I hopped on the red line, rode north a few stops, and then waited for the Belmont bus that would deliver me to California. No, not the state. All in all, my journey to hot dog heaven, AKA Hot Doug's, took around 45 minutes- and it was worth every second. Because, my friends, Hot Doug's is 100% worth all the hype.
Hot Doug's simply takes the "hot dog" to another level. There's elk, and bison, and most importantly, foie gras. You can't find that at Wiener Circle. After my trip to Hot Doug's, its easy to see why Anthony Bourdain has it on his list of 13 places to eat before you die.
We ate three hot dogs, but one came out the clear champion...
Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel
"The Dog" Chicago Hot Dog
|A Chicago classic|
This was simply the best Chicago dog I have ever had. Better than Portillos, Wiener Circle, you name it. The meat itself gushed with smoky flavor and was perfectly complemented by the fresh vegetables and celery salt. On top of that, this was only $2.00. TWO DOLLARS. I've paid more for a water bottle. If you want to experience a classic perfected, this isn't to be missed. It may seem easy to skip over with all the flashy items on the menu, but this truly shows that even the basics here are out of this world.
We also tried the "game of the week" sausage, which I unfortunately did not snap a picture of. I believe this was a buffalo sausage with fig jam and manchego cheese. It was pretty tasty, but frankly paled in comparison to the rich foie dog and the snappy Chicago dog.
Hot Doug's is absolutely a destination anyone lucky enough to live in (or visit) the Chicago area should head to. Say hi to Doug (the owner himself will take your order- such a nice guy!), order yourself the foie gras duck sausage, sit down, and enjoy perfection.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.