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Dec 5, 2001 09:53 PM

Gene and Jude's--Inaugural

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At the behest of many here, I drove out to G&J's in this evening's rain. As indicated previously, a little tricky getting there, but WOW! Where have I been all these years?

A heavenly experience. A great, great dog with excellent snap--and the perfect size (I'm not a big fan of the fat type, a la Superdawg).

Minor complaint: Two dogs are just the right meal for me, but since they come with a ton of fries, I can't even get through one of the batches. I ended up throwing a whole fistful away, which I felt bad about. Not their fault.

Big plaudit: the no-ketchup philosophy. I love places with a point of view like this, even when it goes against commonly accepted tastes.

It reminds of a place I once went to in Montreal, called Moe's, a very gritty corner sandwich shop that's been around for years (sometimes written about by Mordecai Richler). They're well-known for a sandwich called "The Special," which is alternating slices of fried bologna and fried salami on toasted bialy bottoms (I recall another sandwich called "The Tops" which is some other concoction so that the bialy tops shouldn't go to waste God forbid). Anyway, "The Special" was conceived by Moe to have a nice slathering of mustard on it, so the sandwich automatically comes with it. There's a note written in all seriousness on the menu, directed at those who would dare go against Moe's concept and ask for "The Special" without it--"Sandwiches ordered without mustard are 50 cents EXTRA."

There's a man with a point of view.

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  1. v
    Vital Information

    Old School, why did not you tell me you were going to Gene and Jude's, I would have pointed you to my favorite 24 hour espresso stand, which is nearby, to fortify you for the drive back!

    I totally agree with you that it is hard to configure the hot dogs to a normal chowhound appetite. The Condiment Queen and I, when not ravishingly hungry (like last Sunday) often do this at G&J: We order 3 hot dogs, and ask that they cut the third hot dog in half.

    There is, of course, a probem in that CQ is a works kinda gal, and VI is a no onions kinda guy. Once, we had them do up a dog with onions on only one half, but they gave us such a hard time for that, that from then on, we just get a little extra onions on the side for the Condiment Queen.


    In Montreal, did you try Schwartz's or Moishe's?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Vital Information

      Boy, that espresso would have been aces. Who, what, where?

      Incidentally, I passed a place on the long way back home called (I think) River Forest Grill, on North Avenue just west of Harlem. Old style all-counter diner. Looked like it might be something. Any knowledge?

      Roger on Schwartz's and Moishe's in Montreal.

      One better than the next--both outta this world.

      1. re: Old School

        One little bonus in going to gene and judes.

        If you go after dark, a little south on river road is a three house stretch of some of the most garish funky cool christmas decorated houses in the area - look for the fire engine alongside on the side street (no kidding)

        I also like the looks of the river forest grill, but haven't found anything special about the food in my limited experience with it

        1. re: zim

          Did see the Christmas show last night--very much like the homes in Sauganash in years past. Nice enclave.

          1. re: zim

            Re River Forest Grill: I've had some interesting meals there, always after midnight, always in various states of inebriation. The fries are crispy, hot, salty, and good. If you get them to go, the paper bag will be shiney and translucent before you even get back to your car. Burgers, steak 'n' eggs, etc. are decent and cheap. No bathroom, so you have to use the gas station next door .


            1. re: zim
              Vital Information

              The 24 hour espresso stand is in the strip mall on first avenue, just off of grand. The place looks like nothing on the outside, but on the inside, well you'll practically feel you're in Naples. Have you ever had espresso where they ask you how long (i.e., how strong)you want it? I've never sampled in the middle of the night, but I like the fact that if I wanted to, I could...

              Zim, great call on the decorated houses on River Road

              If you like houses in general you cannot do wrong wandering the streets of River Forest. I like to do this at night when you can peek in discreetly from the street. Probably the highest concentrations of cool houses in River Forest is in the curvy sub-division off of Lake, just east of Thatcher. A couple of FLWright's most famous are in this area, including the one with the tree growing thru it. You will be amazed at how modern these old houses look. Also, in River Forest, there are some really cool "modern" 50's-60's era houses.

              I commented on River Forest Grill way back when Zim asked the same question. I've always been happy with their burgers and shakes. They are cheap in a good way. The infrequent usage of this place does, however, seem off-putting. They've been advertising for an experienced grill man for a few weeks. I've had this small tinge of applying myself. Any real grillmen looking for a gig, should apply. The River Forest Grill is on North Avenue, just west of Harlem in River Forest.


        2. Silly rabbit! Get a double-dog! that way, you only get one set of fries, but twice the meat.