the wiener's circle

The Wiener's Circle
2622 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL, USA

The Wiener's Circle might be a little more "notorious" than "famous"—it always seems to be singled out on food or travel shows that want to highlight a colorful local favorite with a whimsical or irreverent tone.

And if you've ever been here drunk off your ass late at night, you'll know why—that's when the very funny employees really crank up the salt on their sass, hurling bona fide verbal abuse at the people in line that goes delightfully beyond "Are they kidding?" and straight to "Yyyyowza!"

It's an experience alright, but in that particular context, no one ever really talks about the food, aside from its abundant power to soak up even the most egregious Chicagoan overimbibance.

the wiener's circle

While the late-night scene here is definitely a lot of fun, I actually much prefer hitting this place during the day, when it's typically quite mellow and the "show" part of things is switched off.

Grabbing lunch here is a completely different deal—without all the theatrics, the focus is entirely on the food, which is quite good, and the ambiance, which is as South Side as the North Side gets. In fact, at this point, The Wiener's Circle is one of the only reasons I'd specifically go to Lincoln Park, which just gets yuckier by the minute.

"Say, chum, don't you mean 'Yuppier'?"

I know what I said, chummo.

char cheddar burger & cheese fries

Char cheddar burger and hand-cut cheese fries—both slathered in gobs of Merkt's cheddar, which is certainly a bad life choice, unless you're talkin' about livin' it up versus just stayin' alive.

The perfectly charred burger comes dressed the way Chicago dogs usually are ("through the garden," as the pedants and old-timers say), which is unusual and actually quite delicious. And the fries are absolutely stellar, even remaining somewhat crisp buried under that full-on mudslide of thick cheese sauce.

Oh, that reminds me, I have to go have six heart transplants, because this single meal has irreparably damaged not just my current heart, but my five next ones! Whoopsy-daisy! 🕺

Review by Añüs Jînkuś, August 2019