Sunday, January 2, 2011


My old roommate Steve was back in town for winter break from dental school and wanted to meet up for lunch. I rounded up the troops (Josh and Ricky in this case). Steve used to a be kind of a picky eater, which in turn has made him into a bit of a hot dog connoisseur. I figured it'd be nice to put his expertise to good use. My neighbors in Buffalo Grove, the Waitz family, have this coffee table book out called Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog that lists some of the greatest hot dog joints all throughout the Chicago land area. I've read this book pretty much each time I've gone over to their house over the past few years and some of the places have kind of stuck in my head. Sure enough I remembered a place not too far away in the Ukranian Village called Odge's (no website, on the corner of Chicago and Damen).

You can't really miss driving by this bright yellow building on Chicago Avenue. The first thing to note is that they're CASH ONLY and don't take any bills over $20. The building is setup with a counter in front of some grills and maybe 10 booths. The service was very quick, and we didn't really have to fight much of a lunch rush even though we got there at 12:15.

The food is really cheap with a dog and fries running $2.60. I think a jumbo dog and fries was $3.60. They also have some gimmicks like buying 4 cheeseburgers gets you the fifth one for free. I think they run a $5 daily combination special which should be plenty to fill you up.

The Food
We all got a variation of pretty much the same food. I went for the daily special which was a hot dog, fries, drink, and tamale for $5. The hot dog was a little skimpy on the Chicago dog necessities with 1 sport pepper, a tiny bit of green relish, and most importantly no poppy seeds on the bun. Still, a good Vienna beef dog still makes a tasty lunch. The fries were a little on the meatier side, crispy, but a little bland. The Tamale was so awful. I should have known that it was going to be some microwave piece of crap, but I guess I never expected to be served some lump of kishke that was formed into a tamale shape and served without any semblance of a husk. I don't think I can blame them for this one, but you should all know not to make the same mistake as Ricky and I did.

The Hot Dog and Fries

 The Tamale

Odge's seems to be one of those places that's been around forever that makes a living off of nostalgia alone and not food. The main message is that there's really no need to go there, and the hot dog guru Steve Bacalar agrees. At least it was cheap. I'm giving Odge's 1.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Odge's on Urbanspoon


  1. Should have went to Superdawg!!!

  2. Actually thats called a BUNCH tamales and they are great if done correctly

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