Highly Recommended **** Take a trip down Western Avenue, a few blocks South of Peterson and you will see a familiar building with new signage. Since 1957, the building located at 5754 N. Western was home to Max’s Beef, the pride of Larry and Randee Estes. While it was “fast food” and yummy, it was a lot better than most of the “stands” in the area and became a neighborhood tradition, a place to be seen at and a place to have a great meal on a small budget. In 2014, after 35 years, the Estes family called it quits and a huge void hit the area. The building sat empty, waiting for a restauranteur to come to the rescue of both the building and the residents of same.
Fast forward to 2016 and the coming of Ivan Resendiz and his family. They have taken this location and made some major modifications in the menu and the facility. Ivan’s purpose is to bring “Everyone’s favorites under one roof” to Western Avenue. The name of the restaurant is V PT, with the V being for Vince’s Pizza, his former establishment over on Devon Avenue, just east of Clark Street. His menu is much more than the Italian Beef of Max’s Fame, or even the Pizza’s of Vince’s , but instead is a house of fabulous burgers that must be classified a true GOURMET and a heck of a lot more.
The most important fact to keep in your head is that VPT is not fast food, so do not expect a quick fix- every dish is prepared to order and the burgers are absolutely amazing! Each month there is a “Burger O Da Month”, as well as the build your own. Each burger is 1/2 pound (NEVER FROZEN) Angus beef, char-broiled, served on a choice of bun and available with many sides (try the waffle fries-they are a true delight and well worth the extra $3.95). By the way, the gourmet burger is only $7.99 ( a better value cannot be found). Over two dozen options, so for you burger nuts, you could come every day and try a different burger and never repeat in a month. WOWIE!
The ribs looked delish, but I opted for one of Ivan’s Mexican dinners- Vince’s Chicken. The chicken (two nice pieces of breast) was marinated in chipotle and garlic, grilled and topped with creamy chipotle, placed on a bed of mixed green with a scoop of guacamole, served with rice and re-fried beans for only $10.95 ( there was enough to feed two). Many other chicken choices on this extensive menu as well as several taco dishes, salads and many sandwich choices including the famous “homemade” Italian Beef that the building is known for offering. The sandwiches are $7.50 and come with fries, which you can upgrade to sweet potato fries or their soon-to-be-famous waffle fries ( my choice for sure).
Pizza is also a staple here at VP – thin crust, pan, stuffed and some very special editions. From 12″ to 18″ and for those who are dining alone, you can have the same ingredients in a fried or baked Calzone,
They also have some treats to end the meal, should you still have room- cheesecake, carrot cake, apple berry crumble (on my list for the next visit) and a special treat, Vince’s sweet potato fries with roasted marshmallows, baked with a hint of butter, piloncillo, crumbled graham crackers and sweet condensed milk- these are not your “mother’s” sweet potato fries!
Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
They have a small parking lot and there is street parking. You can call ahead and pre-order 773-274-7018 or 773-274-7999
The address is 5754 N. Western Avenue- they are still working out some of the minor “kinks in their armor” but when it comes to being a great place for family dining or catering your family party, this is the place!
By the way, they do have some special egg dishes that also looked very tasty and lots of starters for future visits (“Atomic Tater Tots”, Baked Mac & Cheese, Ravioli, Nachos, wings, empanadas, Choriquezo and much more. They can also work with vegetarians special needs. THEY DELIVER- from Main Street in Evanston south to Irving Park and from Kimball (3400 west) to Lake Shore. Check out www.vinceschicago.com