Natural Casing Dogs-Where to get them
To me, the ONLY real Chicago dog is a natural casing dog...unfortunately they're getting harder to find. Let's start a list of places which serve 'em. I'll start with a few...all are in Chicago unless listed otherwise.
The Weiner's Circle
Gene & Judes-River Grove
After a 1 and 1/2 year hot dog trek around the country I have to say that Gene & Judes is the quintessential doggery.
Portillos is good but a little overpriced but definitely recommended for out-of-towners.
A must-try is Doug's dogs. Avant-Garde Hot Dogs and my choice as the best dog in the country. Keep in mind that Doug's is not your traditional (but traditional is on the menu) doggery. Doug's "represents" the capital of Dog's with style, grace, art, and uniqueness.
re: Big Willi
We were disappointed in both dog and beef at Little Joe's. My dog wasn't snappy at all, and my wife said the beef was just so-so. Portions were small and the prices relatively high (small dog $2.35 and beef $4.65.) Dog came with OK fries.
Much better Italian beef (carry-out) at Angelo's Italian grocery/deli at Maple Ave. and Highland Ave. in Downers Grove. Beef nearly twice as big as LJ's for $2.50 with included sweet/hot peppers and a pot of jus. Other deli items - all homemade - are lasagna, fried chicken with a great crispy crust, and very good salads.
We picked up chicken and bean salad today and went out to the Morton Arboretum for an al fresco picnic. Great for first warm day of spring.