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In Dining Blogs

Sammy's Taste of Chicago serves no-frills food at a low price.

In Dining Blogs

The restaurant draws a cross-section of customers attracted by hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

In Dining Blogs

The Chicago-style dog is a staple of the menu.

Scouting report: Sammy's Taste of Chicago


Can an establishment with the word "Chicago" in its name actually thrive in the Milwaukee area?

To answer that question, drive to the intersection of 106th Street and Greenfield Avenue, two blocks east of Highway 100.

Sammy's Taste of Chicago, which has been in operation since 1989, draws big crowds of fans searching for good, inexpensive, comfort-type food served quickly in an unpretentious atmosphere.

Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends, Sammy's attracts a cross-section of customers. You might find men in business suits next to construction workers mingling with a group of dental hygienists.

The place attracts a steady crowd, particularly on Sunday, when hot dogs sell for 99 cents (they're usually $2.25) and bratwurst and Polish sausage are $1.99.

Hot dogs are the focal point of the menu, with the signature Chicago Style Dog ($2.25) -- including the requisite relish, onions, tomatoes and peppers -- taking center stage.

Sammy's also is known for its Italian beef sandwiches, which cost $4.45 for thinly-sliced beef and gravy on a chewy roll. Green peppers, mozzarella and Giardiniera relish are available for 30 cents apiece -- or 75 cents for all three -- and add sizzle to the sandwich. (Mushrooms and bacon cost 75 cents apiece, but seem like overkill next to the other three condiments.

Owner Sammy Bohringer, who gave up his attempts and expand his business with franchise locations a few years back, operated a sub sandwich shop in Menomonee Falls in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The subs at Sammy's ($3.59) are overshadowed by other offerings, but offer a solid alternative to the chain outlets.

Burgers and chicken sandwiches are solid, and Sammy's also offers "freedom fries" for $1.75 (cheese and/or chili cost extra). Onion rings and mozzarella sticks round out the side dishes.

Two hidden items on the menu include the corn dog ($2.25), which is better than your average State Fair offering, and the Sprecher Root Beer Float ($1.95), which takes the notion of "comfort food" to a new level.

Sammy's isn't fancy. If you want to see art work on the wall, you'll have to head to the Milwaukee Art Museum. If you want inexpensive food served quickly in a no-frills atmosphere, head to 10534 W. Greenfield Ave.


Talkbacks

mcdoogs | Feb. 17, 2010 at 12:04 p.m. (report)

dr mog, A couple of the most popular Chicago hot dog stands down in Chicago Illinois exclusively use Klements hotdogs instead of Vienna. They do a booming business. Fluky's rated the best by Chicago Trubune and Superdawg, which use to use a dog from Best's Kosher but swithced to a custom dog from Klements.

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drmog | Feb. 9, 2010 at 7:59 p.m. (report)

okay, if your looking to get a chicago dogg, you wont find it at a klements factory in bayview. The best place to find a chicago dogg would be the dogg haus, considering they were voted the best in the city. Or a place that actually serves chicago ingredients, such as vienna beef products. By the look of that "chicago" dogg in the picture, no wonder they are cheap.

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ActionDan | Feb. 2, 2010 at 9:33 a.m. (report)

Love Sammy's. Don't go as much as I used to.... but I used to love to stop there with the boys and grab a couple dogs and tater nuggets w/ cheese dipping sauce...

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taylerbaby | Feb. 1, 2010 at 8:06 a.m. (report)

Love Sammy's! My husband and I miss the Silver Spring location. It was always packed and we were shocked when it closed.

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Observer | Jan. 31, 2010 at 4:13 p.m. (report)

Martino's are Vienna Beef while Sammy's are made right here in Bay View by Klements.

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