It is with great delight that we welcome back to the internet (and to our Google Reader) The Chicago Burger Project, which after a completely unacceptable month-long hiatus is back with a review of Max’s Italian Beef. The title menu item is not on the docket, instead we have Max’s Ghetto fries, an item we could not believe is actually on the official MenuPages menu, and yet there it is, in all its glory (it’s the fifth-to-the-bottom item on the onscreen menu, right between a $0.59 side of American Cheese, and an $0.89 side of Merkt’s).
These things get way too much attention for being standard-issue fries with a bunch of cheap condiments on top (to be fair, they’ll only cost you $3.15). They’re allegedly named for a former employee who went by “Ghetto Girl” and are decidedly not an attempt tap into the always-profitable stereotype of poor people putting Merkt’s on everything (cf. Hecky’s Mutt; Ghetto Latte). Anyway, these are exactly the sum of their parts—I’m a little mystified by a place hanging their hat on a dish so easily replicated by anyone with access to a Fixins Bar, but they’ve been around for 50 years, I think the sweetness of the sauce, the sharpness of the cheese, and the saltiness of the fries are supposed to play off each other, but they didn’t do that so much as just kind of decompose into a homogeneous mass.
This comes on the heels of a wave of coverage for other “ghetto” foodstuffs — specifically the ghetto latte, a.k.a. a double shot of espresso over ice, to which the purchaser adds his or her own milk from the coffee-accoutrements table. And the ghetto latte is only reemerging onto the news feed because a D.C. man attempted to order one, and the coffeeshop proprietor threatened to “punch him in his dick.” You can’t make this stuff up.
Max’s Italian Beef [Chicago Burger Project]
Coffee Shop Threatens to Punch Customer In His Dick [The Consumerist]
Max’s Italian Beef [MenuPages]
[Photo: Max’s Ghetto Fries, via Chicago Burger Project]