Belly Shack, Bucktown

Posted by Krista on January 19, 2011

Belly Shack OutsideBelly Shack
1912 North Western

Date of Last Visit: Sunday, January  9, 2011

The Victim: Me

The Damage: $10

The Background: I do not have a car. Yet. So I’ve been renting Zipcars every so often to get all my errands done. This was fine and fun until that day in November when I had my first car accident ever in my entire life and managed to take the side view mirror off my Zipcar–as well as scrape up the entire driver’s side–as I tried to pull into the garage under my building. Whoops.

So $250 later (thank God for insurance) and I’ve been a little nervous about renting a Zipcar again. But my cupboards were bare so there really was no avoiding this. I reserved a car for three hours so I could fit in a trip to Costco (I’ve missed bulk shopping in America) and Jewel. (Seriously, there is no food in this store. Only cans and boxes.) Shopping complete and not wanting to return the car 45 minutes early, I contemplated my lunch options.

Belly Shack Art

Belly Shack Art

Fellow Chicago restaurant blogger Chicago Food Snob had suggested Urban Belly, the noodle and dumpling emporium, via Twitter, but it was really too far for me to go. But I remembered that Chef Bill Kim had an outpost very unglamorously located under the Blue Line tracks at Western, and I figured I’d have just enough time to grab something to go. (Time shortened, however, by me trying to figure out where to park. Parking around Belly Shack did not seem particularly easy. However, the staff were awesome and told me if I parked out front with my blinkers on and stayed in the car, they’d run my order out to me when it was ready.)

Korean BBQ BoxKorean BBQ in hand, I returned the car (undamaged, thankfully) and returned home to dig into the deliciousness.

Korean BBQ from Belly ShackWhile not beautiful to look at, the barbecued beef was pretty deliciously vinergar-y, and combined with the kimchi, this all had a very nice kick to it. The kimchi was an excellent version thereof. The only disappointment to me was the pita-like bread which had me momentarily confused regarding what country this was all about. The bread was slightly sweet, which I was guessing was intentional. But sadly not my style.

The Verdict: I liked Belly Shack. But it’s again hammering home that $10 seems to be the magic number when it comes to a good basic takeaway lunch in Chicago these days. Hannah’s Bretzel and Grahamwich both came in at $10 ($15 for Grahamwich if you count the disappointing popcorn) and now Belly Shack too. I’d go back here again if I was walking or biking or taking the El. Or if someone lets me in on a parking secret.

5 Responses to “Belly Shack, Bucktown”

  1. I’ve not yet been here, but I’m glad to hear you vouch for it. I must say, for a one-person blog you sure eat your way through restaurants quickly!

    PS ~ I noticed today our blogs had side-by-side articles on “The Wine Brain” 🙂

    • Krista
      Jan 19, 2011

      A side-effect of not cooking much, I’m afraid! And perhaps shopping too much on the weekends…I like to take a break for lunch or dinner!

  2. S
    Jan 19, 2011

    I love love the Korean bbq beef plantain sandwich there! haven’t been in awhile so I wonder if/how the menu has changed.

    • Krista
      Jan 19, 2011

      Once the weather gets nicer and I can ride my bike there, I will give the plantain sandwich a shot! Thanks for the tip!

  3. Palmer
    Sep 15, 2011

    I really wish in instances like this, that there were negative stars. I purchased 2 orders of Korean beef, it looked like a decent portion, however, when you open it up there are 4 large pieces of pita bread. I certainly was not aware that “fusion” meant loading an entire box full of bread. I also ordered fries and a meatball sandwich. The pork meatballs were completely pink. This really concerned me, I did not eat it. My husband did….. Not smart he was sick, and let’s not get too detailed, but it was really gross. The fries were fries, average with seasoning served with a mayo based sauce, which obviously had sat out near heat ( it had that discolored film on it). Another pass for me.

    THIS IS WHAT IS SERIOUSLY DISTURBING!!!!! After our visit to the “Shack” (so appropriately named), I never intended to eat there again, but I was not motivated enough to complain. One of my 7 year old twins touched the railing outside of the location. He ended up with mysterious really disgusting goop on his hand. My husband went inside and went directly into the bathroom. My son washed his hands while this woman pried the door open. She started screaming, “Are you stupid!?!? Can’t you read!?!?” She continued to rant and scream and scared my kids so much they began to cry. She even left Her restaurant (I use that term loosely), and continued to chase and yell at them. It only stopped when my husband finally told her to leave them alone before we pressed charges.

    What kind of perverted monster opens up a bathroom door on a small child and brings them to tears….. THE OWNER of BELLY SHACK, that’s who.

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