south side sandwiches: the freddy

calabria imports

Calabria Imports
1905 W. 103rd St, Chicago, IL, USA

In our ongoing endeavor to give some love to the less-heralded Chicago culinary delights of the South Side, we present The Freddy, or as they call it at Calabria Imports, The Original Freddy. Now, I'm not going to get into any kind of territorial pissing over who can or can't claim to have the original anything … I mean, look at these fake titties! I'm hardly Mr. Authenticity.

calabria imports

Calabria Imports is a sweet l'il deli/sandwich joint in the Beverly neighborhood, and though it's Italian in personality, it's more than a little Irish in decor … so you'll find the requisite "Sopranos" framed photos as well as signage from the Irish parade. To all this I say "Erin Go Gabagoo, ya Mick-Guidos!" Maybe its ideal spokesperson would be Michael Rapaport, who seems both Italian and Irish. Then again, things just start going wrong when that guy's around.

do the freddy

The Original Freddy, and house-made chips, $8.27. It's a pounded-thin patty of Italian sausage on a soft roll with cheese, peppers, and red gravy. Hearing a description of it beforehand, I predicted with 100% accuracy how it would taste. So while I wasn't blown away per se, that was only because I knew what was coming, and that it would be goooood.

As to the Unoriginal Freddies you might encounter elsewhere in these parts, I am no expert, but I am sure there are plenty of good ones to be found. The Freddy is perhaps a little one-note of a sandwich, but Calabria has a number of others that look potentially even better, like the Micky and the Stenger. To be covered in a future review, perhaps, if my arteriosclerosis doesn't flare up too bad.

Review by Pumboo Dongo-Dohnoh, February 2020

More South Side Sandwiches:
Breaded Steak ~ Ricobene's
The Mother-In-Law ~ Fat Johnnie's
Sweet Steak ~ The Hoagie Place