A little piece of the Windy City is in West Palm Beach.
Wedged between the gun ranges, car repair shops, public works and railroad tracks, close to downtown and right off the Interstate, you’ll find Chicago Food Shack. You’ll miss it if you drive too fast; look for the orange-colored building across from the Town of Palm Beach Public Works station.
The surrounding area may be industrial, but it’s hardly down-and-out, and the year-old Shack is a tidy spot with both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s cool and quiet inside, and the menu offers a selection for breakfast and lunch that will appeal to homesick Chicagoans, and those looking to see what all their food fuss is about.
If you’re heading to work, breakfast sandwiches are probably the way to go; the shack has them with eggs, eggs and cheese and eggs, meat and cheese, or wrapped in a burrito. Or try the Chicago Scramble, three eggs with Italian sausage, sweet peppers and cheese. Chicago lunch specialties include Supreme Chicago beef tamales, Maxwell Street Polish sausage, roasted Italian beef, sausage or a combination of beef and sausage, with a choice of sweet green peppers or the classic hot gardinera. And of course, you can get your sandwich, dry, wet or dipped. And there is the Chicago hot dog, served with mustard, relish, onions, pickle, tomato, peppers and celery salt, but no ketchup. And don’t ask for ketchup. It’s just not done.
The menu also speaks to local tastes: a surf Reuben (cod in place of corned beef or pastrami), fish tacos, cold subs, burgers and salads. Prices are very reasonable: $2 to $7.50 for breakfast and $5 to $9 for lunch. Chicago Food Shack is a turn off the fast food path, but for anyone looking for a little hometown on a bun, covered with neon green relish, this is the place to find it.
Chicago Food Shack, 1000 Old Okeechobee Road, West Palm Beach, FL. Phone (561) 855-6244. Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.