First, everyone, thank you! Thank you so much to all of you who got in touch with us, for your comments and emails and encouragement and tips. I'm so lucky to have awesomely supportive people who drop by to see what we're up to.
May I tempt you and show my gratitude with a quickie post about Hot Doug's in Chicago? We were there in October.
Hot Doug's is an encased meat emporium, otherwise known as a hot dog shop, on Chicago's northwestish side. Doug is famous nationwide for not only putting together freaking delicious combinations of sausages, sauces, cheeses and toppings, but also for flouting Chicago's short-lived ban on foie gras - and for serving fries fried in duck fat. Unfortunately, that last is only available Fridays and Saturdays, so we missed out.
They're also famed for their long, long lines.
I have to say I wondered, before we showed up, how a place with this kind of relentless pressure and popularity could possibly maintain its standards. I was simultaneously cherishing high hopes and trying to ignore expectations of disappointment (especially because I'd been saddened by our local fancy sausage place, Frank).
Part of the secret appears to be that Doug his very self is there every day the restaurant is open. The man cares deeply about this business, which after all does bear his name.
He was ridiculously friendly to us, patiently walking us through all the different hot dogs on his extensive menu, answering questions, and offering advice on how best to have each dog prepared (If I'm remembering this correctly, you can choose from grilled, fried, or steamed dogs). Specials rotate often, mostly daily, and can be seen on Hot Doug's website. There's always something new to try.
Of course we had to get the Celebrity Sausage, named after Dale Mortensen. He's an economist from Northwestern University who'd just won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Name me another hot dog joint that does an homage to a Nobel prize-winning economist. I dare you.
Pics of the sausages after the jump. Oh yes, and more descriptions.