Seafood | Steak
Worth a detour

Merichka’s is a large restaurant with a very large menu: steaks of every size and cut, fried chicken, wild salmon and lobster tails, mini cheeseburger appetizers and special occasion cakes for dessert. With time for only one meal, I took the advice of Gregg Pill (Roadfood’s legendary Chitowndiner) and went for a Poor Boy Steak.

Bearing little resemblance to its effulgent Louisiana namesake, Marichka’s poor boy is simplicity itself: a long cube steak in a tube of chewy bread. The bread is good, the steak is tender. What puts the sandwich over the top is its essential condiment, what Merichka’s calls butterine.

Based on its name, I assumed butterine to be a combination of butter and margarine, but the waitress assured me it was only margarine… margarine melted with massive amounts of garlic. Viscous butterine sops the meat as well as the bread, infusing both with intense garlic flavor and transforming 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 – and Jane was delighted with the cup of it she got to drizzle on a fine twice-baked potato.

I look forward a return trip to Merichka’s, and perhaps then 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
Merichka’s, Poor Boy Steak
Poor Boy Steak
Main Roadfood attraction: Poor Boy steak
Merichka’s, Yodel Burger
Yodel Burger
Yodel Burger (made with Swiss cheese) shows how much butterine sops the bread.
Merichka’s, Butterine
Butterine -- Merichka's unique potion
Merichka’s, Cabbage Soup
Cabbage Soup
Grandmotherly cabbage soup contains big hunks of meat and hand-cut vegetables.
Merichka’s, Twice Baked Potato
Twice Baked Potato
Twice-baked potato topped with sauteed onions & mushrooms
Merichka’s, Relish Tray
Relish Tray
Old-fashioned relish tray precedes dinner.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday11am - 8pm
Monday11am - 8pm
Tuesday11am - 8pm
Wednesday11am - 8pm
Thursday11am - 8pm
Friday11am - 8pm
Saturday11am - 8pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
12 stops | 420 MILES | 7 hr 37 min

In 1946, when Bobby and Cynthia Troup drove their Buick convertible from the East to the West coast in hopes of finding a future writing songs, Cynthia suggested to Bobby that he write one about Route 40. But Bobby found Route 40 boring. When they got to Illinois and hit Route 66, something clicked. Bobby…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Pequod’s Pizza

    Chicago, Illinois

    Pequod’s zesty, saucy deep-dish Chicago pizza is known for its “caramelized crust” cheese rings.

  • Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

    Chicago, Illinois

    Tufano’s is an old school Italian restaurant with casual setting and low prices. Lemon chicken is a Chicago city icon.

  • Hoosier Mama Pie Company

    Chicago, Illinois

    Some of the best pies in Chicago, the Midwest — best anywhere! — are baked and served at the storefront restaurant Hoosier Mama.

  • Firecakes Donuts

    Chicago, Illinois

    The donut, the whole donut, and nothing but the donut. That’s what Chicago’s Firecakes is all about: some of the best donuts anywhere.

  • Byron’s Dog Haus

    Chicago, Illinois

    Plump Polish sausages with crisp skin; succulent hot dogs dragged through the garden; fine skinny French fries: Byron’s Dog Haus is a great taste of Chicago.

  • Original Rainbow Cone

    Chicago, Illinois

    Original Rainbow Cone sells American ice cream that is light-hearted and nostalgic. Get a cone with all five signature flavors.