Chicago: the capital of the Midwest. With almost 10 million residents, the Windy City thrives on countless dives like Max’s Take Out to feed its working men downtown. The little shop looks barely enough to contain a dozen people, but nonetheless pumps out burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and gyros like nobody’s business in a fast-paced grab-and-go concept true to the rush and frenzy of the city. The Loop in downtown has plenty of flashier and larger places to grab lunch, but once you get a bite of what they’re serving here, it will be hard to forget.
Max’s does a mean Italian burger, probably my favorite thing on the menu. It’s packed with a tender, juicy mountain of thin-cut beef and slathered with a chunky marinara sauce, with green peppers to top it off. The meat melts – literally melts – in your mouth. The giant burger packs a real punch in flavor, and as quickly as it comes out after ordered, it’s delicious and very filling. It’s served with Max’s fries, which are about average as far as fries go, but they’re a heavy and equally filling side. It’s refreshing to see a $7 meal really get the job done so well.
I can’t forget, of course, to try the famous Chicago hot dog as Max’s makes it. The delectable all-beef dog served with mustard, onions, relish, a pickle, tomatoes, sport peppers and celery salt atop a poppy seed bun. The giant dog is outstanding, my first taste of it in its “native” land, but it’s also very filling. With so many vegetables and toppings (of course without ketchup, which is unacceptable by Chicago standards) the dog is a mouthful. It’s amazing.
The service is pretty no-nonsense, which is to be expected in the big city. You find what you want, grab your order quickly, get out of the way until it’s ready and then you grab it and take off. There’s no time for formalities, and there isn’t a lot of room in the dining area for sitting and eating, though people seem to come and go quickly.
I suggest checking out the website before you get going to visit the place, there are a few amenities to take advantage of. Most usefully, there is an order online option to get your food ahead of time. Personally I don’t find it a problem to wait because the food is so quick, but it might come in handy. There is also a loyalty program where you earn points for purchases, and you get something free for your birthday. All told, a great spot for a quick meal.
- My favorite thing on the menu is the Italian burger, a delicious sliced beef
- There are sometimes weekly specials and discount prices, but the best way to find out about them is stopping by.
- There is also a customer loyalty program to take advantage of if you come back often.