Saturday, June 2, 2012

Belly Shack

Location: 1912 N Western Avenue
Cost: About $15 per person

Last weekend I woke up with very little food in my fridge. On top of that, I was starving. I called up a my friend Maddie whose boyfriend Matt was in town. They were somewhere in the loop at the time so we decided to pick somewhere along the blue line to meet up. I'd been wanting to go check out Belly Shack for a long time, so the choice was easy.

There's a very simple setup to Belly Shack. It's right underneath the train tracks. When you walk in there's a large communal table in the center and a variety of smaller options around the exterior. You order at the counter and put up a number in a stand on your table. We went for a weekend lunch, which I wouldn't expect to have a wait anyways, but I could imagine a pretty big crowd building up for dinner. If you'd like to drive, there's plenty of parking on the surrounding streets.

When I got there, there were already 2 guys with big cameras making a production out of shooting their food. For once I didn't feel like the strange dude who had to explain himself to the people looking on. The staff was friendly, but it's a pretty self service kind of place. The cost was very reasonable. Most main dishes were around $10. For dessert they have soft serve dishes for $4. Portions were plenty for the cost, but nothing too overwhelming. Also, it's BYOB.

The Food
Matt ordered the Korean BBQ Beef, Maddie got the special Crab and Shrimp salad, and I got the special Tilapia Sandwich. The beef came with some flat bread and a side of kimchi. I hadn't eaten any kimchi since my disturbing run in with the kimchi french fries at Del Seoul, but these were a nice reintroduction to the food. The special seafood salad was delicious. The crab was lightly covered in a crispy coating, and the kale was an interesting textural variation. The tilapia sandwich came with two long filets over soft bread with a tangy relish. The fish was nice and flaky and the bites with the relish were fantastic. I wish there had been more of it. We also split a side of the Tograshi French Fries. They came with a curry mayo for dipping. It was a nice twist.

The Korean BBQ Beef

The Tograshi Spiced French Fries

The Special Crab and Shrimp

The Tilapia Sandwich

For dessert we ordered the Vietnamese Cinnamon and Caramel Soft Serve. It was smooth and creamy. The flavors were creative and well balanced, but I wish we'd gone for some of the more adventurous options.

 The Vietnamese Cinnamon and Caramel Soft Serve

Since I had such a great meal at Urban Belly, I was really looking forward to trying out Belly Shack. Most everything was delicious. I can't wait to go back and try out some more options, especially the soft serve. Luckily it's so convenient to hit up that shouldn't be an issue. I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.

Belly Shack on Urbanspoon


  1. I have to disagree; while the flavor may have not been adventurous I thought it was the highlight of the meal.

  2. i told you this place was great. the trick is to stop at urban belly and bring a couple of things to belly shack!!!