You’ll find a lot of these on the old, original highways of the US, like Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, or US 61 which follows the Mississippi from New Orleans to near the Canadian border.
I’ve written a lot about these kind of places. I’ll almost always stop.
Just off the Lincoln Highway, one of America’s earliest transcontinental routes, in Western Illinois, you’ll find Pete’s Famous Hot Dogs, an old-timey roadside stand, order at the counter, take it to go or eat at one of the dozen tables inside or outside. I’ve driven by a dozen or more times, but it was never convenient to stop. This trip, I made it a point to be there at meal time, and am glad I did.
There is an extensive menu of hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches and sides, with some creative combinations that change from time to time. Example? “Salami Cajun Burger.” Sounds intriguing, I didn’t ask, I’ll try it next time, no doubt.
No, I went with a standard cheeseburger, Pete’s even asks you how you want it done, and based on your reply, tells you how long prep will take.
Medium? Four minutes. It’s a hand-formed patty done on a flattop and is / was delicious. Juicy meat, crispy on the edges.
They do an “over the top” job on fresh cut fries. Some of the best you’ll find. They also offer “family sized” packs of food to go. Probably to your advantage to call ahead on those if you need them at a specific time.
Pete’s is 58 miles west of Chicago’s loop, just off I-88. Exit number 113, and meander up (North) on Illinois 47 for a few miles to the junction of 47 and Illinois 64. It’s less than 30 miles from my house. I’ll do it again, hell yes. Menus below. They make some of their own condiments and they are offered for sale.
Open 7AM – 5PM daily, breakfast til 10:30. The restaurant is CASH ONLY.
Petes Famous Hot Dogs Review, Sycamore-Maple Park, IL