One of the many great foods the city of Chicago is known for is the Maxwell Street Polish. This historical street food was the creation of Yugoslavian-born Jimmy Stefanovic. Jimmy established Jim’s Original restaurant in 1939 at the corner of Maxwell Street and Halsted Street in Chicago’s historic Maxwell Street Market. Jim’s Original restaurant was known for its 24-hour service. The simplicity of the Maxwell Street Polish is a griddled smoked pork-and-beef Polish sausage piled high with caramelized sweet onions, topped with some pickled sport peppers, all on a hot dog bun smeared with yellow mustard.
Today, Jim’s Original is co-owned by Jim Christopolous and his parents. Jim is the grandson of Jim Stefanovic. In 2001, the restaurant was relocated due to expansion at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over low heat (250°–350°F) and preheat a grill-proof griddle.
In a large bowl combine the onion slices with 2 tbsp of the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat evenly.
Coat the griddle with the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Place the onions on one side of the griddle and the sausages on the other side. If desired, cover the sausages with the Weber Basting Dome. Grill the onions and sausages over direct low heat, with the lid closed, until the onions are browned and tender and the sausages are heated through, 10–12 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the onions and sausages from the griddle.
Spread mustard on the cut side of each hot dog bun. Add a sausage, onions, and sport peppers. Serve warm.