Da Beef returns to Rifle
Citizen Telegram Contributor
Chicago expatriates and local fans of Chicago-style cuisine received some good news this past Wednesday, May 13, when the Da Beef food truck opened for business in the parking lot of Choice Liquors at 680 Wapiti Court.
Da Beef’s return to Rifle in the spring is an annual ritual akin to the swallows returning to Capistrano. Of course, swallows are gristly and without much meat on their bones; a far cry from the generously portioned 4- to 8-inch Italian beef sandwich that is the flagship culinary attraction of Da Beef, which is also the Western Slope’s chief supplier of other Chicago gastronomical delights, such as Vienna beef brand hot dogs and real lamb gyros.
The Rifle area food truck’s seasonal nature — appearing in the Choice Liquors parking lot from May through November since 2006 — elicits anticipation among Da Beef fans. As Patrick Conway, the shop manager at Basic Energy Services in Parachute recently posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page, “glad you’re back … I’ve been jonesing all winter.”
According to Robert “Smitty” Smith, a native of the Chicago suburb of Algonquin, Illinois, who operates Da Beef with Clara, his wife of 28 years, Conway wasn’t the only area resident that spent the long winter months dreaming of au jus or a Chicago White Sox dog — Da Beef’s hot dog ode to Chicago’s American League baseball team, that is served with brown mustard, giardiniera and pickle.
“Four hundred and eleven people in three days visited our Facebook page,” a visibly excited Smith stated as he fussed over some caramelized onions on his flat top grill on Da Beef’s opening day.
Da Beef’s hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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Students from Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools were asked Friday to transition to online learning and quarantine for 10 days, Garfield County District Re-2 announced.