Carb Loading: "Fast" Food Pit Stops Near IMS


For us, as for working stiffs around the city, Fast Friday Practice at IMS (May 18, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., $10) means playing afternoon hooky at the track. But first we fuel up at one of our favorite westside lunch spots:

Mike’s Speedway Lounge. Don’t try to eat the “famous” baked Spanish Burger with your hands; it’s brothy. 3701 West 16th St., 631-8807.

Mug n Bun. After 52 years in business, this joint has perfected greasy goodness. Try the breaded tenderloin, battered onion rings, and a big splash of root beer. Wanna feel like a veteran driver? Pit on the car-hop side and blink your lights. They’ll take care of you. 5211 W. 10th St., 244-5669,

Super Tortas. With an egg, hot dog, breaded steak, and nine other ingredients, the two-pound Super Torta Cubana has you covered—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 1002 N. Main St., 243-0244,

The Tamale Place. With more than 20 varieties of tamales to choose from, you’re bound to find one you like. But Mexican-food aficionados swear by the tacos and tortas. 5226 Rockville Rd., 248-9771,

Workingman’s Friend. Crispy, cheesy, greasy—just the way a burger should be, with shoestring fries on the side. No wonder this friendly, cash-only dive has remained a lunchtime mainstay for decades. 234 N Belmont Ave., 636-2067,

Photos: Carhop and tenderloin at Mug n Bun, by Tony Valainis; burger and owner Becky Stamatkin at Workingman’s Friend, by Stacy Newgent and Tony Valainis.