This West Side tubed beefery claims a community presence since 1927, slinging punch-clock-quick fry and soda combos to many nearby factory workers along Cicero Ave. The seatless, sterile dining floor has seen its share of changes over the years, and even a brief stint in liquor sales, as well. And a recent drive-thru addition has made the spot a late-night greasy go-to.
Minimalist at first glance, stripping the Chicago dog formula to a simple onion, sport pepper and mustard pleasure, Margie's doesn't flaunt its class; but it's there. For one, all orders hit the counter packaged in Burger King bags. Then there are the fries, hand-cut and sogged to perfection like they had a date with the oven (free with dogs and polishes; $1.53 alone). And the 'mother-in-law,' hiding there in the corner of the menu, dressed in homemade chili and a steamed hot dog bun ($2.33), is the best thing to happen to a tamale since the Tamale Guy.
Sadly, though, what once wrought the place the most class, its Italian beef – story goes that Margie's was one of the first joints to introduce the staple to its menu in the '50s – has become a thing of sour giardiniera and S. Rosen's flour bun blandness. Though a second trip revealed the introduction of a French roll. So the care is there. And it still stays true to its working class roots, making it very difficult for customers to spend more than $6 on a meal.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul