Give me a home, where the….oh, wait. Give me a diner, on Route 66, and I’ll be one happy camper. In a distant suburb of Chicago, the town of Countryside, is the Highway 66 exit route from the Loop, and on it, inside a bowling alley, with little signage to let you know it’s there, is the Country Cup dinner, with all of 10 tables, a counter for 8, and on this shift, about 7 employees hustling to serve the jammed packed café.
Serving a full menu 24/7, I stopped in for a corned beef, changed my mind, and went with a specialty unique to Chicago (as far as I am concerned), the “olive burger”, also referred to as the “Queen Burger” in other locales.
I’ve written about other stops along Route 66 in the past.
Everybody knows Chicago is a great hot dog town, but it’s a great burger town, as well, with one of the most (in)famous being the Billy Goat Tavern, underneath the Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue. The Billy Goat was perfectly poised between two rival newspaper buildings, the Trib and the Sun Times, and was where a lot of the reporters used to hang out regularly.
But the Billygoat became known to the rest of America through John Belushi’s SNL skit, where the punchline was “cheezbooger, cheezbooger, no coke, pepsi”, which pretty much describes the ‘Goat as it remains today.
Back at the Country Cup, the coffee is fresh and plentiful, the burger was a sizzling food service patty, and the rings were hot and greasy. And the olives? They were just fine. I couldn’t leave w/o grabbing a reuben to go. I’d had a hankering for good corned beef for awhile.
If you ever find yourself in need of a nosh in this part of Chicago, check out the Country Cup anytime of day or nite.
If you’re a fan of surface streets, stay on the original Route 66 from downtown Chicago to the Cup…. Just about 20 miles, take Adams out of downtown, to Ogden Avenue, and roll out there 16 miles or so to Joliet Road.