Chicago Man 'Fixes' Potholes by Filling Them with Giardiniera

He also considered using “just buckets of wet Italian beef.”
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
May 1, 2019, 8:37pm
a screenshot of the video "filling chicago potholes with giardiniera" from man of the people with pat tomasulo showing a shovel inside a wheelbarrow of giardiniera and a pothole filled with giardiniera
Screenshot via Youtube

If you wanted to buy a ridiculous amount of one food, you could go to Amazon, where you’d find 27-pound buckets of cheese sauce, 6-pound pails of Nutella, and 53-pound containers of pickles. You could also pay a visit to your nearest Restaurant Depot, where you can buy industrial-sized vats of basically anything (hello, buckets of frosting). What you’d do with all those things, of course, would be on you to get as wild and weird as your heart desires.


But if you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago, you could go to the Vienna Beef factory store, where you can buy buckets of giardiniera, the beloved condiment that typically graces Italian beef sandwiches. If you were to wonder about the most Chicago way possible to use up all that giardiniera, no, it’s not actually eating it (even on a beef sandwich). That honor seems like it’s owed to Pat Tomasulo, who recently used Vienna Beef’s giardiniera to fill a few of the city’s potholes.

In a video for his YouTube show, Man of the People with Pat Tomasulo, Tomasulo picks up buckets of the pickled vegetable topping from the Vienna Beef store, plops them into a wheelbarrow, and shovels the squishy vegetal mixture into potholes in a Chicago road. At one point, a guy on a scooter stops in the street so Tomasulo can drop a spoonful of giardiniera into his mouth before he rides away. To no surprise, giardiniera doesn’t actually help—it just splatters everywhere with a splash.

Easy Giardiniera Recipe

“I liked the idea of just buckets of wet Italian beef,” Tomasulo told the Takeout, although they ultimately ruled that option out because “we didn’t want to be too wasteful.” In any case, he and his crew cleaned up the condiment, and replaced the giardiniera with sand.

It’s clear by the city’s official pothole tracker that public services in Chicago patch a lot of potholes, but maybe not enough, given Tomasulo’s rogue pothole fixing. Still: diced, pickled vegetables don’t seem to be the solution. And if you’d eat them from a stranger in the middle of the road, it sounds like you need to rethink your judgment.