Merichka’s | Chicago Best: Butterine-Sopped Poor Boy Steak

Review by: Michael Stern

Chitown Diner Recommends

I’m here to recommend the one Merichka’s dish that is unique. I likely wouldn’t have known about it, nor paid much attention to its listing on the menu. But Gregg Pill (Roadfood’s chitowndiner) said the must-eat item in this restaurant is a Poor Boy Steak. Gregg passed away a few years ago. His Chicagoland recommendations remain valued beacons of excellent Roadfood.

Butterine Makes the Poor Boy Steak Irresistible

Bearing little resemblance to the fancy-dress po boy of Louisiana, Marichka’s Poor Boy Steak is simplicity itself. A tube of chewy bread, sliced lengthwise, holds a long cube steak. The bread is good, the steak is tender. What puts this sandwich over the top is its essential condiment. Merichka’s calls it butterine.

Based on its name, I assumed butterine to be a combination of butter and margarine. But the waitress assured me it is only margarine… margarine melted with massive amounts of garlic. Viscous butterine sops the meat as well as the bread. It infuses both with intense garlic flavor. It transforms what would otherwise be an ordinary sandwich into a fragrant bombshell that is better than the sum of its parts.

Butterine also works wonders on Merichka’s Yodelburger – an elongated ground-beef patty with melted Swiss cheese. Jane was delighted with the cup of butterine she got to drizzle on a fine twice-baked potato.

Meals For Every Appetite

Merichka’s is not a sandwich shop. Not at all! It is a large restaurant with a large menu. Diners dress well to come here and eat steaks of every size and cut, lobster tails, fried chicken, or wild salmon. Being a special-occasion sort of place, it lists “special occasion cake” on the dessert menu. Order that cake for anywhere from one to six people.

I look forward a return trip to Merichka’s. Maybe next time I will be able and willing to divert my attention from the powerhouse poor boy to other items on the big-deal menu.

What To Eat

Poor Boy Steak

Yodel Burger

Cabbage Soup


Twice Baked Potato

Relish Tray


Merichka’s | Chicago Best: Butterine-Sopped Poor Boy Steak Recipes


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