Chicagoans can now prepare some Chicago's original street food in their home kitchens. With the introduction of pre-cooked 100 percent natural Buona Beef in tubs at select Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southeast Wisconsin retailers including Target, Jewel, Mariano's and Aldi stores, consumers can enjoy this iconic sandwich at home—bypassing the eight-plus hours of roasting time.
Each retail container of Buona beef includes fully cooked seasoned beef and gravy. The company is also offering its popular meatballs in classic marinara sauce and both items are available in the frozen foods section of the retail stores. For those looking to go all-out with Chicago's famous Italian-beef-and-sausage combo, Buona is now selling its original recipe sausage at the meats department of local Jewel stores. Consumers can choose from mild and hot varieties. The company is also planning on making the family's take on giardiniera, a pickled vegetable relish, available at select retailers.
Buona, a family owned restaurant group with 19 locations, is the official Italian beef and Italian Sausage of the Chicago Cubs, the official Italian beef of the Chicago White Sox, and both classics are served alone or in combination at Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate fields.
"From our family to yours, we're thrilled to offer Chicago area residents a way to enjoy Buona at home," says second-generation owner Joe Buonavolanto. "After much research and development, we're bringing our original family recipes to grocery store shelves. We're confident that the flavor holds up to the restaurant experience."
The family was able to maintain its rigorous standards for product excellence by utilizing the state-of-the art equipment and processes that have been perfected in the company's USDA production facility, which has the capacity to produce several million pounds on an annual basis.
Joe Buonavolanto, Sr. opened the first Buona restaurant in in Berwyn, Illinois, bringing Italian beef to the suburbs. Mr. Buonavolanto was among a group of Italian immigrants who made the now-famous sandwich a staple of Chicago's culinary scene. Depression-era stockyard workers who were looking for ways to make food go farther introduced Italian beef to the city. The sandwich, which typically uses lean and tougher cuts of meat that has been cooked for several hours, was often served at weddings and banquets. The meat was sliced thinly and served on bread with gravy to ensure that every guest was well fed.