The sun was shining so instead of catching the CTA 78 bus between Montrose Blue Line and the Montrose Brown Line stations I decided to walk and see what food I would chance upon on the way, 25 minutes later a ramshackle hot dog shack came into view.

Inside I was slightly disapointed not to meet a “Murph” behind the counter, instead a smiling elderly chinese lady was there to greet me.  She was so tiny she could barely reach across the counter top to take my money and serve my food. I opted for the Maxwell Street Polish special for $4.95. I didn’t know much about this hot dog but apparently it was supposed to have been invented  by Jimmy Stefanovic, a Macedonian immigrant in 1939 at a shop, now called Jim’s Original,  located at Maxwell and Halsted in Chicago’s old Maxwell Street market district. Nothing like a quick google to learn some hot dog history.


I only really wanted a hot dog, but when it arrived it came with fries and a drink. I felt obliged to eat some of the fries and decided not to log them into the weightwatchers counter or at least swop my activity points earned by walking here. Ahem slightly defeated the object of the exercise, but it worked for me in my head at least.

The bread roll was nice and toasted and it was filled with a fried polish dog, topped with slightly burnt onions, a yellow mustard sauce and tomato, lettuce and quite interestingly a few slice of cucumber. It also had a large pickle but I quickly discarded that.

It was tasty, even though the lettuce did look a bit dubious and the deep fried dog was decidedly unhealthy in nature. OK what did I really expect?

It was worth the experience and the brightly painted, slightly fading and crumbly facade had a charm of its own.

Located at  3930 W. Montrose Ave on the 78 bus route half way between the blue and brown Montrose CTA stops

Neighborhood:Irving Park/Avondale


Murph's Place on Urbanspoon

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