Buona Beef vs Portillo's

Buona Beef vs Portillo's
There’s a lot of discussion and debate over Buona & Portillo’s beef sandwiches. Both restaurants rant about their famous Italian beef sandwich. Portillo’s has dominated the traditional Chicago Beef Sandwich for some time now (overpowering Al’s too). We reviewed a Portillo’s Beef Sandwich regular and Buona Beef Sandwich regular and put them to the challenge side-by-side.

Buona Beef vs Portillos Beef Side by Side

Let's review...

Buona Italian Beef 7” Sandwich

Price: $5.95 (+ 0.50 sweet peppers)

Buona Beef Sandwhich

* Good spicy blend kick in each bite

* Crunchy sweet peppers

* Sandwich was loaded with sweet peppers

* Lighter bread. It didn’t overwhelm the beef

* Beef is very tender

* Bun never fell apart and gravy was pronounced in bun

* There was an ever-present seasoning in each bite

Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich

Price: $5.49 (+ 0.50 sweet peppers)
Portillo's Italian Beef Sandwich

* Mild blend of beef

* Sweet peppers are softer, melt in mouth

* Sweet peppers are “sweeter”

* Much more beef in sandwich

* Bigger bun

* Bun falls apart with light juice

* Beef tasted dry after a couple of bites and 5 minutes sitting out


Both beef sandwiches improve on each other’s cons. I grew up on Portillo’s beef so it was a longshot when I first tried a Buona beef – but I was very impressed. However, I’ll stick to my roots on this review. Buona delivers a delicious beef sandwich. I enjoyed the spiciness, but that’s not what I remember a traditional beef sandwich tasting like. Portillo’s, like all their products, deliver outstanding tasting quality every time. It’s that reliability I can’t measure up with Buona at this time. I verdict Portillo’s as the close winner.

Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich

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Sunday, 01 October 2023