Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chicago Maxwell Street Polish ??

A Maxwell Street Polish consists of a grilled all-beef Polish sausage topped with grilled onions and mustard on a bun. The sandwich was first created by Jimmy Stefanovic, a Macedonian immigrant, who took over his aunt and uncle's hot-dog stand (now Jim's Original) in Chicago's Maxwell Street marketplace in 1939.[1] It is sometime referred to as a "Jewtown Dog," or "Jew Dog"[citation needed]. (Part of the market was called Jewtown after the original Jewish merchants.)

The Maxwell Street Polish soon grew to be one of Chicago's most popular local dishes, along with the Chicago hot-dog. It is served by restaurants around the city, and is common at sporting events. Many small vendors specialize in the Maxwell Street Polish along with the pork-chop sandwich.

Some variations exist. For example, some hot-dog vendors offer a "Maxwell Street hot dog" in which a hot dog is substituted for the Polish sausage. Others like to add sport peppers to the Maxwell Street to give it more heat.

Due to UIC's South Campus development (ongoing construction, started in 2002), the two famous Maxwell Street Polish stands on the corner of Halsted and Maxwell streets, Jim's Original and Maxwell St. Express Grill, were displaced to nearby Union Avenue, adjacent to the Dan Ryan Expressway on-ramp at Roosevelt Road.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Johnnies Beef and Sausage, Elmwood Park , Il

A Beef Sandwich to Die For........
Johnnie's Beef
7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park

Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 12pm-12am

Tel: (708) 452-6000

Chicago is one of the few cities in the country where there are many places to eat great Italian beef and Johnnie's Beef ranks among the best of them. The small beef stand is a perfectly preserved piece of the traditionally Italian neighborhood that surrounds it.

The structure itself resembles an old drive-in eatery, with baby blue walls and yellow neon signs. It is only big enough to hold about ten standing customers at its bar, and seems to have a line that stretches down the block at any time of day. The employees work together as a well oiled machine, though, which minimizes the wait. One worker assembles hot dogs, one spears sausages from the grill, one slaps together the beefs and yet another fills cups with Italian ices (make sure you say you don't want a lid on your ice...that way you get a nice heaping cup of it). Be sure to have your order straight by the time you get to the head of the line; the man who rings you up gets quite upset at indecision or stuttering.

The menu is small, but everything is exceptional. The Italian beef and sausage sandwiches are notably famous, as well as the Italian ices and hot dogs. Every Friday Johnnie's serves up amazing fried egg sandwiches.

Many Chicagoans consider Johnnie's to be the best Italian Beef joint in the world, which accounts for the long line you will usually encounter on your visit. And I will be their this weekend to enjoy one on my visit to Chicago, My home town !!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Murphy's Red Hots/Chicago Style

Murphy's takes their hot dogs on a "walk thru the garden", adding tomatoes and cucumbers on top of the usual "everything" fixin's, which is why some dub their dogs a "Chicago salad". Try the gut busting char-broiled foot long for a real treat. Hand cut fries make for a nice side.
Address: 1211 W. Belmont
Neighborhood: Lakeview
Phone: 773-935-2882
Hours: Monday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday - Friday 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Lines can be long, especially on weekends
Very small dine-in area
Cash only
Address: 1211 W. Belmont
Phone: 773-935-2882
Neighborhood: Lakeview
Getting There by Train: Brown/Red Line North to Belmont
Cross Streets: Belmont and Racine
Nearest Major Attraction: Wrigley Field
Hours: Mon 11am-4pm, Tue-Fri 11am-8:30pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-5pm
Price: ¢
Guide Review - Murphy's Red Hots
A lot of fuss has been made about Chicago pizza, but any true Chicagoan knows that the native food is the hot dog (or the "red hot", as Murphy's insists on calling it). Known by some as a "Chicago salad", the all-beef Vienna hot dogs ($2.79) at Murphy's are best with everything on it -- also called a "walk thru the garden" -- mustard, relish, onion, pickle, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery salt and sport peppers. The sweetness of the hot dog combined with the freshness and crunch of the condiments is a regional treat. Try the char-broiled foot long ($4.55) for the ultimate Chicago hot dog experience.

If you are not a fan of hot dogs, there are several other excellent choices. The ribeye steak sandwich ($5.25) with Swiss cheese, horseradish mustard and sliced onions is tender, the char-broiled hamburgers ($3.35) are top rate, and Mrs. Murphy's homemade chicken noodle soup and chili are perfect for a cold Chicago winter's day. The hand cut fries are golden and tasty, and the only item in Murphy's that should come in contact with ketchup. The cheese fries ($2.55) are an anomaly, as the cheese is served on the side, which I prefer

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tasty Dog ...Oak Park ,Illinois

701 Lake Street
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Phone: (708) 383-2645

Rated One of Top Ten
Hot Dogs in America!

Re-connect with suburban youth at this Oak Park mainstay, where everything on the menu costs less than a fiver. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers and gyros are among the offerings here, served up in a hurry by the efficient staff behind the counter. The large, clean dining room even includes counter seating for solo dining and six outdoor tables for those who want to commune with nature (or traffic). With so many more sophisticated dining options in Oak Park, Tasty Dog's clientele skews more towards cash-strapped high school students, but the place is so popular that the city's threat to close it in 2001 sparked emotional demonstrations and a petition. Relocated across the street to make way for new development, Tasty Dog's new digs are bright and spacious. If you still feel the need for a little culture with your meal, take a look at the old photos on the walls for a quick lesson in Oak Park history.