Tasty Tuesday: Chicago Bob’s brings Windy City flavor to the Star City’s food scene

Italian beef, hot dogs and meatball marinara - but make it Chicago style!

ROANOKE, Va. – One thing Roanoke isn’t lacking is food, but it was lacking Chicago-style food. That is until just last week. Chicago Bob’s burst onto the scene right off Orange Avenue, and it was all part of the owner’s dream.

“From the time I was a little boy, we grew up with the food. It’s just a flavor that sticks with you your whole life.”

Bob Walsh is from Chicago. After 20 years of living in the Star City, however, he finally got to bring in the tastes of home. Up north, he says the Italian beef is a big deal, joking that, “This is part sandwich, part religion.”

The beef is slow-roasted for about 20 hours before getting thinly sliced, and there are four ways to get it. The au jus gravy is the key component.

Walsh says you can get, “The original, which is just we put the beef on there. It comes out of the au jus, and it goes on the sandwich. We do a spoonful on top. You can get dipped, which is the same as the original, but we dip the ends of the bread. Or if you want, you can get it Bob’d, in which we submerge the entire sandwich in gravy.”

It’s not just the beef. Hot dogs are a big deal in a baseball town like Chicago. One thing that separates these from your average dogs — the amount of ingredients!

Walsh lists them out for us, “Poppyseed roll, relish, your diced onions, mustard, tomatoes, celery salt, a pickle spear and of course the hot dog. One little accouterment that ends up on these, which makes them especially unique is the sports peppers.”

Pair that with their fries, slow-dipped in a homemade cheese sauce, and you’ll feel like you’re in the Windy City. Little do you know, you’re just a drive-thru away in the Star City.

Walsh posted Monday that Chicago Bob’s is now open for business for indoor seating as well as the drive-thru. Hours have also been adjusted, so they can stay open longer.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.