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Natural Casing Dogs-Where to get them

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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
Portillos
Gene & Judes-River Grove
Poochies-Skokie

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  1. Little Joe's just off La Grange Rd. in Countryside has nice snappy dogs. They use their homeade sweet giardianera instead of sport peppers unless you request otherwise. It's a nice touch. They also have some of the best beef and sausage in the area.

    1 Reply
    1. 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.

    2. Stopped for a dog yesterday before the Cubs game at Michael's at Belmont and Racine. Natural casing dog either boiled or charred. Very good fresh cut fries.

      1. You might want to try the Vienna Beef Store. You can get a hot dog prepared there for you as well as being able to buy the natural casing dogs that they sell to the hot dog stands. I don't think they are available at supermarkets.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hotdoglover

          last time i was at the vienna beef store they only served skinless but you could buy natural casing dogs by the pound.

        2. 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.

          1. Unfortunately, while we know that natural casing dogs are superior to skinless, the skinless sell better. Being in the SW burbs, I usually hit Portillo's or have my local butcher (Miller's Butcher Shop in Plainfield) order me a bag of natural casing Daisy Dogs.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Crissup

              I made the mistake of ordering the "jumbo" dog at portillo's. unlike the regular chicago style which is natural casing, the jumbo is skinless. very disappointing because vienna does manufacture natural casing dogs in all sizes.