south side sandwiches: pork chop

jim's original

Jim's Original
1250 S. Union Ave, Chicago, IL, USA

Ahhh, spring. Smell that fresh air. Wait, what is that? Is that the scent of grilled onions wafting on the breeze? Yes, that's it exactly! The unmistakeable smell of grilled onions from Maxwell Street filling the spring air, first thing in the morning! How is it even possible? I live like 15 miles from there!

I think all these South Side Sandwiches might be turning me into one of those cartoons who catch a whiff of warm pie and reflexively float toward the source of the aroma. Last thing I remember, I was lying in bed cajoling my shortcomings, next thing I knew, I was in line at Jim's Original.

jim's original

Jim's is a 24-hour joint serving greasy delights of all kinds, their specialty being one of Chicago's most revered Maxwell Street Polishes. And while those looked absolutely amazing, I was here for something a little less famous and a little more South Side: the bone-in pork chop sandwich.


Hearing about this for the first time, you can't help but fixate on the combination of "bone" and "sandwich," but it's actually not like you're at great risk of biting into a huge chunk of bone. If anything, the small bone piece provides a little structural integrity, and perhaps keeps the chop juicier. The real stars of the show, though, are the grilled onions and sport peppers. Combined with the tender, tasty pork and a generous amount of yellow mustard, the blend of flavors is a total knockout. It's the kind of sandwich you inhale and immediately want another one.

I resisted that urge, as well as the one to get a Polish, since I'm trying to cut down on meals within meals. The fries were really good, which was a welcome surprise since a lot of these joints where fries are included have pretty mediocre ones. $6.75 all told with a can of Coke.

Ate it right there at the counter, imagining myself to be one of the immigrant workers who built this great city. For that moment, it was 1919 and I was "Andrej Svaboda," on my lunch break from laying bricks, and dreaming of a better life. Unfortunately as it happened, a cop happened to walk by right at that moment with a warrant out for—you guessed it—Andrej Svaboda. Now I'm behind bars for a crime I didn't commit!

Review by Pumboo Dongo-Dohnoh, March 2020

More South Side Sandwiches:
Breaded Steak ~ Ricobene's
The Freddy ~ Calabria Imports
The Mother-In-Law ~ Fat Johnnie's
Sweet Steak ~ The Hoagie Place