Two brothers relocated to Indianapolis from Chicago and South Bend. After arriving in the Circle City, they were soon craving an Italian Beef sandwich like their Dad made–choice beef roast, slow cooked with Italian spices, sliced paper thin and served on fresh Italian bread.
A thorough local search did not turn up any acceptable options. It proved difficult to find an authentic “famed” Italian Beef outside the Chicago area. Most Italian Beef retailers purchase pre-seasoned, pre-cooked, and pre-sliced Italian Beef with separate cooking broth (“au jus”) to simply heat and serve. When they asked for recommendations, everyone said the same thing–Indy is a pork tenderloin city, not an Italian Beef city. But, didn’t they also once say that Indianapolis was only a basketball city?
The craving for Italian Beef only intensified with time. Finally, the brothers convinced their Dad to come out of retirement and share his original 50 year-old recipe he created from two previous restaurant ventures. In 2010, Fresco Italian Sandwich Shoppe was established in the Lockerbie Marketplace. Two years later, a second location–Fresco Italian Cafe–opened its doors on the Indianapolis Canal Walk.
While known for Italian Beef, Dad’s special recipes also include other homemade Italian sandwiches–from a seasoned ground sausage stromboli to a fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella caprese–soups, chop salads and spaghetti with meatballs. Italian Ice, made in the exact type of machine they use in the Old Country, is all natural and made in small batches daily (seasonally April through September) with the freshest fruits.
To date, the family has cooked and served more than 11,000 pounds of perfectly seasoned, tender Italian Beef. Maybe Indy can be known for basketball and football. Pork tenderloins AND Italian beef.