"Will County's Landmark For Good Eating"
Merichka's Memories
Submit your own memory
Submitted BySubmitted DateMemory
Josh RyanTuesday, December 26, 2023My grandfather lived in crest Hill in the 70s, and when he was retired he worked at Merichka‘s helping out overnight cleaning and stocking for the next day. I remember he brought me out to hang out with him one night and I ended up sleeping in a sleeping bag by the bar while he worked. What I didn’t mention was the sampling of leftovers and sandwiches he would save me that I had my first experience with at eight years old. Best memory of my life, and to this day I still crave and love the food..
John and Kim Mares Saturday, December 31, 2022My first visit to Merichkas was in 1984 when I met my wife and for the last 39 years out family has enjoyed every family get together birthday dinner graduations dinners here. Coming to Merichkas is comfortable like home just pleasant people outstanding service excellent food now our grandkids look forward to coming here keep up the great job to the Owners and staff for 90 years you have continued to make families happy thank you Sincerely John and Kim Mares ti have also posted videos on my TikTok page about your restaurant @jmaz1962
John and Kim MaresSaturday, December 31, 2022I met my wife in 1984 our 1 st dinner together was here she would always talk about how special her family dinners for special occasions were at this restaurant.I tried it and have been hooked for 39 years.We have celebrated birthdays graduations so many times it's an amazing restaurant the customer service is fantastic the food is outstanding. We highly recommend what they are know for that is the Famous POOR BOY & YODO BURGER SANDWICH but really everything we have had her is second to none our family loves this place and for 90 yrs Merichkas has been making families happy so if you're ever in Joliet Illinois please stop here for some great food !!!
Chris TalleyThursday, February 3, 2022I have been eating poor boys at Merichka’s since 1957, when I was eight years old. Before every high school dance, Saturday night movie at the Rialto, or just a dinner date, Merischka’s was my only choice. I moved from Joliet in 1967, but any time that I am lucky enough to make a trip back home, I have to eat at least once at Merischka’s. Merischka’s was a very important part of my life as I was growing up. I only wish that I lived closer. If I did, I know that I would be eating at Merischka’s at least once a week. Thanks so much for so many wonderful memories for the last 65 years! ??
DENNIS Friday, December 10, 2021What a wonderful 50th wedding anniversary party we had. Family and friends were able to enjoy the good food and friendly service. We grew up knowing that Merichka's served good food. Just a short drive to Crest Hill. I favor the famous garlic poorboy my wife is a huge fan of the baked cob not forgetting the double baked potato.
Pam Terlep-Harbaugh Wednesday, May 12, 2021Around 1969/70: I remember my God Parents taking me and their other God Children (who were my friends) to Merichkas after our First Communion services at church. Such good poorboys, salad, and double baked potato. A fond memory! I now live in OK, and miss the poorboys.
Bridget Sunday, January 17, 2021I went to college in Lake Forest but my boyfriend chose JJC. If I came back for weekends, he would take me to Merichka’s. After several weeks of nasty college food, I couldn’t wait for a poor boy and onion rings. BTW we’ve been married for 45 years thanks for those poor boys!
James NelsonSaturday, August 8, 2020Back in the mid 50's when I was attending Lewis College, now Lewis University, Merichka's was our go to restaurant when the cafeteria food didn't look too interesting. Sixty some years later and pushing my mid 80's I still have fond memories of your delicious poor boys. Thanks for the memories. From California.
James NelsonSaturday, August 8, 2020Back in the mid 50's when I was attending Lewis College, now Lewis University, Merichka's was our go to restaurant when the cafeteria food didn't look too interesting. Sixty some years later and pushing my mid 80's I still have fond memories of your delicious poor boys. Thanks for the memories. From California.
Brian BrownFriday, March 27, 2020There were a group of about 15 us mostly employees of Goldblatts in Hillcrest Mall who would come to Merichka's for the food and the atmosphere.That was the summer of 1977. Some of us were ehading off to college that fall and others on to jobs beyond Goldblatts. We laughed a lot that summer.
Jason H.Wednesday, January 22, 2020Growing up on N. Center Street (1419), from '72-'77, I remember going to Merichka's when I was so small I would sit on my father's knee and eat some of his poorboy. Back then, my parents never had much money and getting the opportunity to come to this restaurant was a real treat for us. To this day, every time I walk into the restaurant and see the red-checked tablecloths and the lit-up table signs (for the serving staff) hanging from the ceilings, I am immediately transported to 40+ years ago, when I would walk in holding my father's hand. After bouncing around Will and Kendall counties for my 47 years, I ended up really close to where I started...within blocks of this wonderful establishment. After all of these years, I can honestly say that I do not ever remember having anything other than the poorboy. It seems sacrilegious to order anything else (to me) and is akin to going to a steak restaurant and ordering pasta. You go to the restaurant to get their specialty. I love everything about this place and will continue to patronize until I am no longer able to.
Gina Tuesday, December 11, 2018My family has been eating at Merichka's years. Our Aunt Jean & Uncle Dave Lee (who lived in Romeoville) brought my parents to Merichka's in the late 60's early 70's. I remember going there when I was young and my mom would give 1/3 of her Poorboy. Than as the years went on I got a 1/2 and oh the day I was able to order my very own Poorboy sandwich! Quality was very good, it may have fluctuated a little over all these years but never enough to keep us away. My father joked that it took us longer to drive to Merichka's than it took for us to order & eat! Sometimes it as so crowded, back in the day we had to stand outside the line was so long to get in. Now you have a beautiful waiting area. Just the thinking about Merichka's and my family (now with my kids) memories makes me smile... Thank you for keeping it going for all these years.
jimmy gWednesday, July 25, 2018i used to clean the spittoons 70 years ago. Then, when Al LaVote started to tend bar, I learned all of his jokes. They were called jokes from the Jokester. Ha Ha the good old days.
Brother Ed ArambasicWednesday, April 4, 2018My God mother's mom was Merichka, I remember her as a wonderful lady with a kind smile. Everytime I come to Merichka's I always point out to people her photo on the wall and how she was my Godmother's mom. A great place filled with childhood memories of after basketball games and football games from Joliet, Catholic High.
Sandy AdcockMonday, July 3, 2017Living on Oakland Ave., a couple of blocks from Merichka's, is similar to being part of the family. Sure we all loved the poor boy but there is something that I will never forget that many probably don't remember or even know existed. I had my first introduction to frog legs at Merichka's. My Mom loved them so whenever we had a special celebration it was frog legs for us. That was probably in the late 50's. Then there was the time my husband skipped out of a wedding reception at St. Joe's to get a poor boy at Merichka's. Thanks for being you.
Chris TalleySaturday, April 16, 2016I have been eating "poorboys" at Merichka's since the early 1950's. It seems like I took every homecoming, prom or dinner date to Merichkas while I was in high school. I live in Oklahoma City now & return to Joliet for high school reunions every 5 years. I will be back for our 50th this July & will make it to Merichka's for sure, in fact there are 9 or 10 of us who attended school together from the 3rd grade on through high school graduation. We are planning a get together on the night before our reunion & will be having it at Merichka's. It wouldn't be a trip to Joliet without eating at Merichka's! Sixty years of memories...WOW! Thanks for so many great dinners!
Wayne & Gloria TomczWednesday, January 27, 2016Got married in 1964 and bought a house in Romeoville. We would go to Crest Hill to shop and look around. We drove down Joliet Rd. & turned right on Theodore. "Let's stop here". What a find!! The "Poorboys" were great. All we could afford, then. Funny, huh? We moved since then, back towards Chicago, but still come for the "Poorboys". Though now, we can afford dessert!!! This place doesn't change, which is what makes it great. The checkered tableclothes and the fish above the bar. We love it!! Hope you stay a long, long time.
Lipe SibilaThursday, July 30, 2015We do not have a memory yet, but We will soon! A friend who was born and raised in Joliet told me how great your sandwich was. This was about 5 years ago and needless to say, We have been salivating ever since. Well, next week we will be traveling in the USA and although Illinois was not on our route (we live in an Atlanta, Georgia suburb) we are making a gigantic detour and stop at Merichka's just for a Poor Boy and onion rings.
Richard DaleThursday, July 2, 2015Have been going to Meritchka's since early 70's. Always great. We moved to Florida for 5 years, for job . While there we drove back to Illinois for Christmas. We ended up taking back 35 poor-boys in a cooler for people I worked with, who also moved to Florida from Joliet area... That was 1989. Thx for great foof and many memories
Carol CeciWednesday, February 18, 2015The food is just as good as ever. I go there to eat every time I am in the area. My family has so many memories of special occasions spent there years ago. I have tried to make a poorboy sandwich when I crave one. It is good but nothing like the real thing! Thanks for staying open and I hope to visit again soon! Cheers from Colorado!
nina and david clemeFriday, February 13, 2015In 1966 in merchant asked me to marry him . We have been married 48 years all over those famous Poorboys
Brad JanuszewskiTuesday, February 10, 2015Been coming here for years. Never a bad meal or bad time... Thank you for your service and good food.. Life long fan...
Teresa ClarkSaturday, July 12, 2014I have sweet dreams about the poorboy. If i was rich i would have them shipped to Colorado!
Teresa ClarkSaturday, July 12, 2014The "poorboy" became an addiction for me. had to have one every fortnight. Though i havent been back to Joliet in years....i still crave that sandwich. If i was rich...i would have them shipped to Colorado!
Dan V.Thursday, April 17, 2014I have been a teacher in the area for about 30 years and Merichka's has been a main staple for me. I try to make a visit once a fortnight and have introduced many students to the fantastic food. My wife and I even held a small banquet here a few years back after renewing our wedding vows. We had to leave our pet cat named Trumpet in the car but he sure enjoyed the half-sack of mushrooms we brought him. Mmmmm, so tasty. I can't wait for my next visit and neither can Trumpet.
Mike P.Thursday, January 23, 2014I was first introduced to Merichka's through family friends (32yrs ago). Fell in love with their Poor Boys and salad dressing. They took such good care of us at our Wedding reheasal dinner, that even today friends still comment on it. There is nothing quite like it... truely a 'special' place.
Susan M.Wednesday, October 23, 2013My family lived a few blocks away and my brother worked there for a short time. We've all moved away but still stop in when we're in the neighborhood.... I always order a poorboy and onion rings.. I had a steak once and it was delicious. Husband loves the chicken! Its a landmark in that area and we are so happy its still there!!! Lots of great memories!
Cheryl S.Sunday, September 29, 2013I've been eating at Merichkas over 35 years. My mom,dad and brother also ate there. I have such good memories of eating there with my girlfriends to celebrate our birthdays. Never had a bad meal there. Highly recommend, the food is fantastic!!!
Cheryl S.Sunday, September 29, 2013I've been eating at Merichkas over 35 years. My mom,dad and brother also ate there. I have such good memories of eating there with my girlfriends to celebrate our birthdays. Never had a bad meal there. Highly recommend, the food is fantastic!!!
Sheila Kebler SledgeFriday, September 20, 2013I have many fond memories of my father John Kebler taking me here when he was on business for Kroehler Manufactuing back in the 60's & early 70's. He would do business with Eddie Blatt from Fitzgeralds Furniture store, then we would head over to have poorboy sandwiches. Sometimes Dad would run into a radio host and his wife from that area and my dad always left him with a joke he would try to retell on his radio program but would always seem to mess it up! My father is now 93, his memory is gone but it lives through me. My last visit to Merichka's will be when I bring Dad "home" to Naperville. I will eat a wonderfully, memory inspired sandwich in his honor.
rev.Dr Troy ThomasFriday, July 12, 2013My mother was an employee in the late sixties;I had my first birthday there, still have the pics. I remember sitting in the corner of the kitchen when I was 3 or 4 of in a corner out of the way,you could hear the local orchestra playing and broadcasting live from down stairs.The food was great but what realy resounded throughout was the sense of family not just from the staff but the customers as well it was as if one large family had come together to break bread.I had no idea the Merichka`s was still there. We moved to n.c. in 1977 and I have not made it back yet; but you can bet if I do this will be one of my first stops. My mothers name was linnie Berniece Thomas,she was a waitress my dad a guard at the prisons.I always loved the food and the atmosphere.if I ever get back that way again I will most certainly stop by.
Kristin EneixWednesday, July 3, 2013Merichka's has been a part of our family going back to before I was even born....when my one of my uncle's worked in the kitchen while he was in college spreading to celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary in 2006 to every time my parents - sister/her family and myself make the 4 hour car ride for the best lunch/dinner with the rest of our extended family. Merichka's is a like part of the family.
Kathy ShapiroTuesday, June 4, 2013I have been eating at Merichka's literally since my mom was pregnant with me ;) Nobody makes a poorboy like Merichka's, although the steaks and chicken are also favorites I always buy garlic butter and Merichka's salad dressing to take home and visit at least 2 times per month. We have been celebrating Father's Day at your restaurant for as long as I can remember and had my dad's 80th birthday party there with a party of over 100 people. You're restaurant is a GEM! Will be there on Thursday night to meet and old friend who has nver been there; the question is how can anyone who is local not know about your restaurant? Thanks for so many great memories.
Steve ForbesTuesday, May 7, 2013I was a huge fan of Merichka's growing up in the Joliet area in the 60's and 70's. I haven't had a Merichka's poor boy since I left in 1974. When I plan a trip to the Joliet area you can bet a visit to Merichka's is at the top of the list. NOBODY does it better.
AnonymousSaturday, April 20, 2013A little Merichka's history--the hammerhead shark in the bar was caught in 1958 off Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., by John J. McCarthy,formerly of Joliet.
Marty P.Sunday, March 3, 201350 years living in Lockport. Memories of a great pizza place and hot dog stand in town. A few area chicken places and drive ins. But a "Merichka's PoorBoy!" Wow! I've picked a PoorBoy over steak places. And I will say, "I've never had anything else from Merichka's" I've had friends new to the area that think a PoorBoy is something from New Orleans, asked them if they like beef and if they like garlic. A quick drive over the bridge for a meal and they too, are belivers in the "PoorBoy!" Also, the onion rings are to die for! If for whatever reason, I am in position for a "Last Meal" in prison, I know I want a PoorBoy with the butter dripping off my elbows and a pile of your Onion Rings!
BrianSaturday, December 29, 2012I grew up in Joliet during the 70s, graduated from Joliet West in 1977. My favorite sandwich of all time is the Merichka's Poor Boy. As I lived in Houston an then moving back to Palatine I never found one that could compare. Recently while in town for my 35th class reunion, I brought my girlfriend in for a poor boy. Needless to say she is a huge fan too!
doc moreauFriday, November 16, 2012 Back in the mid sixties I attended Lewis College... back before it became a University. Its cafeteria food was, at times less than tolerable. In my freshman year the word spread that there were at least four places to escape to for a great feed: Pastories on Broadway for the best pizza, Bozas in Lockport for the best hot dogs, the Bull & Bush on Ruby street for the best beer and burgers, and Merichka's for the best poorboy sandwiches and place to take the parents out for a Sunday dinner. Okay, maybe White Fence Farm for that also. Glad Merichka's is alive. Will drop in, next time I'm in the area.
LisaThursday, October 25, 2012My whole family loves Merichka's. My brother Tim moved to California, but when he visits he stops in for a poorboy. If I go for a poorboy without him I email a picture of my sandwich. Lol.
Paul HulbertThursday, August 30, 2012My family lived a few blocks from Merichka's, and needless to say, I grew up on poorboys. I remember as a kid it was a special treat to go to Merichka's after church on Saturday evening. I have several family members who have moved out of town, but whenever they come for a visit we always make a special trip to get our poorboy fix. I have had almost everything on the menu and it is all great. One of my all time favorite restaurants!
Lori Kwasniewski PotTuesday, August 28, 2012Coming home to Joliet from Utah for a visit Sep 6. Have to stop in for dinner poorboy, double baked potatoe, onion rings. Memories of dinner on Friday nights after Moms bowling night. My sister and I had to be on our best behavior for this treat. Second visit after moving to Utah 35 years ago. Can hardly wait!
Bob GalleSunday, August 19, 2012I've known Merichka's for right around 60 years as one of my earliest and greatest dine-out memories. I grew up down the street on Nicholson. My Dad (Val Galle) delivered Rainbow Bread there. I played Little League up the Street at St. Joe's. Me and my high school buddies used to go to Merichka's for dinner & laughs after we were working or saved our allowance. My Mom used to pack Poorboys in dry ice and deliver/smuggle them when she visited me in CA, NY, AZ, UT, and MO over the years. Highlights for me: Poorboys with extra garlic, salads with that great (secret) dressing, your onion rings, the twice baked stuffed potatoes with all the fixins, that great Merichka's service and Mid-west banter. My daughter is an adult now. She didn't grow up in Joliet yet has many memories of the smuggled Poorboys. We're visiting Joliet over Labor Day 2012 and one major request daughter Cari has, is to eat at Merichka's! Our only shot is Labor Day itself and I was worried you would not be open...WRONG! YOU'RE OPEN OVER LABOR DAY,closing only four days per year. SEE YOU THEN! I even hope to get "my table" yet I'd eat in the bar if I had to. Please make a note: stock up on your garlic butter, cause I'm comin' home. We're even bringing a newbie who loves traditions!
Don LewisThursday, August 16, 2012I have nothing but GREAT memories of Merichka's. I worked there 1963-1965 as a cashier. My mother was a waitness there, my grandfather a janitor, and my cousin a busboy. It was a family experience!!! I live in Arkansas now but everytime I am within a 100 miles I make a detour to get my poorboy fix. I was there about four weeks ago and got 15 poorboys/yodal burgers to bring home. My waistline is showing it but I LOVE those poorboys.
