Brand New Buona

Michaela Reif, Scoop Writer

Although Portillo’s is already an established local favorite, Buona Beef has had no fear opening a new storefront on Roosevelt– right next to Andy’s Custard. Buona Beef has a solid reputation for delicious Italian Beef (possibly even rivaling Portillo’s own classic beef) and for an extensive menu, but targeting a market that is loyal to its rival was a risky move. Despite this possible obstacle, the “fast casual” restaurant has seemed to garner a fair amount of excitement. Intrigued, I decided to try it out myself.

Upon entering the eatery, it definitely feels new– everything is clean and modern. The inside is larger than the facade makes it seem. The far wall is decorated with subway tile and wooden boarding, giving the establishment a lively ambiance. Indoor seating has been spread out within the restaurant and had appeared incredibly pristine. Outdoor seating has been easily accessible and also very polished.

Towards the back of the restaurant was a place to order. Whereas Portillos had required diners to take their own food from a counter, Buona Beef had assigned customers a number. I placed my order for a Chicago-style hot dog and fries and grabbed my number.

The staff was extremely kind and attentive. As I placed my order, the employee whom I spoke to was outstandingly helpful, offering to explain any nuances of the menu I might not have understood. When my food was served, I was kindly greeted and assisted. 

After being served, the taste test began. The other member of my party had ordered the Strawberry Avocado Chicken Salad and Parmesan Kettle Chips, whereas I went the more traditional route. The end consensus was that the salad was delicious, but unfortunately, it was overdressed. The chips, however, were fantastic, delicious, and very unique. My hot dog was rather plain, but not at all bad. The fries were similar– forgettable taste but decent. The menu also offered pizza, hamburgers and soups, but no one in my party tried those items.

The prices definitely made Buona more appetizing. My hot dog was $3.00 and the fries cost $2.25 for a small. The salad was roughly $9.00, while the chips were also $2.25.

Overall, Buona Beef was worth returning to for a close-by meal. Although I did not personally try the drive-thru, it might plausibly offer an even quicker way to enjoy Buona. That said, Portillos still trumps the competition.