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Oct 3, 2007 01:30 PM

New(er) Chicago Dog joint in Columbus...

...well, New Albany actually. I recently went to this little place across the street from Gibby's called Levy's Coney’s and Custard that has a wide variety of dog styles. I tried the namesake Coney which was great, but was especially happy to see they had Chicago Dogs on the menu as well, so I also grabbed one of those. A good Chicago Dog is one of those things that's usually only worth getting when you're in Chicago because most places don't put the necessary efforts into making them at all authentic, so I have to say I wasn’t all that optimistic. All it took was one look at the finished product to determine Levy's was an exception. Not only did they use all the right ingredients...beef dog (pretty sure about this) with a snap in a poppy seed bun, yellow mustard, neon green relish, onions, pair of tomato wedges, pair of sport peppers, crisp pickle spear and celery salt, but everything was assembled in the correct way. There is clearly some attention to detail going on here. After talking to the girl behind the counter who put this $3.25 mound of bliss together, I found out that they go so far as to order the poppy seed buns from a second bakery since their primary baker won't make them. A reasonable facsimile of a Chicago dog could doubtless be made using the excellent buns Levy's nestles their Coney Dogs in, but that would violate the spirit of the Chicago Dog, wouldn't it? I believe this convenience/cost be damned approach to sourcing the proper quality and type of ingredients is one of the hallmarks of a good restaurant, be it high-end or low-brow.

While I cannot attest to the quality of their custard (though a dining companion did enthusiastically recommended the twistcone), I can happily report that the chocolate dipped frozen banana was outstanding. I plan to return on an upcoming Wednesday when they claim to have Chicago style Italian Beef as a weekly special.

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  1. How does it compare to Wholly Joe's up at Polaris? I love their Chicago dogs...And Best of the Wurst at the North Market does a pretty tasty Chicago dog as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: columbusfoodie

      Wholly Joe's does them right as well, down to every detail, including the sport peppers. And their Italian beef sandwich...available every day, not just as a Wednesday special, is even better. I just had one last night, as a matter of fact. They even go further and have the bread shipped in from Chicago's Turano Bakery.

      Important to note, however, that anything NOT Chicago on their menu is likely to be mediocre or worse. Do not go in here expecting a good burger or salad. This is not a place where everything is good. But if you want a Chicago-style dog, beef or pizza...they are"authentic" and they are very good.

    2. Thanks for the tip. Do you know where they source their dogs from? Is it Vienna?

      1. okay, so I worked at Levy's...everything was quite good (i know i might be partial)...but we had 2 bakeries, 3 dog and creme suppliers, and over 12 other vendors to only get the highest quality ingrediants into our shop....unfortunatly, not at the right price. we close in early november, and the shop will reopen in the summer under a different owner. I will be interested to see what they bring, and if it is better or worse. But for now, RIP Levy's