Joey D's Chicago Style Eatery: Bradenton, FL

 This is exactly what the Upstate is missing in the restaurant scene.
Joey D's Chicago Style Eatery is a little out of place being located smack dab on 14 and Cortez in Bradenton, Florida, but boy am I glad they are there. Flash back a few years ago and any of the Minnesota readers may remember this place over in South Minneapolis on 42nd St that is now Chris and Rob's. The only place in Mpls to get an Italian Beef or Chicago Dog that was anything like the real thing. Then one day that little shop that imported all of the beef dogs in from Chicago daily was no more. Well, I found them and it couldn't have come at a better time.

The wife and I had the pizza from Joey D's about two month prior on a different visit to the Beaches of Bradenton/Sarasota, but it was delivered to our hotel room. This time, it was just the kids and I out searching for a place to dine and I knew exactly where I was headed. I wanted a Chicago Dog, an Italian Beef, Italian Sausage, a Chicago Combo, pizza of course and a cold draft. Realistically I stuck to three of the six. Let's start with the Chicago Dog. When it came out, I was a little disappointed. It didn't appear to be anything like a Chicago dog should. Way soggy and the toppings didn't appear to be the freshest selection around and my pickle looked like the cook got hungry and took a bite off it first. That entire aside, this thing is the real deal. It was exactly as I remembered a Chicago Dog tasting like from Portillo's and Superdawgs on my many visits to the Windy City.

Now onto the pizza! You can argue all you like on who has the best pizza, NY or Chicago or in South Carolina, the Greeks. To me, pizza isn't pizza unless it is a Chicago style pizza. My house is divided, the Wife is a New York style girl, but she wasn't here so I got my way for once. Plain cheese for the kids and Sausage/Pepperoni for me along with another beer. I just cannot put words to how wonderful this pizza was. It was something so beautiful that brings tears to my eyes knowing that I cannot get this kind of pizza where I live. In order for me to get this again I would have to drive 8 hours to Florida or 10 hours to Chicago.

Bottom-line: Joey D's is doing something different in an area that you wouldn't think of Chicago. They have a cult like following with their regulars and have some of the best service with a personal touch along with some dang good authentic food. They have been family owned and operating since 1984 with the freshest quality ingredients to bring true Chicago to Central Florida. Check out their website to find a touching family story that is the passion behind what they are doing each and every day.
Joey D's Chicago Style Eatery on Urbanspoon

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