THE ITALIAN STANCE
The only way to eat an Italian beef sandwich
These drip-down-your-hand Italian Beefs are eaten at a counter with The Italian Stance, which is Al’s unique, trademarked way to eat the Italian Beef Sandwich. There are 4 simple steps to eat an Italian Beef: 1. Place your elbows on the counter. 2. Spread your feet exactly 2 ½ feet apart. 3. Lean into the counter. 4. Mouth wide open & did your face into it (and don’t get nuttin’ on your shoes). How many places can say they invented a sandwich and a way to eat that sandwich?
"Proper form demands that you do as Chris Pacelli, of Al's #1 Italian Beef, clued us in to do the last time we visited his family's institution, on Taylor Street: "Assume the Italian stance!" This means lean your elbows on the counter, spread your legs, and put your feet back as if you're about to be frisked. Using the thumbs-together grip you'd use if you were a strangler, grab the sandwich and hoist it to your face, never letting your elbows leave the counter. This allows you to tear off big bites of bread and beef and for debris to fall onto the wrapper, which makes a handy drop cloth. When finished, gather up the paper and toss it in the trash can, leaving the counter clean and ready for the next Italian beef eater."
Jane and Michael Stern,
Authors of Roadfood Sandwiches