Celebrate All Month Long with Buona, The Original Italian Beef
August is National Sandwich Month and Buona is celebrating the roots of the Italian beef – the National Sandwich of Chicago. Opening his first restaurant in 1981, Buonavolanto family patriarch, Joe Sr., was among a group of Italian immigrants who made the Italian beef sandwich a staple of Chicago’s food culture. Earlier this year, Buona family members joined fellow Italian beef pioneers from Al’s Beef on National Italian Beef Day for a roundtable discussion on the origins of the sandwich. The group shared stories about the early days when Al’s was called “Al’s BBQ”, and gave credit to Pasquale Scala for making it possible for many family business to open beef stands (see infographic) and to Joe Sr.’s brother Carlo (“Uncle Junior”), who founded the iconic Mr. Beef on Orleans and was instrumental in helping Buona develop the authentic, all-natural recipe its family follows to this day. Watch excerpts from the roundtable discussion here.
Buona will feed Chicagoans’ love of their local sandwich with these specials during the month of August.
- From August 9-August 15: every “Big Hurt” sandwich ordered the way White Sox great Frank Thomas likes it, earns an entry into a competition for a Frank Thomas autographed jersey.
- August 16 – August 22: every “Rizzo Way” sandwich ordered the way Cubs Firstbaseman Anthony Rizzo likes it, earns an entry into a competition to win an Anthony Rizzo autographed jersey.
The first Buona restaurant began serving Chicago’s original Italian beef in Berwyn, Ill. in 1981. The Official Italian Beef of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Buona has direct ties to the origination of Chicago’s iconic Italian beef sandwich, and has helped bring it some national attention by spearheading the creation of National Italian Beef Day. Founded by Buonavolanto patriarch Joe Buonavolanto, Sr., the group has remained family owned throughout its expansion – furthering a legacy that is equal parts family values, innovation, and adaptation. Today Buona is a next-generation beef stand – a place that is the perfect blend of old-school indulgence in Chicago classics and next generation menu choices – made with a focus on fresh, scratch-made food. While the menu has expanded, the original Italian beef recipe has not been compromised – for the three generations of Buonavolantos who are active in the company, compromise and quality are never uttered in the same breath.
Buona’s Italian beef sandwich has won several awards and accolades since its inception, including USA TODAY’s 10Best, The Chicago Tribune’s Best Italian Beef in Chicago, Steve Dolinsky’s Essential Italian Beef Joints in Chicago(land), Eater’s 11 Essential Chicago Italian Beef Restaurants, Berwyn’s Best, West Suburban Living’s Best of the West, The Daily Herald’s Reader’s Choice Award. Buona retail products are now sold at Target, Jewel, Mariano’s, Aldi and Peapod.