There is a saying that my mother used to say whenever she would cook up a huge delicious Mexican dinner for the family, “Barriga llena corazon contento.” For those of you who are not Spanish speakers, the phrase roughly translates to “full stomach happy heart.” This lovely colloquialism follows me wherever I go (that’s probably why I have blood pressure issues) even when I go hunting for an after bar/party eat spot.
The first time I had the privilege of eating at Jim’s Original I was about six years old and exploring the Maxwell street Sunday market, when it was still on Maxwell street. I was handed a huge polish sausage pilled high with fragrant translucent grilled onions and splattered with savory yellow mustard. After the first bite, I was in love. This love affair has followed me through my adulthood. Jim’s Original has since moved to 1250 S. Union street, right off of the 90/94, to a walk up only stand . Not only is it an economical choice after a long night out, but a delicious piece of Chicago history. The menu is simple, hot dogs, polish sausages, and burgers. However, these staples are all served the same way they have been since 1939, pilled high with grilled onions, with a smear of yellow mustard. Jim’s is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Most of their business comes on the weekends from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., when hoards of clubbers, bar hoppers, and party animals come to sober up in their cars while enjoying Jim’s original creations. From the moment you walk up to the order window to the moment you finish the last fry, you will be satisfied by your trip to Jim’s Original.