When the football Cardinals left St. Louis for Arizona, Matthew “Vinnie” Mulholland was devastated -- so much so that he began regularly traveling to Chicago to catch Bears games. While in the Windy City, Mulholland fell in love with its Italian beef sandwiches. After years of fiddling around with recipes in his home kitchen, Mulholland decided to go pro, opening Vinnie’s Italian Beef and Gyros in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood of south city. The mammoth Italian beef sandwiches are built for two -- a large loaf of soft bread, fresh from the Hill, is dipped in au jus, piled high with freshly roasted, thinly shaved beef, topped with melted provolone cheese and smothered in housemade giardiniera. It’s a fork-required, multi-napkin affair fit for a food challenge. Vinnie’s also offers housemade meatballs, Italian sausage and Greek fare, including an excellent beef and lamb gyro. The highlight of the dish is its creamy, garlic-packed tzatziki. On the Greek side, the spinach pita and cheese pita are must-trys. As hard as it may be, make sure to save room for the baklava. Vinnie’s best friend and colleague, George Postos, makes the pinwheel-shaped sweet treat according to his Greek grandma's recipe. It’s light, flaky and covered in lemon and ginger simple syrup -- a perfect end to a fantastic meal.

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