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If there’s one thing about Italian beef, it’s not pretentious.

That’s certainly one of the themes of Hulu’s breakout summer hit, “The Bear”, starring Jeremy Allen White (Shameless). A quick synopsis: A rising star in the in the world of fine dining is brought back to Earth, more specifically Chicago, to take over his brother’s Italian beef place in River North. There are Chicago references and namedrops galore, like WGN-TV’s Tom Skilling, “The Hungry Hound” Steve Dolinksy, Denis Savard, Bill Murray and Lin Brehmer. The soundtrack is loaded with Wilco, The Refused, Pearl Jam, Andrew Bird and Sufjan Stevens. And you’ll be craving Italian beef while watching all 8 episodes of Season 1.

That was the case for Chicago’s Very Own Eats podcast hosts Kevin Powell and Michael Piff, as they stopped into the real-life restaurant that inspired the show, Mr. Beef on Orleans. Kevin and Mike discuss their experience visiting Mr. Beef, how GREAT the sandwich is, whether or not the show seems to be bringing in traffic, and some of the faces they saw on the walls.

Photos below by Michael Piff

Kevin and Mike also give their thoughts about the show, which has been renewed for second season, with spoiler-free review. And Mike apologizes to Mr. Beef for not including them in his original list of Favorite Italian Beefs in the Greater Chicagoland area. Take a listen below and let Kevin and Mike know if you’ve had Mr. Beef or watched “The Bear” on Hulu by tweeting them at @KPowell720 and @Mike_Piff03!

You can subscribe to Chicago’s Very Own Eats on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. All episodes are available on the Chicago’s Very Own Eats podcast page at