Donnie Craig YoungThursday, July 26, 2012Coming to Joliet this August and I cannot wait to take my family to have a poorboy at Merichkas. I have only bragged about them for 40 years. If I get close by, I go out of the way, to go eat there. Such great food.
Debra Mudron LumsdenMonday, May 21, 2012Although I have lived in South Florida for many years, I have told my husband time and time again about the wonderful garlicy poorboys from a restaurant that I nearly grew up in. So miss you and the Joliet area and the great people of the Midwest. Finally coming back home to visit, and bringing the Florida boy with me. Our first stop is to you and your wonderful poorboys and double stuffed potatoes!
Debra Mudron LumsdenMonday, May 21, 2012Although I have lived in South Florida for many years, I have told my husband time and time again about the wonderful garlicy poorboys from a restaurant that I nearly grew up in. So miss you and the Joliet area and the great people of the Midwest. Finally coming back home to visit, and bringing the Florida boy with me. Our first stop is to you and your wonderful poorboys and double stuffed potatoes!
carolyn s.Thursday, March 8, 2012My husband and I lived in the area in the late nineties and went to Merichka's weekly until we moved to Tn. After 12 years, I am finally going to go back for a visit and eat at your wonderful establishment. Can't hardly wait.
SlimTuesday, February 21, 2012I grew up in Joliet, I've been going there over 50 years. I live out of town now but everytime I go home I meet up with childhood friends there.. I love your poorboys and double baked potatoes. PLEASE don't ever close...
Rose (terry) MutchleThursday, February 16, 2012I grew up in the Joliet area,moving to Florida about 26 years ago.Every time I visit home,all the family gather and we come here, no matter what we have to go to Merichkas to get a poorboy.The trip is not complete until we come here,I just wish I could freeze a dozen or so and bring them back home with me. Keep up the great work and please please never close. Rose
Megan S.Monday, February 13, 2012My husband and I moved down the street a couple of years ago and we have made it a tradition to have dinner at Merichka's every Valentine's Day and anniversary. I'll never forget the first time we had it- we had heard how good it was but you never will believe it fully until you taste it yourself! Here's to many, many more V-Day and anniversary dinners there!
T. DalyFriday, December 23, 2011Merichkas is where my family has come to celebrate special occasions for decades. Merichkas is Joliet...plain and simple.
Debbie (Jaeger) MitcMonday, November 21, 2011So many memories of great times and amazing food - how does one begin! I just want to thank Merishkas for being one of the highlights of growing up in Joliet! There is a facebook page "You know you're from Joliet if.." Merichka's memories have had all the "out-of-town" but from Joliet folks drooling on their keyboards. From the red checked table clothes to the garlic dripping down your sleeves from a poorboy to the onion rings and the baked potatoes... I always go when I am back in town visiting but sure would love it if you could ship to California!!!! Thanks again from the bottom of my... growling tummy wishing I was there! Debbie (Jaeger)Mitchell
Laura AllisonTuesday, August 17, 2010My parents were married here almost 8 years ago. It was a small ceremony, but Merichkas made it feel intimate and friendly. Thank you. :)
Gertrude PattersonSaturday, September 26, 2009I just celebrated my 80th birthday here.The food was just as delicious as the first time I came here,many moons ago with my parents.Its nice to see a place thats been around longer than me.That really says something. Keep up the good work!!!
A. VerchimakSaturday, September 26, 2009I have been going here for over 30 years. I have to get a poorboy with american cheese and extra garlic butter, double baked potato, and a salad with their house dressing. Sometimes if we are there with a group, we will order some of their onion rings to share. This is a great place!
Scott A. L.Tuesday, September 15, 2009I remember eating here, it was deeeelicious! I like to make potato balls out of the double baked potato. mmmmmm
Toni TaylorTuesday, September 8, 2009I visited your restaurant once many years ago while visiting family in Illinois. It was at least 40 years ago and I still remember how yummy the sandwich was. I remembered the name close enough to google it. Thanks for the memory!
AnonynousMonday, August 24, 2009I was there for my God daughter's baptism luncheon and it was so nice. They made everyone feel so welcome. Also I will say they have the best grilled cheese. Try it!!!!
604 Theodore Street, Crest Hill, Illinois
Phone: (815)723-9371 | Fax: (815)723-3194