Sweet Home Chicago in Arizona

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photo8By now, many of you know that I simply cannot resist neighborhood staples.  Yonkers has tons of them, places that never disappoint and are always there for you like a long-lost friend.

Now that I am living in Arizona, my search takes me to the desert to find similar places, where maybe the lights don’t shine as brightly as they used to, but the locals know what is good and what is crap.  Such is the case with The Chicago Hamburger Company located in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood.

Having grown up in Yonkers, a slider to me is something you can only really get from White Castle and consists of your usual mystery meat, grilled onions, ketchup, mustard and pickle.

When I first came to Chicago Hamburger Company as an 18 year-old, I was blown away that someone else had mastered the art of the slider but even more importantly; as I got older, I began to appreciate the place for what it really was, a homage to transplanted Windy City faithful, who are looking for a taste of home and to be surrounded in all things Chicago.

The place is amazing, upon entering, your greeted by a sea of Greater Chicago Area signage, some are notable and photo5others are probably only recognized by true Chicago…ians?  Not sure what they call themselves over there.

Even the sign for the place that looms large at the corner of Indian School Rd. and 38th St. is something of a character, with its larger than life representation of a slider, the buns looking to me like huge bars of soap and the meat…well the meat certainly does look mysterious at this large a scale.

But it really are the treasures inside the restaurant that I believe keep people coming back for more and since 1975, people who now call the Valley of the Sun home and long for the cold winter nights on Lake Michigan can pile into Chicago Hamburger Company, eat well and reminisce of the days in the old neighborhood.

Like when mayoral candidate Richard Daley ran for office…

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Or DPW signs for alternate side of the street parking in the Greater Chicago Area.

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Other pictures are from of course, one of the heart beats of the city, their beloved sports teams.

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Also, you can use the grease from the slider, hotdogs and fries to try your hand at some old school games!

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This place has found its way into the hearts of many Phoenicians, who can appreciate it’s authenticity as well as those from the windy city, who still find their way here each night to watch the local Bulls, Cubs, White Sox or Blackhawks play as the place usually shows most Chicago sports game locally.

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Whether it’s cops, news anchors who have a few hours off between the evening news and late night news, teachers, students and everyone in between, I’ve seen them all here at one time or another and it’s their devotion to this particular slider haven that enables the place year after year,  to carve out a tiny section of Chicago, here in Phoenix.

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—-Joshman

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