CHICAGO (WLS) --With the Super Bowl coming up next weekend, a lot of people are looking to entertain with pizza, maybe chicken wings, and for some, corned beef sandwiches.
A renovated factory in the Loop is not only selling corned beef sandwiches up front, but also making it all in back, from scratch, every day.
What do you do when the surrounding neighborhood adds more condos and residents, but you've got an aging beef factory? You add a sandwich shop, of course, and in the case of one family, it means opening up an entirely new business.
The building looks like it's been there forever. Over 65 years actually, but the Corned Beef Factory has only had a sandwich shop for about a year.
They still produce the corned beef brisket in the back, but now, the front shop has been converted to serve sandwiches most of the day.
"The area got busy and we needed to add a retail space to our sandwich shop," said owner Ted Lagios.
They hand-trim the briskets, removing most of the exterior fat. Then they get injected with a brine containing garlic, salt, water and spices. They'll brine overnight in a sealed plastic bag that does double-duty: it allows them to cook the briskets the next day in a 185-degree bath for about four to five hours. Once cooled, the corned beef is sliced super-thin.
"It is a thin slice. We feel that we wanted it to be tender for all our customers," Lagios said.
Sandwiches come on excellent rye bread, slathered with mustard; a slice of cheese if you like, and some crispy, salty homemade potato chips, also made right up front.
"We thought we'd give our customers a fresh chip. We saw these local hamburger joints that were making a fresh potatoes, why not give people a fresh chip?" he said.
They also smoke briskets to make pastrami, and offer a number of different sandwiches, including a reuben with thousand island and sauerkraut. Does the fact the product is made just a few yards away make it taste any better? Probably.
"We can kind of control the quality of our product so the customer has a better sandwich," Lagios said.
The Corned Beef Factory
1009 W. Lake St.