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I want to eat at Hot Dougs

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I will be traveling to your area next week. I want to eat at Hot DougsTuesday and Wednesday. I have heard it is packed. Any hints to make my trip to Hot Dougs memorable would be great. I am driving up from South Carolina. I am hoping it will be the holy grail of hot dogs.

JB Bannister

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  1. Hot Dougs may or may not be the "holy grail" of hot dogs -- and you will find other threads on this board about the "best" hot dog in Chicago. I, for one, wouldln't bother going to Hot Doug's for a hot dog.

    What Hot Dougs is the holy grail of is creative sausages.
    Here are the current offerings:
    Spinach and Feta Gyros Sausage with Tapenade Mayonnaise and Kasseri Chees
    Cherry Pork Sausage with Sour Cherry Mustard and Cocoa Cardona Cheese
    Onion Pork Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomato Mustard and Port Wine Chicken Mousse
    Uber Garlic Pork Sausage with Chipotle Dijonnaise, Smoked Gouda Cheese and Roasted Garlic Cloves
    Sauternes and Foie Gras Duck Sausage with Truffle Sauce Moutarde, Foie Gras Mousse and Sel Gris
    Spicy Jerk Pork Sausage with Spicy Passion Fruit Mayonnaise, Sauteed Plantains and Creme de Brie Cheese
    The Hot Doug's BLT: Bacon Sausage with Avocado Mayonnaise, Cherry Tomatoes and Iceberg Lettuce
    Blue Cheese Pork Sausage with White Peach Creme Fraiche and Citrus-Soaked Dried Cherries
    Thai Chicken Sausage with Sriracha Mustard and Sesame-Seaweed Salad
    Ribeye Steak Sausage with Horseradish Cream Sauce, Vintage Farmhouse Cheese and Crispy Fried Onions

    1 Reply
    1. re: chicgail

      >> you will find other threads on this board about the "best" hot dog in Chicago.

      The most extensive is at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/364427

    2. While I love Hot Doug's, I must agree, totally, with Chicgal.

      We were there a couple of weeks ago and, for the first time, I ordered their iteration of a "Chicago Dog". I did NOT finish it.

      However, I loved and devoured the "Shrimp and Pork sausage with Cajun Remoulade and Bleu Cheese".

      Hot Doug's is an "Emporium of Encased Meats"...his term, not mine.

      The $8.00 gourmet sausages have NEVER failed to impress me.

      I'll let others speak to the best "dog" in Chicago, but I would encourage you to try Hot Doug's. It's something!

      I HOPE you mean that you'll be in town on 4/21 and 4/22 as Doug's is closed the following week.

      The wait to order can be long (we got in line at 10:30 on a Saturday, their busiest, and sat down at 11:40) but I understand that weekdays are not as hectic.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Hot Dougs is a gourmand feast. Don't worry about it not being a Chicago doggery because it is one of the best in the country for sausage wrapped in a bun.

        I wish you could make a trip on a Friday or Saturday during the Duck fat French fries days. although the lines are unbearable on these days. The restaurant turns tables over quickly and if the line is to the door you can expect to be seated in less than 10 minutes.

        Yes, stay away from the chicago versions and go for the unusual and unique. Dough usually works the counter and he's usually helpful with choices but remember there are people waiting just like you were so try and study the menu when you are in line to get a good sense of what you want.

        My chef friends and I (I'm a chef) have taken a liking to the dog with all the garlic (sorry don't remember the name) but be adventurous and look for the daily specials which are always interesting.

        While I will admit that Chicago has the best doggeries in the world (I am a research chef and eating around the country is my job) I have to say that each doggery you go to is a unique experience. Hot Dougs is not classical Chicago but don't let that keep you away.

        3 Replies
        1. re: HamburgerToday

          Is this a sit-down waiter service type of place? Or do you just pick up your hot dogs and find a seat?

          And can you avoid the lines if you do take-out?

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Here is the deal at Hot Dougs.

            Stand in line (outside) for 10-30 minutes
            Walk past the menu on the wall just inside the door
            Scope for tables (there are no more than a dozen, plus a window counter) while you decide what to order.
            Siddle up to the counter where Doug will take your order and provide some guidance.
            Fill your soda and find a table
            They'll call your name and bring you the tray of deliciousness.

            No need to carry out, you'll still have to stand in line.

            Now I will need to go there tomorrow as I salivate while typing.

            1. re: jbontario

              Thanks for the info!

        2. Disagree with the other posters. Hot Dougs not only makes wonderful sausages, the regular hot dog is great too. Doug uses high quality natural casing dogs that have a nice snap. Go and you will not be disappointed.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jbontario

            doug's regular chicago style dog is good. however it is not worth waiting on line for when there are so many other places where you can be served the same natural casing redhot without waiting on a line that usually stretches far outside the door. likewise the fries -- and yes the duck fat ones too -- are good but not in themselves worth the trouble to get them.

            1. re: biga290

              >> doug's regular chicago style dog is good. however it is not worth waiting on line for when there are so many other places where you can be served the same natural casing redhot without waiting on a line that usually stretches far outside the door. likewise the fries -- and yes the duck fat ones too -- are good but not in themselves worth the trouble to get them.

              The travel time may also be a significant consideration; IOW you not only have to take into account the difference in wait times, but also the travel time to and from Hot Doug's, compared with Chicago hot dogs from a place that's close by. Obviously if you don't mind the time/convenience factor, by all means go for it!

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Since they close at 4, we used to always go at 3/3:15 the line was MUCH shorter by then and had died down. I just didn't like eating a hot dog before noon so we went closer to the closing end. Have fun!

          2. Thanks everyone. This ol redneck is ready for Hot Dougs.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JB BANNISTER

              You sound like a guy with a 20 sq ft stainless steel viking grill. That makes you totally qualified for the enjoyment you will have at Hot Doug's. Make sure to chat with Doug, it is so rare to find someone who is 100% dedicated and loves his craft that much.

              1. re: jbontario

                You were right but my grill is wood and charcoal.