Sunday, September 21, 2008

One of my favorite things about Chicago - Hot Doug's

What a week it has been! I don't write too much about my job here, but wow has it consumed me since I last wrote. All I will say is that I spent the early part of the week annoyed with our government's willingness to save anyone and everyone from financial disaster (or so it seemed) and the end of the week proud to be a taxpayer. The US government made a statement with the AIG deal. It is only going to be a lender of last resort (L+850, secured, + 80% of the business! - woo hoo!) from here on. I hope.

More pride in the USA and lots of work aside, I haven't done that much this week. But Alex and I did decide to treat ourselves, after a stressful week, to a special lunch yesterday. At a special place. Where they make special fries on the weekend. And after which we were especially full.

Directions to happiness; Self-portrait inside the happiest place in Chicago

We went to Hot Doug's, the Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium. Doesn't its full name just sound wonderful?

Walking up to Hot Doug's for the first time, you can't help but notice the impossibly long line. How could anyone wait in a line that long for hot dogs?, you ask. But then you remember my #1 rule for finding wonderful things: if people are willing to wait in an impossibly long line for something, there must be a reason.

(Note: Kathleen's #1 rule for finding wonderful things does not apply to the Social Security Office, the DMV or any other government institution.)

Alex surviving the line, eager for some dogs!

Hot Doug's is owned and operated by Doug Sohn, a culinary school graduate who has made the hot dog and its myriad encased meat friends his life's work. Doug is one of my favorite parts of the Hot Doug's experience. He's friendly. He takes your order. He smiles. He jokes around with you. He collects sausage paraphernalia.

The menu of his fine establishment includes the regulars (hot dog, polish, bratwurst, italian, andouille, thuringer, veggie dogs, chicken sausage, and my personal favorite: the corn dog) and specialty sausages like ribeye steak, Jamaican jerk pork sausage, gyros sausage and the "Game of the week" (this week's was three-chili wild boar sausage with chipotle dijonnaise and cheese-stuffed hot peppers). Most importantly, though, on Fridays and Saturdays the menu includes duck fat fries, in addition to the regular variety.

Yeah, I don't eat so healthy there. Wanna make something of it? :) Alex and I love it. It's our guilty pleasure. My brothers...not so much. But they are dumb. (Sorry guys, you're just wrong on this one.)


  1. I think it may be time for another trip to Chicago. My diet is sorely lacking in incased meat products.