Bloomington, IN, is nestled an hour South of Indianapolis. It is the home of Indiana University. Nearby Lake Monroe and Brown County, in general, contain some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, some argue the world. I didn’t go there for the scenery or the university; I went for the roller derby.
I announce roller derby under the name of Mr. Macabre and the tournament that drew me there was the B-cup. It isn’t as large as some tournaments, but the people involved will tell you that it was just as much fun to play with. After a long day of roller derby, I did a quick internet search for Bloomington Italian beef. One of the closest locations that came up was Naughty Dog Hot Dogs. My friend Eric (Ferret Bueller/Agent Amish) and I rolled into the parking lot. Proudly displayed on the front door was the Vienna Beef Italian Beef poster. I stepped up to the counter and ordered.
Since Bloomington is about 3 hours outside of Chicagoland, I wasn’t sure if they knew what Italian Beef was, even though it was on the menu. The guy behind the counter did ask if I wanted hot peppers. We asked if they dipped and they said, Yes. This was foreshadowing. They delivered the sandwich to the table. It had a side of broth, so I was nervous that they didn’t dip. I was relieved that the sandwich soaked. The extra broth was icing on the cake. It also allowed me to taste their broth without being biased by the beef. It was rather tasty and has good body and substance. An hour after eating there, Eric & I could both still taste the broth. The bread was Gonnella and held the broth as normal. The beef was Vienna and was prepared perfectly. Again, I was nervous since the distance between Bloomington and Chicago. The giardiniera was also from Vienna. This meant that the broth was the only part of the sandwich made in house.
After much consideration, I am changing my rating system from grades to stars. So, this is the first sandwich to have my new star rating system. Without further pomp & circumstance, I would rate this 4.5 stars out of 5. As always, I would love more originality but was very glad this sandwich felt like I was in Chicago. ~Anthony Macabre Lillig