South Side Eats: Fill Up at Sammy's Kitchen Before Flying Out of Midway


[Photograph: Titus Ruscitti]

Sammy's Kitchen sits on 55th St. just east of Central Avenue and across the street from Midway Airport. When driving by, you might not even notice this is a business, and if you do happen to see the sign, you might assume the business is no longer around. Entering Sammy's for the first time is like stepping into the local post in some small Midwest town. There are no frills and they don't like natural light inside. But it's also like you're visiting your parents place over the holidays. You're welcomed with open arms, greeted with a smiling face, and your coffee will be ready before you can ask for some. Just let them know what you're eating and they'll get you good to go.


The menu is pretty simple, with some standards you come to expect from breakfast/lunch spot in a workingman, blue collar neighborhood. Don't expect a red velvet cupcake as an amuse-bouche. But there are plenty of copies of that day's Sun-Times paper and a nice selection of home cooked options that are impossible to spend more $10 on in one sitting. Big hand-formed burgers, homemade meatloaf, a fried perch po' boy, corned beef on special, and the homemade soups of the day all sounded tempting. But this being my first visit I wanted to try something I imagine most of the folks stopping in for breakfast before a day of loading cargo for Southwest eat. So I tried the Hungry Mans Platter.


An entire plate gets covered with a couple inches of hash browns that are crisped up nicely on both sides. Onto that goes chopped ham off the bone, onions, green peppers, mushrooms (canned), cheese, and three eggs—cooked however you want them. Oh, and don't forget the two pieces of toast buttered like Paula Deen is developing the recipes.

I don't know how someone eats one of these and then goes and puts in work across the street. This is something I'd eat to avoid dealing with annoying people on a flight. Have this before your next trip out of town and you'll wake up wherever you're going in what felt like no time. I couldn't believe the plate considering the menu said it was only $5.75. You can't get a value meal from McDonalds inside the airport for that. Not to mention that this was good, made-to-order food. The scrambled eggs here come from scratch, not some milk carton, and the potatoes are peeled by hand. So next time you need to pick someone up out by Midway or want to eat something other than airport food before hopping an early flight, keep Sammy's Kitchen in mind.

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