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Mickey's Drive In

Mickey's Drive In
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  • Mickey's Drive In

    Post #1 - June 17th, 2010, 5:56 pm
    Post #1 - June 17th, 2010, 5:56 pm Post #1 - June 17th, 2010, 5:56 pm
    A new post on Jack and Lou's on Manheim just past Armitage over at Sky Full of Bacon and the recent pizza burger post reminded how far back I am in getting around to posting about some places. Jack and Lou's is interesting and I've been there a few times and eaten there once and got a beef and will post my beef pics in a beef post I've been making up. MikeG also mentions Mickey's Drive In in Bellwood which is mentioned on here a few times in some hot dog threads. So as I patiently await game 7, I'll put another on the board. I've been meaning to make this post for a while since it is one of my favorites when in the area or coming back from O'Hare.

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    50+ years in Bellwood

    Mickey's is a rare breed these days in these parts. Its not a chain or franchise and its been family run since it first opened in 1959. They've been a big part of the neighborhood ever since Mickey Sangiacomos wife Ann bought a used car lot on Manheim (that was an A&W stand before that) for $500 with a loan from the Bellwood bank. Its still in the same lot today. Mickey who's wife was inspired by the food carts of Taylor st and wanted to have a hot dog cart of her own and now had a stand, it is called a drive in because in the original building there was a drive up window for patrons. The hot dog joint was helped off the ground by Mickey and Ann's good friend and neighbor Jimmy Faruggia of The Original Jimmy's Hot Dogs, loved by many LTH'ers.

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    Inducted into the VB hall of Fame

    When they first started a hot dog and fries was just 37 cents. Ann would work long hours and the kids worked the register after school and some grew up in the stand. I guess at first they used a tin can cookie car as the cash register. As the years went on, the menu expanded and it stayed running due to the family's hard work and they eventually opened other stands around town. I guess most of them are gone now but there might be one still running in Villa Park. Mickey's has been a favorite of mine for a few items for some time.

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    dog with fries

    The dogs have changed over the years because they started off ala Jimmy's with his help and Gene and Judes and the minimalist stands around town and also used to do fresh cut fries. The dogs now come with tomatoes and a pickle spear on a poppy seed bun and the fries are Johnnie's beef like. Its not a bad dog and I get them now and then. I also like their homemade sloppy Joe's which I also get every now and then. It is true that sloppy Joe's are best made at home to your liking but these are good and great for a quick fix.

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    Mickey's Sloppy Joe

    I will also post my full thoughts and score and all in my beef post but of course I have also had the beef. Its not one of their better menu items, at least not the last one I had which was the first in a few years. It is nice that they have a mini beef, which is pictured here. I believe they have a dog/mini beef combo ala Nana's in Streamwood, another spot I should get around to posting my pics from.

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    beef with hot

    But the item that keeps me coming back to Mickey's is their Polish sausage. Its one of the five best in the city and on my All Chicago Style Polish Sausage 1st Team (another post coming). They take a Vienna natural casing, slit it up and throw it in the deep fryer and top it with grilled onions and mustard (peppers avail too) and throw it in a poppy seed bun. Its great grease eating and as I said, one of the city's best streets and sans type spots. It's still in the family and always filled with locals and carrying on the tradition of their mother.

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    Mickey's fried Polish

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    Sweet Home Chicago(land)

    Mickey's Drive In
    635 Mannheim Road
    Bellwood, IL‎
    (708) 547-7866‎
  • Post #2 - June 17th, 2010, 10:26 pm
    Post #2 - June 17th, 2010, 10:26 pm Post #2 - June 17th, 2010, 10:26 pm
    Da Beef wrote:I guess most of them are gone now but there might be one still running in Villa Park. Mickey's has been a favorite of mine for a few items for some time.


    The Villa Park location was still open as of the Spring, and once had a full-size vintage sign of the icon depicted on the 50 year poster in your photo. I grew up on Mickey's VP, and my dad grew up on Mickey's Bellwood. Good stuff; they were always very generous with the fries and had nice pickles. Never had a beef there, but the Polishes were strong.

    Mickey's Drive-In
    105 W Saint Charles Rd Villa Park IL, 60181

    As you can see here, not really a drive-in or a drive-thru, and I don't see the freestanding giant hot dog anymore, though it appears on the current sign.
  • Post #3 - June 18th, 2010, 6:53 am
    Post #3 - June 18th, 2010, 6:53 am Post #3 - June 18th, 2010, 6:53 am
    Mickey's was a regular stop for me during the years that my office was located near O'Hare. I'm pretty sure I've posted about it before, but that might have been pre-LTH in the Chowhound days. My go to item at Mickey's has always been their meatball sandwich with red sauce and giardinara. Back in the day, the hot dogs were great, too but, as Da Beef pointed out, they've strayed from their roots in the dog department and I long ago stopped ordering one at Mickey's.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - June 18th, 2010, 11:17 am
    Post #4 - June 18th, 2010, 11:17 am Post #4 - June 18th, 2010, 11:17 am
    There was a Mickey's in Addison on Addison Rd south of Fullerton many years ago, but all I remember were the 2 Hot Dogs for $2 deal which were skinless hotdogs, no frills. I have no idea if it was related to the original. It seemed like it had been around for a long time and was more of an old-school walk-in place from the old days with some picnic benches outside. I think it's a Mexican fast food place now.

