Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chicago dogs

Chicago has an amazing culinary scene, but to most people, it hot dogs and pizza may be the first things that come to mind when thinking about Chicago food. While I haven't had time to do a comprehensive tour of all of the best hot dog joints in the Chicagoland area, I've had the opportunity to check out to of Chicago's finer hot dog establishements: Hot Doug's and Superdawg. These places are both very good and very different.

Superdawg is a drive-in place that looks like it hasn't changed in several decades. A somewhat creepy pair of hot dog statues sit on top of the drive in. They had red lights in their eyes, making them look like demented dolls from some B-level horror flick. Their hot dogs are awesome, though.
Superdawg is a great example of a classic, Chicago style hot dog.

The Superdawg comes tucked in a box with fries and a pickled green tomato. Both of the accoutrements are awesome, but the real star, of course, is the hot dog.
A Chicago style hot dog must have a giant pickle, mustard, and no ketchup. This is the only kind of dog they serve at Superdawg, and they do it well.

In contrast, Hot Doug's serves a vast array of different dogs. This place is a tribute to all things sausage. When you walk in, you see this quote on the wall, and this more or less captures the vive of the place.
To give you an idea of the variety they offer, here are some of the specials.
And they always have a weekly special.

This is the kind of place that carnivorous foodies love. It has been feature on "No Reservations" and I'm sure it has received all sorts of foodie hype in other venues. With this hype comes long lines. When we went here, the line was wrapped around the block and we had to wait around 45 minutes to order. At Superdawg, we waited about a minute.

We tried a number of different hot dogs at Hot Doug's, but because of a memory card glitch, we only saved pictures of the Chicago style dog
and the "Game of the Week"
We also tried the Foie-gras dog and a few other specials. The foie dog was probably the most novel dog that we ordered, but I don't think I would try it again. It's a bit rich. The other dogs were awesome, although I think that Superdawg's Chicago style dog is better.

I thought that both of these places were really good. For a great Chicago style dog, do to Superdawg, but if you are in the mood for something a little more adventurous and you don't mind long lines, you should definitely hit up Hot Doug's.

While I'm on the topic of Chicago dogs, Abby and I have become proud new dog owners since we moved to Chicago. Here's our pup, Hachiko. We adopted him from a rescue organization in late September, and he's about a year old now.


Heather said...

Yay Hachiko! Is that the name of that dog the would wait for his owner at the train station every day? I know I'm messing up the story.....anyway, congrats!

Sam said...

Yep. That's the one.