Saturday, May 12, 2012

Phil's Last Stand

Location: 2258 W Chicago
Cost: Around $6 per person

Our fourth roommate is back in town. Ricky's girlfriend Rachel has a rotation for PA school which means that she'll be around the apartment plenty for the next few weeks. The other weekend her parents came down to the city to take the whole apartment out to lunch. Now Rachel's dad Ron, in addition to being one of the largest JEC fans, used to own a hot dog stand in the city. He'd heard about this place in the Ukranian Village that we just had to try out. So we all headed west to Phil's Last Stand.


Logistics
Phil's is just what you'd expect. There's practically no room for all of the people cramming in to get a taste. You place your order with who I can only imagine is Phil. He sits as his chair and barks out orders to the cooks while schmoozing with the customers (for that matter, I think it's called Phil's Last Stand because he's probably been sitting in that chair for years). Don't be surprised when he rings the gong for every tip either. It should also be noted that there's a parking lot, so you can skip the street spots.

There's seating for maybe 15 people inside between the few tables and the counter. If that's not enough, they've got a bunch of picnic bench style seating outside. The service is great, and by the service I mean Phil. He told us exactly what to order and even tossed us some freebies to highlight his menu. The prices are cheap. You can get a double char dog with fries for $5. Most of the menu follows the trend of tons of food for little money.

The Food
We tried our best to run the menu. Our order included some Char Dogs, Fatso Burgers, Char Grilled Salami Sandwiches, Mac n' Cheese with Salami, and plenty of Cheese Fries. The burgers were griddled with a nice crisp and plenty of sauce. The Salami came in thick slices on a Turano roll which wonderfully soaked up the grease. I think it would've been better off without the tomatoes which were pretty mushy. The Mac n' Cheese didn't have the typical elbow noodles, but the sauce was excessively creamy. The chunks of salami complimented everything nicely as well. The dogs came with split ends but no scoring along the dog. There was a nice char to the whole thing and plenty of snap with each bite. There wasn't a single soggy fry in my order. They had the option for shoe string fries, but I significantly preferred the regular cut. The nice touch to all of this was the use of Vern's Cheese. It was thick, sharp, and went excellently with the fries and the salami sandwich.

The Char Dog with Fries

Vern's Cheese

The Grilled Salami Sandwich

The Fatso Burger

The Mac n' Cheese with Salami

 The Shoestring French Fries

Overall
There are certain places that have unhealthy food. Phil's takes that one step further. The food is delicious and detrimental to your health to the point that you're cardiovascularly unable to leave (and thus are forced to eat there forever more). Seriously though, most of the dishes were flawless, and it's hard not to fall in love with the place from the second you step foot inside. I would've tweaked the salami sandwich a bit and gone without the shoestrings. Luckily, it's only a short drive for me to get there, and I'll have plenty more opportunities to check things out. I'm giving them 4.5 out of 5 Pearls.

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