Chicago: Where my dogs at?
...and introducing: Lunch for $6 & The Chicago Wing Fling
Budacki's is a spot I found within the last year and have been enjoying ever since. That is what you gotta love about Chicago, even after covering 100's of 1000's of miles eating in every single neighborhood since I got my license, I still find new spots. Budacki's however isn't new, its been family owned since 1980 and is a favorite of the people in the Lincoln Square & Ravenswood 'hoods. Its very much like the 1000's of other hot dog stands in Chicago as far as the menu goes but far superior to many of those stands quality wise. They also have a few signature items that you wont find at your average run of the mill spots. This is the result of a family owned business who takes their venture seriously and not some corporate chain. Why do people eat at Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Subway and the rest of that crap when you live in Chicago?!?!?!?!
Budacki's Drive In located in Lincoln Square
I'll be honest, when I first ate here it was because of the "Pomme Frites" on the sign caught my eye when I was driving by. I love frites so I pulled over and went in to try a hot dog and some pomme frites. Unfortunately the frites are just your normal frozen spud that are similar to McDonalds in size. Nonetheless these fries are better than your average frozen batch of fries. The hot dog at Budacki's is a good dog and even better value. It will cost you $2.25, tax included, for a Chicago dressed dog (minus the poppy seed bun) and a whole bunch of the fries.
Chicago style dog with fry's ($2.25 tax included)
Chicago's independent fast food joints have a wide range of offerings from various ethnic backgrounds that the owners bring with them. Budacki's is run by a Korean family and the owner is always there taking orders making sure your satisfied with the product. They have a ribeye sandwich they make with bulgogi meat and also a Korean style Philly cheesesteak made with the same bulgogi meat. The grilled teriyaki chicken sandwich is always being ordered when I'm in there along with everything else on the menu. I haven't had everything from here but I would bet its all better than average.
One of the unique menu items on the menu are the chicken wings. They use a combination of half Asian chili sauce similar to sriracha and half Buffalo sauce. Not only do we have amazing fusion cuisine at the fine dining establishments but you can also find it at the hot dog stands. The wings are perfectly fried and then tossed in the sauce and served with the frites and three pieces of garlic bread and of course an ample supply of celery and carrots and bleu cheese dressing.
Is anybody else sick of the Subway $5 footlong commercials and that irritating song that comes with it? not only does the song sound like an ad for happy hour at a male whorehouse during the 70's but Subway is garbage. In the end when you pay city taxes and get a drink its around $7 anyway. So with that I want to introduce two new ongoing projects within one post.
1) KingT's Wing-Fling: A roundup of the best places to eat chicken wings in the city.
2) Lunch for under $6 so you dont have to go to Wendy's and Subway anymore (some spots may be $6 and change)
Budacki's wings are worthy of a shout out and the price is right
For $5.75 (tax included) you can get a five piece wing, fries, garlic bread, vegetable stix with sauce and a can of pop from Budacki's. They also come in 10 and 20 piece batches. If wings aren't your thing try a hot dog, fries included and add a can of Chicago Coke for three bucks total or two dogs, fries and pop for $4.00. They have parking in the back but it is a small storefront and can get busy during the lunch rush. I guarantee that if the old Asian dude that runs this place was a McDonald's franchiser, he'd be franchisee of the year. So feel free to go get that whopper meal and wait the same time that Budacki's takes despite the fact the whopper is sitting under a heat lamp and everything here is made hot to order. The people that go to Subway are either from some small Amish town in Southern Indiana or grew up eating dogfood and now they dont know any better because it tastes better then dogfood...or does it?
Budacki's Drive In
4739 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625