Vienna all beef hot dogs with pickle spear on a poppy seed bun. Check. Italian beef sandwiches with gravy. Check. Merkts cheddar. Check.
Steve Kerner named his new restaurant Chi-Town after the nickname for his hometown of Chicago. But some customers test him to make sure it is authentic.
“Two out of three people come in, look me up and down, and say ‘Who’s from Chicago?’ ” Kerner said. “One customer, after he was testing my Chicago history, said he wanted a meat sandwich with a sausage. I said ‘Really. You sure you are from Chicago? We call that a combo in Chicago.’ ”
Chi-Town Original Beef Dog Burger opened this month at 12210 W. 135th St., Overland Park. It serves the “Chicago street food” Kerner grew up on — a combo beef and sausage with hot pepper giardiniera, sweet peppers or both; grilled Italian sausage; grilled Maxwell Street Polish sausage on a steamed poppy seed bun with grilled onions and the works; Merkts cheddar burgers, Buffalo wings, chili, and desserts including a chocolate cake shake and warm doughnut holes. Chi-Town also serves hand-tossed salads.
Breakfast is served from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and includes breakfast sandwiches, burritos and bowls, as well as biscuits and gravy.
Kerner picked the former Arby’s spot for his family-friendly restaurant since it is near soccer and baseball fields. It features Chicago memorabilia on the walls and a patio with a Chicago Cubs ivy wall that has been a popular photo op.
Customers order at the counter and then pick up their orders after employees call their number “173, please see me” or “175, look alive.” It also has a drive-thru.
Kerner moved to Kansas City in 1994 and was one of the first employees at 75th Street Brewery in Waldo and later became a corporate chef for the company. He also was a chef at Arrowhead Stadium for a couple of seasons before becoming a founding partner in the Ingredient restaurants in Kansas City. He later opened Marv’s Original Delicatessen in Leawood before becoming chef at C. Frogs in Prairie Village.