There's no shortage of late-night dog stands offering up greasy alcohol-sopping treats in Chicago. But very few of them like Polk and Western have been open for 60 years and inhabit the location of the original Gene and Judes. This dog spot is a survivor, outlasting many of the old-school Italian joints that once thrived on this strip of Western near Little Italy.
Unlike its heritage, the utilitarian decor, full of stainless steel and take-out only, is pretty unremarkable. And seemingly, the menu, full of Italian beef, burgers, hot dogs, RC cola, fries and pretty much anything that'll fit in to a deep fryer, is as well.
That is, until you spot the "French Fry Sandwich." The FFS is a full-on white roll dipped in Italian beef gravy and studded with a pile of crispy shoestring fries drizzled with more gravy, a touch of giardinara and your choice of mozzarella or hot nacho cheese. The sandwich is so carbtastic that once you try it, you'll dream of making pilgrimages here even if you live in Rogers Park.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant