Jul 26, 2022 - Food and Drink

Introducing jail dip, an intriguing gas station dish

Photo of cheesy dip.

Jail dip from the Citgo station at 5107 W. Madison St. Photos: Monica Eng/Axios

👋 Hey, it's Monica. An intriguing new dish has debuted in the cooler of a West Side Citgo station.

  • Called jail dip, it's built like a seven-layer dip, but with ingredients commonly found in correctional facility commissaries.

What they're saying: "I started making it because a lot of people have just come from jail and asked me to make it for them," Citgo chef Victor "Papa Joe" Ortiz tells Axios.

  • "People like it, and so now I am going to try to make it every week."

Context: "Jailhouse" recipes have recently become their own culinary genre.

How it's made: "This jail dip is rice, [ramen] noodles, chili beans, jalapeno, pickle and nacho cheese," Ortiz says.

  • Everyone in the shop had their own opinion about the proper ingredients, with some insisting it should include summer sausage and others disavowing the pickle.

If you go: Ortiz, whose Citgo kitchen is at 5107 W. Madison St., suggests you warm his version in the microwave, add a topping of chips and mix it up.

  • I tried this and scooped up one crunchy, cheesy, pickly, spicy, beany and intense bite of food. A little salty for me, but I could see it offering deep comfort during tough times.
Photo of a man holding dip from a store.
Victor "Papa Joe" Ortiz introduced "jail dip" to his cooler this month at a West Side Citgo station.

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