Monday, September 21, 2009


-Grubbing in Chicago
Where the Depaul students eat.

If you have lived in the Depaul section of Lincoln Park at anytime since 1977 then today's post is going to be very familiar. When I think of a true mom and pop, all in the family run type joint, Branko's is the best example that I know of. Its been like this since Mama and Papa Branko first opened their doors to the Depaul students and neighborhood of Lincoln Park. Its a spot I've been going to since I was 7, 8 years old and nothing has changed. While the neighborhood has seen drastic change Branko's has remained the same. Upon your entry you are greeted by the same photo's of Papa Branko and the 20 foot submarines along with plenty of pics of Coach Ray Meyer and Vienna Beef posters and other photos from thru the years too.

When I was growing up it was mainly run by the older couple and their two daughters would often help. While the couple is still there most of the time, one of the two daughters (the other doesn't work there anymore) has taken over the random acts of kindness and she is as sweet as she ever was. You'll know its her when you get a "hiya honey, what can I get for a you today" She's basically watched me grow, although some would argue that's just in height, weight and age-not maturity.

a Depaul university/Lincoln Park staple

Its too bad the Depaul basketball program and idiot school president don't know anything about consistency and dedication like Branko's does. I suggest to the fools who hire coaches at the school to do everything they can to bring in a home town Chicago born and rasied coach Craig Robinson. I think getting him and doing whatever you can to get him here would be the best thing the program did since Ray Mayer recruited George Mikan. It would be instant exposure and get the schools name back in the news and create a buzz in the sports world. How are you going to have the best high school basketball talent in the country, right in your own backyard, play in the Big East conference and not be able to make something of it? They need to look into opening a stadium near campus, How about where the A. Finkl & Sons metal plant is right now after they move out? Now back to the food. Is there anything more blue collar Chicago than the original Pizza Puff? You can expect a story on this signature Chicago fast food and its history at a later date.

Are your pizza puffs Iltaco? You bet they are at Branko's

The menu at Branko's is your usual Chicago fast food fare. Popular items include the Hot dogs, hamburgers, gyros and Italian beefs. However everyone has something they like at Branko's and since I use to go there up to 5 times a week as a kid I've been through it all. During my youth I used to order a beef 8 out of 1o times when I was there to eat. If I was stopping in for a snack after school I always got a gravy bread and a cheese fries. In fact the reason that Gravy Bread is on the menu is because of me. I ordered it so much back in the day they eventually put it on the menu. I also want to congratulate the whole family on the shops recent induction into the Vienna Beef Hall of Fame. The HOF plaque now rests on the wall with the other photos that have been there forever.

Double Cheese with fries is a great deal for $5 and change and way better than McD's

Branko's famous chicken sandwich is the Depaulia's favorite

Grilled Chix Sub-same great marinated chix breast patty on a French Bun

What makes a place like Branko's so good is the wonderful warm hearted service. When you put that with quality fast food at a reasonable price you can see why they are the newest inductee into the Vienna Beef HOF. In a city where burger and dog joints are abundant you wont find any that will cut you some slack if your a little short on cash. "Oh don't worry about honey, I know you, next time you get me back" Its been thirty two years of this type of service and good quality fast food fare at reasonable price. Its easy to see why its a neighborhood favorite of locals, students, construction and just about anyone who's ever been to Branko's has most likely been back. Now there's a reason for that.

Gyros Sub (gyro meat with lettuce, tomato, onions, tsatsiki sauce and seasoning)

Branko's has something for everyone

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Branko's Sandwich Shop
1118 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 472-4873

Branko's on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Food Fiend said...

I need to visit Chicago, great blog.


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