lost points were the giardiniera, where I always want to see more originality, especially in a place that prides itself on being homemade, and the lack of full dipping. Otherwise, Buttitta’s has great charm and their beef is quite tasty, well worth a visit.
– Anthony Macabre Lillig
* We are sad to announce Buttittas Pizzeria has been permanently closed.