TGI Fry-Day: Fried Shrimp Po'Boy from Phil's Last Stand

TGI Fry-Day

Reviews of fried food in Chicago.


[Photograph: Joe Roy]

Along with putting out a balanced char dog that surpasses the offerings at The Wiener Circle on its best day and a juicy char burger with so much smoky flavor you'd think it was injected intravenously, Phil's Last Stand in Ukrainian Village also boasts a not-so secret menu à la In-N-Out Burger. Sure, it's affected, but I'll go along with just about anything if it's delicious.

Perhaps the top billed secret menu item is the Fried Shrimp Po'Boy ($8.00), an everthing-and-the-kitchen-sink of a sandwich whose tagline should be "why the hell not?" The combination of ingredients is winning: a toasted Gonnella French roll is layered with Phil's sauce (think In-N-Out spread), tomato and pickle slices, house coleslaw, panko-crusted fried shrimp, fresh-fried shoestring potatoes, and Vern's cheddar sauce (which Phil prefers to the ubiquitous Merkt's). The sandwich's varied flavors and textures hold their own quite well, though the shrimp itself was slightly obscured by the more assertive ingredients (instructing a fellow diner to make sure to get a bite with shrimp in it required a Rubik's cube-like inspection). Two or three more shrimp which would right the balance. Still, if you've managed to over do it on the hot dogs and burgers (I'm getting pretty close), this sandwich provides welcome repose so that you can get back on the char-grilled horse as soon as possible.

Phil's Last Stand

2258 W Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL 60622 (map)

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