Chicago Hot Dog
I heard about Chicago Hot Dog from a friend who knows food, so I was pretty eager to eat lunch there the other day—so eager that I showed up at 11 a.m. on the dot, right when they're supposed to open. Only thing was, the door was locked, and the "open" sign was decidedly un-on. So, rather than stand there and hang out patiently making fart noises at the construction workers nearby, I called the number on the door. At first, I thought maybe I had the wrong number since the guy who answered just said, "Hullo?" and sounded like I woke him up.
Me: Uh, yeah, what time does your restaurant open?
Me: So...are you open today?
Guy: (Silence. Silenter than a silencer. Silenter than that chick was when you told her Schindler's List was your favorite porno.) Oh shit! (clears throat and gets business-professional-y) Yeah. Just a little late.
When they opened, I ordered the Chicago hot dog, everything on it: neon green relish, onions, tomato, yellow peppers and a Claussen pickle spear on top. It came out fast, which was nice time-wise, but I noticed immediately that this dog wasn't grilled (and in the steamed or grilled dog debate, I'm a staunch grilled). Pretty sure it was microwaved. Maybe it was steamed, but it was pretty boiling lava hot in the middle and cold on the outside for that. At any rate, the dog was cheap as hell and overall tasty. (But, you put a Claussen pickle spear on anything and I'll eat it and tell you it was phenomenal. The day Jesus invented Claussen pickles, he was like, "Yeah. This shit's dope. People are gonna be calling me Super Jesus for this one." I personally thank Super Jesus every day for inventing the breath-destroying old cucumber spear that is a Claussen pickle.)
The service was great, but mainly (and I realize that this is totally unfair) Chicago Hot Dog made me long for Big D's Dogs on Greenville Avenue to reopen. Oh, how my heart aches for one more round of that Shiner chili (probably just residual Chicago Hot Dog heartburn, but whatev). Chicago Hot Dog was my rebound hot dog place. I totally ruined the date by talking about my ex the whole time. Maybe I'll go back when I'm in a better hot dog headspace.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.