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Buona History Sandwich

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.  


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