    DaBeef - Nana's first location is in Addison, it opened last year. They serve small, 10-1 natural casing Vienna dogs on plain buns, with excellent fresh cut fries on them ala Gene and Jude's. I'm not a fan of Gene and Jude's or that style of mashing the fries with the dog, but it it is really good and good value for the money. The Italian Beef is fair to decent at best. Nothing worth driving for. It's a great place if you work nearby and you don't want a skinless hot dog joint that serves frozen fries with disgusting no-name ketchup, but not what I call destination eats. I'd rather see you go to some other places first and post some more great DaBeef pictures! :)
  • Post #5 - June 20th, 2010, 7:16 pm
    Post #5 - June 20th, 2010, 7:16 pm Post #5 - June 20th, 2010, 7:16 pm
    Very happy to see all this Mickey's interest pop up. Thanks all.
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  • Post #6 - July 17th, 2010, 10:07 am
    Post #6 - July 17th, 2010, 10:07 am Post #6 - July 17th, 2010, 10:07 am
    Any hot dog stand that has lasted 50 years in Chicago has gotta be special. Mickey's Italian Beef dipped wet with giardiniera is the real deal. Everyone says Al's or Mr Beef...BAH. Every time I fly out of O'Hare I stop for a beef and get a second to take on the plane. Its right on the way. You should see the look on the TSA people when they pull that out of my carry on. Better yet is the look I get when I pull that baby out on the plane and that scent wafts around. Its like Pavlov's dog. Everyone gets peanuts...I get Mickey's. Bwahahaha.
  • Post #7 - July 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
    Post #7 - July 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm Post #7 - July 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
    Google maps insists there is a Micky's Drive-in in the loop at 1 South La Salle Street.
    Has this ever been true?
    I've walked up and down the block and have never found it.
  • Post #8 - May 21st, 2014, 9:40 am
    Post #8 - May 21st, 2014, 9:40 am Post #8 - May 21st, 2014, 9:40 am
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    Walking in, I spotted a cop – very big guy, bullet head, bullet-proof vest, multiple weapons and other incapacitating and death-dealing tools on his utility belt, serious -- wiping his mouth and finishing his order.

    ME [bolder than usual]: What’d you have?

    COP: Beef.

    ME: Italian beef?

    COP [very sincere]: Yeah, they got great Italian beef here. You should try it.

    As a rather strong Johnnie’s partisan, I waited for the cop to leave before ordering, as I didn’t want to spurn his advice so immediately and obviously (had nothing to do with his threatening cop-like appearance: I’d show any regular Joe the same respect). Then he came back in to give a little girl customer a Bellwood Police Dept. tattoo – the guys behind the counter shouted that they wanted tattoos, too, which made all of us join in a communal chuckle that these much older guys wanted the same arm decorations as the kid. I liked this place. It was friendly and the customers seemed enthusiastic.

    CUSTOMER: I came all the way from Texas for these hot dogs!

    COUNTERMAN [slight Mexican accent]: Oh yeah? I came all the way from Mexico. [again, an appreciative line of customers shares a laugh]

    The “special” on the menu was a double hot dog, which didn’t appeal, tamales and other predictable stuff. I went with the Sloppy Joe, with fries and large RC, all under $5, a good deal.

    I like Sloppy Joes. And I hardly ever have them. For some reason, I don’t believe Carolyn has ever made them. The Sloppy Joe at Mickey’s was everything I could have hoped for: meaty, slightly sweet (paired well with RC), sloppy as hell.

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    About half-way through, however, I realized that this sandwich might be improved by layering some of my fries on top of the burgundy-colored meat mess, which I did, to excellent result: the blander and salty fries balanced the sweetness of the sauce, absorbed the greasiness, and most importantly, imparted an excellent crunch to the sandwich. Using fries as a condiment will now be a common practice for me, as it is in the Middle East and Lyon.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #9 - May 21st, 2014, 3:01 pm
    Post #9 - May 21st, 2014, 3:01 pm Post #9 - May 21st, 2014, 3:01 pm
    Mickey's was my first Italian beef and Chicago style hot dog as a kid. It was our neighborhood spot, along with Q's in Hillside for thin crust pizza with sausage. When it comes to Italian beef, Johnnie's will always be my favorite, but Mickey's is what we had the most. The Mickey's in Villa Park is every bit as good, so when I'm in the area, I always stop by. Is Mickey's on the level of Gene and Jude's or Johnnie's Beef? Of course not, but NOTHING is. Mickey's is just good for what it is, and I wish I could stop there more often. And Da Beef is right- Mickey's polish is one of the best polish sausages ANYWHERE.

    It's great to see both Mickey's and Q's (another thread) get some love on LTH every now and then. Awesome!
  • Post #10 - May 22nd, 2014, 1:24 pm
    Post #10 - May 22nd, 2014, 1:24 pm Post #10 - May 22nd, 2014, 1:24 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I like Sloppy Joes. And I hardly ever have them. For some reason, I don’t believe Carolyn has ever made them.
    Agreed on all counts, I like them, hardly every have them & for some reason I've never made them either.

    Went to the Mickey's Villa Park location for lunch today with a buddy of mine. We split both a Polish & a Sloppy Joe. The Sloppy Joe was by far the clear winner of the two. Neither of us enjoyed the Polish (too dry, we guess they over fried it). For only $2.20 I will for sure be back for Mickey's satisfying Sloppy Joe sandwich.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #11 - May 22nd, 2014, 6:26 pm
    Post #11 - May 22nd, 2014, 6:26 pm Post #11 - May 22nd, 2014, 6:26 pm
    The counter help at the Bellwood location (h/t weekday lunch crew) make it worth my while for the "long" trip from Elmhurst.

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