With Elston being one of those streets that can get you somewhere faster than others I've found myself up and down it over the years. Many times during those drives I would ride by a cool looking hot dog stand that goes by J's. Many times I just ended up driving by until that one time I decided I needed to finally stop in and document the place for my ongoing online tour. So here we are.
Longtime Locals Favorite in Irving Park
Much to my surprise upon stopping in I learned that J's is one of a handful of Asian owned hot dog stands still going strong. Over the years I've come to realize that Chicago has this cool little food thing going where quite a few of it's old school hot dog stands are not just Asian owned but also feature Asian food items on their menus. I'm not sure if the old Asian guy who owns the place is J himself but I do plan on digging into this story for another food site sometime soon. So do stay tuned. In the meantime lets try a hot dog. Nothing particularly noteworthy about this wiener except for the fact it's well made and at $3 still a bargain, even in today times. Free fries with all sandwiches.
Chicago Dog at J's
As mentioned these Asian owned (I believe most of them are Korean) hot dog stands usually have a few items you wouldn't find at an Anglo owned joint. Here they have an egg roll which is probably bought frozen and also a Bulgogi sandwich. The latter of which is fantastic in that Chicago fast food sort of way. It's chopped up bulgogi meat which for those not in the know is thinly sliced Korean style beef that's usually marinated in a tangy sauce. The sign here says it's made with Garlic, MSG, Green Onion, Black Pepper, and Sesame Oil. The beef goes into a Turano roll that's spread with mayo and lettuce and tomato are thrown on top. It's a simple sandwich but it's a crave-worthy one. I've found myself pulling over to grab one (just $5.99 w/ fries) when riding by. A semi unknown gem.
Bulgogi Sandwich at J's Corner Hot Dogs
J's Corner Hot Dogs
3845 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618