If you’ve ever had the pleasure to be stuck in traffic along I-90 just south of the Loop, then you’ve probably noticed the one-two punch of Express Grill and Jim’s Original. The two polish stands are leftovers from the Maxwell Street Market, and appear to serve nearly identical food, in the same kind of building, with the same color scheme. Both have also been feeding late night revelers with charred polish dogs topped with sautéed onions for years. About three years ago Express Grill wanted to expand its empire and open a new location at the corner of 18th and Halsted in East Pilsen, but has been mired in court cases for years by concerned local residents. A judge finally decided its fate yesterday.
The East Pilsen community brought on the case because of worry about crowds, parking, and the constant smell of sautéed onions in the air. But a judge just ruled that owner Alex Lazarevski had all the permits together, and that he can open the new location. Looks like you’ll have a new destination for a light night Polish. Also, don’t worry about the current location. We called to make sure it would remain open, so you’ll still have to figure out whether there is actually any difference between it and Jim’s Original while you wait in traffic.