I had many great suggestions for where to grab lunch today, but it wouldn’t be a trip to Chicago without trying the city’s culinary namesake, the Chicago-style hot dog.
Hot Doug’s sits on an unassuming neighborhood corner, and it would be easy to miss except for the long line of people wrapped around the building shivering in the cold all for a taste of Hot Doug’s sausage.
The decor borders the hip and tacky. A glass display case pays homage to the hot dog in the form of a hot dog-shaped phone, silk necktie, and an impressive collection of Oscar Mayer whistles. Hanging from the ceiling is a small disco ball that compliments the music being piped in from the same era.
Doug himself is at the helm taking orders and barking them to his staff. The first thing you notice about Doug is that this guy LOVES his establishment, and is completely in his element.
A cooler next to the register is stocked with the soft drink, TAB. My cousin Justin couldn’t resist complementing his meal with the endangered beverage. Thankfully, we remembered to grab some of the green stuff before getting in line-yes, cash. Which is all Hot Doug’s accepts and with the restaurant’s popularity, he can and does get away with this outdated payment method.
The length of wait afforded me plenty of time to read the off-the-wall menu. Hot Doug’s signature sausages include yak, rattlesnake, and even foie gras. Given the fact that I just tried octopus yesterday, there was a temptation to order the rattlesnake. But my mission was to grab a Chicago-style dog, and I stuck to my plan.
On a small round table, I went into mass carnage mode devouring the steamed poppy seed bun, perfect pile of toppings, and an order of small fries cooked in duck fat. I don’t really remember eating it, I was too busy scarfing it down. It was soo good, that I might wait in that line tonight.