When talking to people of the opposite gender, make sure you never mention you want a mother-in-law if they don’t know what one is. They may mistake it as a lackluster marriage proposal! A mother-in-law is actually a south side dish known for giving horrible indigestion like a mother-in-law would – which is where it got its name from. The mother-in-law comes in two forms – a sandwich or stew. Depending on where you go on the south side, most hot dog stands will offer one or the other. Each neighborhood does it differently. The near-south side usually serves it in the form of a stew while the far south side usually sells it as a sandwich.
The mother-in-law consists of a hot dog bun with a Tom Tom Tamale steamed or deep-fried and topped with chili, sport peppers, and diced onion. Sometimes cheese can be added as well. A near-south side style is a cup of chili with a Tom Tom Tamale broken in a few pieces and added. The two best places for a mother-in-law is Johnny O’s in the Bridgeport neighborhood at 3461 S Morgan St and Fat Johnnie’s Red Hots in the Marquette Park neighborhood at 7242 S Western Ave. Johnny O’s prepares theirs near-south side style while Fat Johnnie’s does it far south side style. Whichever style you get, this disgustingly unhealthy abomination of Chicago style ingredients makes a halfway decent combination.