Location: 1260 S. Union Ave., Chicago, IL 60607
A Quick Word:
Two of the largest late night (24 hour) establishments on the south side of Chicago are Maxwell Street Express Grill and Jim's Original Hot Dog. These two hot dog stands are located less than 100 feet away from each other and have competing for customers for several decades. People tend to gravitate towards one, while I enjoyed trying both. For the Express Grill, the food was solid, especially when coming home late. They offer several sandwiches and hot dogs with all of their orders coming with a bag of fries. The prices are extremely fair with everything under $5.00. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no seating, so grab a spot at their ledge or eat in your car. It was difficult to rate Express Grill very high because I probably wouldn't eat here during the day and would only try it once every few months. For that reason, a 2 mile rating is all I could do. (May be biased, because I am more of a Jim's Original fan)
What I Ate:
Bone-in Pork Chop Sandwich
Besides the typical polish sausage, the next popular sandwich ordered is the bone-in pork chop. The chop has been cooking on the grill for several minutes and kept warm on a bed of caramelizing onions. Whenever ordered, you see the line cook dig through the onions for a pork chop, place it on a steamed hamburger bun, and top it all with the caramelized onions, a healthy dollop of mustard, and hot peppers. The dominant flavor is onion, which can be quite aversive to some. The mustard gives a sharp bite to the meal and the grilled onions actually have some sweetness. Be careful for the bone. Especially when intoxicated, the bone can be forgotten, leading to a couple painful molars and a possible visit to my roommate's dental chair. I like to peal some of the meat off the bone and make a sandwich and then just gnaw at the bone in between bites. The sandwich is tasty, but nothing incredible. I would stick with the polish.
Fish Sandwich w/ Cheese
So the fish sandwich is probably one of the better options at the Express Grill. Each one is deep fried to order and is 10,000x better than McDonald's fish sandwich. I always get mine with a slice of American cheese, tartar sauce, grilled onions, and sports peppers. The sandwich comes out piping hot so be careful. The grilled onions and hot peppers add so much flavor to the sandwich. Some people request mustard, but I like mine with the creamy tartar sauce. It comes with fries so just look below to see the reviews.
The fries at Maxwell's are free, but they aren't that impressive. In fact, they are awful when compared to their main competition, Jim's. But, when they are free, you can't complain too much. Some people enjoy them with the processed nacho cheese spread that costs I believe 25 cents extra. They do not salt the fries, so each meal comes with a few packets of salt.
- Show your Student ID for a free can of pop!
- Remember that all sandwiches come with fries.
- I wouldn't eat here during the days. It is pretty greasy, which is masked by a solid late night liquor coat.
How far would I walk for this food?