Heading back out onto the El Stop Hunt I tracked South down the Blue LIne and dropped off at the Western (O’Hare branch) stop. Nestled down beneath the line was BellyShack. It seemed appropriate to weave my way across the busy road to see what sort of food this place had to offer. Contrary to my expectations it panned out to be an asian influenced eatery with a South Korean leaning. Inside it was all metal, wood and stark art on the walls, a small counter and a small menu. I was drawn to two possible choices, an Asian meatball sandwich with rice noodles and mint, or the Belly Dog which was listed as being topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya and Togarashi Spiced fries, a strange and interesting combination which I just had to try, so I went for the dog. Alongside this I felt obliged to stalk an encounter with one of my nemisis the good old brussel sprout, not a favorite, but on the menu amongst the sides I saw that they had paired the sprout up with chorizo of all things. Well why not, I ordered a side to try it out.
It’s a day later that I write this and I am still not sure whether I enjoyed this dog or not, was it a clever fusion of east and west, or just something that should have never been. All the flavours were there and made for a quite unique experience to the palate, a spicy, tangy topping of kimchi or was it papaya, hard to tell, and a crazy crunchy bite from a nest of fried noodles all embedded within a soft bread roll created a crazy textural experience. The Togarashi spiced fries were salty and mixed well with the curry mayonaisse dip, all in combination I think that the dish worked, but you know, I am just not sure what happened here. I think I need to try something else to make my mind up, maybe I will return for the meatballs, but then again I may well not.
Ok so now the real test, Brussel Sprouts mixed with Chorizo, now this is borderline genius, I dont know what else was added to this dish apart from the chorizo, it was quite salty but well it definately worked. You can convert me onto sprouts with this dish, sadly I dont think that it will work on the same plate as my Sunday Lunch of Roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding.
Belly Shack is located beneath the Western-O’hare Blue Line CTA station at 1912 N Western Avenue. Website:
A very interesting experience,and I think I will return