Sunday, November 11, 2012

Phil's Last Stand

Location: 2258 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
Phil's Last Stand on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
Phil's Last Stand was a recommendation from two of my best friends that happen to be vegetarian.  I was wondering at first how they could enjoy the char dogs and burgers, but realized they offered an incredible vegetarian char dog as well.  This place is your typical hot dog stand in Chicago, but they specialize in their fire grilled char dogs.  The restaurant is a small stand that is always packed like sardines.  The atmosphere is fun with tons of people standing and enjoying their food inside while a few others brave the cold weather and sit at the outdoor patio.  I personally ordered "to go" because we came on a day when they had a charity deal... $1 char dogs and fries.  Overall, the dogs are incredible, but they are not the perfect Chicago Style Hot Dog (how could they not use neon green relish?).  I still prefer the superdawg at  Superdawg Drive-in, but for location and cost, Phil's wins.  I will definitely be going back soon to try one of their famous fatso burgers.

What I Ate:

Char Dog

So when you come to Phil's, make sure NOT to order a hot dog.  They don't serve the typical hot dog here... they serve Char Dogs.  These hot dogs are grilled on an open flame to make a nice char crust and are cooked until the ends split open.  They are topped with the typical Chicago style toppings including mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers, and celery salt.  Unfortunately, the relish isn't the neon green one that defines Chicago style hot dogs.  The bun was nice and soft, the dog was perfectly cooked with a nice char flavor, and the toppings made it amazing.  The sport peppers weren't too spicy... I will surely ask for extra next time.  The overall size is good, but if you are hungry you might need to order a double char dog or another one to get full.  They do come with fries so that is a plus.

Fresh Cut French Fries

As you walk into the restaurant, you can smell the frequent deep frying of their fresh cut fries.  You see them frying up basket after basket, which gives you an idea of how popular this place is.  I don't think they season the fries at all... so make sure to add a little salt (a little goes a long way).  They are crispy at first, but if you are getting it "to go," then be prepared for a greasy pile of soggy french fries.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- So when first arriving at Phil's Last Stand, remember that there is parking in the back!  Don't pay for street parking.  When you walk in, you will notice that they don't have seating indoors so its standing room only unless you want to eat on their outdoor patio (open even when its cold).  So make sure to order your hot dog or burger at the cash register and just hangout.  They cook everything up super fast so it should be ready within seconds to a minute or two.  Standing inside makes the experience so try it out.
- CASH ONLY! They do have an ATM inside, but with a service fee, I suggest making sure you have cash on you.
- Try the Vegetarian Char Dog... they are just as good.  I have had a bite (sorry for no picture).

- Don't call it a hot dog... they serve char dogs
- Don't put ketchup on their char dog.  It is definitely discouraged.

How far would I walk for this food?

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