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Jan 22, 2007 09:52 PM

New and improved Chicago on a Bun - San Diego/UTC

We live nearby Chicago on a Bun and would drop in there every once and a while for a hot dog fix. A month or so ago we discovered they are under new ownership and it's very noticable when it comes to the chow. On our most recent visit over the weekend, the place was busier than I have ever seen it, I guess word is getting out!

Hubby and I each had a spicy dog on a fresh poppyseed bun prepared Chicago style. It was topped with tomatoes, onions, mustard, relish, mini hot peppers, a crisp quarter spear of dill pickle, and I added shredded cheddar cheese to mine. The dog was plump and juicy with a tasty bun that held up wonderfully under all the toppings. The casing made the pleasing little snap that comes when you take a bite out of a great hot dog. The shoestring fries are delicious and abundant. While the price for the fries is a little steep ($2.75 I think?) it can be shared between 2 or 3 people.

They now have ribs and I overheard one of the new owners telling another customer that they have redone their burger. I'm so obsessed with their spicy dogs that I don't know if I can bring myself to try their other offerings, but I was salivating looking at everyone elses plates.

I highly recommend any local hot dog lovers make their way over to the new and improved Chicago on a Bun, you won't regret the trip!

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  1. Thanks, YaYa!! As a Chicago native, it took me quite a while to find places that served food that could truly be called "Chicago-style." I had found Chicago on a Bun a few years ago. They got almost everything right - the steamed poppy seed bun, the Vienna Beef dogs, the beef sandwiches (although they always looked at me oddly when I asked for hot AND sweet peppers ... I think they thought I was trying to invent a new kind of pepper), and the potato chips - Harry Carey would have been proud.

    I'm curious to go back and see if it's even better. From what you said, it sounds like they upgraded to the natural casing dogs (which was always my complaint before!). Do you know if the new owners are former Chicagoans as well?

    On a tangent, to anyone who is interested in REAL Chicago-style pizza ... Lefty's in North Park is it. Awesome homemade sausage (pronounce it with me now: SAAAAAA-SIDGE) and good beef as well. If the only "Chicago-style" pizza you've experienced in San Diego is Uno's (I'm stifling a gag), you owe it to yourself to try Lefty's. Just be sure to give them 60 minutes for a deep dish and 90 for a stuffed (Seriously. Go online and find their menu and call in your order ahead of time. It's worth it!!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: ohm86

      They are former Chicagoans! They've been in San Diego for about 10 years now, very friendly and they even ship in Gonella's bread (not sure if the previous owners did?) You can also now buy delicious dogs by the pound to cook on your own grill. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the upgrades they've made to the food.

      And thanks for the tip on the pizza. My hub is a huge pizza fan and has been disappointed in the SD pizza scene, we'll head to Lefty's on our next pizza jaunt. Sounds delicious! :)

    2. I too am an old customer from the Mission Beach location. I have been going to Chicago on a Bun for so many years and have always found them consistent. I miss Jerry alot and hope he and his lovely wife are doing well. I do know that the old owners were from Chicago and they did everything right, including the ribs which were to die for! I know that they had the real thing from the beginning even the Gonnella Bread. Now I've been back with the new owers and it's just not the same family feeling which was one thing that I loved. The entire kitchen staff is still there which I was pleasantly surprised to see. The place looks good and I hope the new owners can accomplish what the old owners did well for many years. We will miss them and good luck to the new owners.

      1. I was at UTC the other day and couldn't find Chicago on a bun. Could someone tell me where this place is? TIA

        3 Replies
        1. re: kitchenhag

          It's in the Renaissance Center on Towne Centre Drive not at the UTC:

          1. re: kitchenhag

            Keep heading East down Towne Center Dr past the Jewish temple. In the distance, on the left you will see a plaza. It's in that plaza. Turn left.

            1. re: stevestr

              Thanks stevestr... I will be down there soon and 'report ' 'bout my lunch......I'd like to say that
              I think I make a mean 'Italian Beef' . Being from Philly (originally) who am I to really know what is authentic since I've never eaten this in Chi Town.
              I can say, with much anticipation, this is gonna be yummy and a learning experience.
              Stay tuned c-hounds
              p.s. I'm a sucker for a great hot dog a Chicago Dog is next on my list.

          2. Does anyone know their hours? How late are they open?

            1 Reply
            1. re: leanneabe

              According to the menu I received (which honetly wasn't too current, prices posted in the shop were about 45c higher) their hours are Mon - Sat 11 - 8 and Sundays 11 - 5. Hope this helps.

            2. Ok so between this and Yelp! I was swayed to try this Chistyle hot dog shop. I ordered an Italian Beef, Hot Dog, and Large Soda.

              First impressions, definitely UTC prices. I walked out the door $14.55 lighter.

              Second: Hot Dog was excellent. Italian beef was dry, even though they include a small cup of Au Jus. In Chitown most of my Italian beefs had at least some juice on the bread.

              Third: Did my eyes deceive me or was a microwave in use warming up my beef? I hope not.

              Overall not bad. I might stop here now and then, especially when I get those cravings that Buster's can't satisfy due to their limited hours.

              For the person dogging Lefty's - well I don't know what to say. They have about the best pizza in SD and no, Pizzeria Uno (the chain) is NOT the same as the authentic place in Chicago.

              Lefty's has a unique Italian Beef and I didn't find it as flavorful as both here or Busters. I will give this place props for perfectly toasting the bread the sandwich came on.

              1 Reply
              1. re: stevestr

                "For the person dogging Lefty's - well I don't know what to say. They have about the best pizza in SD and no, Pizzeria Uno (the chain) is NOT the same as the authentic place in Chicago."

                Just curious stevestr, who's post are you referring to? I read through all of the posts here in this thread and did not see anyone "dogging" Lefty's or implying Pizzeria Uno is better or authentic. The only post I saw that mentioned Uno was by ohm86 saying they are NOT the real thing (mentioning stifling a gag would imply displeasure) and recommending Lefty's, not putting them down.