1250 S Union Ave
Chicago, IL 60607
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Quick Review: Drawn partly by curiosity and also by a very good deal I went to Jim's a couple weeks ago but didn't want to wait in line. Went back this week beat the lunch crowd and got a great Polish with some very good (free) fries.
Long Review: Looking to grab a hot dog I went to Jim's Original for their 70th Anniversary celebration. Everything on their menu was 70 cents. Unfortunately, I didn't expect the entire city to also be there. The lines (there were two lines actually) were around the block and traffic was backed up on the streets around Jim's. This was 10x worse than the lunch lines at Hot Doug's.
I took my place in the back of the line- a block away from the counter. After 15 minutes and not much progression of the line I decided to give up my spot in line and come back when there wasn't a 45-50 minutes wait.
I returned yesterday with a group of people and we arrived before the lunch crowds mobbed the counter. This is an old school Chicago hot dog joint, literally right next to the Dan Ryan with sizzling grills on all the time in the back, smells of meat and fries wafting around in the air and sometimes gruff employees who can be intimidating to no-regulars. I ordered my Polish with free fries (all sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, come with free fries) and wondered we were going to sit.
There isn't an outdoor eating area, no chair and tables in the back, just a metal counter bolted to the side of the building. Mustard and ketchup stains dotted the sidewalk underneath the counter. We ate old school style standing up at the "lunch counter" with the cars rushing by on the expressway and the skyline behind us.
The Polish Dog is really good, people aren't hyping anything up about it when they say so. It's loaded up with Sauerkraut and the fries are also very good. Their double fried to give a brown crunchy texture (at least I'm told).
It all only cost around $3.50 and Ddspite the unique experience eating while standing on the sidewalk along the Dan Ryan this is a great old place to go for hot dogs and especially the Polish Dog. Probably the best Polish Sausage I've had in Chicago.
Jim's Original Website
4.5 out of 5 stars.