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Jan 20, 2010 09:52 PM

Deep-fried Maxwell Street Polish Dog @ Roy’s Chicago Doggery in Petaluma

Last month I finally had a chance to check out Roy’s Chicago Doggery. It’s housed in Mike’s old space at the auction yard, as shown here,

Although it hasn’t been in business that long, Roy’s has a well-worn comfortable feel with friendly staff and a loyal group of regulars. Two guys were playing cards at one table, and the school kids hanging out at the counter seemed to know everyone in the place.

I got excited when I saw the Maxwell Street Polish on the menu and asked whether it was the deep-fried version. The answer was “No, but if you want it fried, I can do it for you.” This was a banner day. I’ve made this request at three other Chicago dog purveyors in the area and none would make it the traditional way. The Vienna Beef Polish went into the deep-fryer, turning darker in color and tightening up, but it didn’t rip. Dressed with well-carmelized onions, sport peppers and spicy brown mustard on a poppy seed bun. $4.00, this was so satisfying in that salty, oily fast food kind of way. I didn’t need to eat anything else this day. Here’s what the beauty looked like.

After discovering this baby and my deep-fried bacon dog at Taps Restaurant on the west side of town, I think we can crown Petaluma not only the Butter and Egg Capital , but also the reigning Deep-fried Hot Dog King of the Bay Area.

Taps thread -

Roy's Chicago Doggery
84 Corona, Petaluma, CA 94954

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  1. Where are you getting the reference that the tradinional Maxwell Street Polish dog is deep-fried?

    I got a Maxwell Street Polish dog today at Little Gino's in Berkeley and when I asked if they were deep-fried, he seemed surprised by the question. It was quite the tasty sausage though

    So I came home and Googled and I'm finding one referenece to a deep-fried dog. I thought deep-fried dogs were a New Jersey thing.

    Anyway, Jim's Original in Chicago ... the home of the Maxwell St. Polish describes them like this

    "A Proprietary Blend of Just The Right Spices. A Juicy, Crunchy, and Sweet Smoked Polish Sausage Served the Same Way Since the 1940's, on a Hot Bun with a Layer of Yellow Salad Mustard, Topped with a Mountain of Sweet Colossal Spanish Onions Grilled to Perfection and with an Abundance of Spicy Hot Sport Peppers."

    This link has a comparison of Jim's to to Express Grill and all the photos are of grilling sausages ... not a deep-fryer in sight ... except for the French fries served on the side with the Polish sausage.

    The only referenece to a deep-fried Polish dog was on LTHforum. Even then, when you dig deep into the conversation, it seems that there may be deep-fried Polish sausage in Chicago but it didn't originate on Maxwell Street ... or as one poster wrote "More egregiously, some places call the deep-fried polish-dog a maxwell street polish, for no obvious reason"

    As a person of Polish ancestry, I find it difficult to think that way back when anyone Eastern European would deep-fry a Polish sausage. It ain't our thing. They only thing I have ever had deep-fried was a cryschyki (sp ... the misery of dealing with the Polish language. I'm bad enough with English)

    That being said, I have Roy's high on my list to compare to Little Gino's. They have a combo where you can get a Chicago dog with half an Italian Beef.

    Ah ... if only one of these places would serve a pork chop sandwich. That looked so good.

    Do you know if Roy's is making steamed burgers. There was a mention on Yelp that originally they planned to serve them on weekends. The online menu doesn't mention burgers though. Then again, steamed burgers according to web wisdom is a Connecticut thing. Until Yelp.. being born and bred in Connecticut ... I never heard of a steamed burger ... and I lived not too far from Meriden, CT. White Castle though is steamed ... and that is definately Chicago

    6 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Found myself being released in the early AM from the Maxwell Street cop shop lock-up (long story) back in the day while growing up in Chicago and they were grilling hundreds of the Polish and Italian sausages over charcoal out on the street. Not a deep fryer in sight, but I've recently learned and confirmed that my favorite breakfast places always deep fry their pork susage links and I never realized it. Makes for the juiciest and tastiest result !!!

      1. re: NoeMan

        A lot of hot dog or sausage places don't serve french fries and don't own a fryer, so no chance of getting a deep-fried dog. I should mention that the fries are pretty good here, golden and crispy, about as good as any inexpensive version.

        P.S. You've always come across as such a family man, what secrets lie beneath!

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          1978 Bachelor Party
          Greektown + Ouzo + Flaming Cheese
          Several of us hauled in, never charged, morning release to sausage cook-off

        2. re: rworange

          Took me longer to find it, as I was looking on the chicago board and not SF. Post above from Rob "Vital Information" in 2003 before the start of LTH. And, I misremembered what he said, as you can see that grilled is the standard and frying is the option for Polish dog.

          P.S. Remember that the surrounding yard houses livestock. You're going to want to wait until the mud dries out.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks. It was one of those things that I would have had rattling around in the far regions of my mind.

        3. >>> I think we can crown Petaluma not only the Butter and Egg Capital , but also the reigning Deep-fried Hot Dog King of the Bay Area.

          Let's up that to the Hot Dog King of the Bay Area.

          Finally a place to replace the empty space left in my heart after Original Kaspar's.closed. While they are a totally different type of dog and place, they are one of the few hot dog joints worth the calories and time

          Petaluma: Roy's Chicago Doggery – The best lunch counter in the Bay Area that is serious fun … Italian beef and the “"Oh No You Didn't Dog"

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            If you want a beer with your dog, do check out TAPS. It offers up some fancier takes on hot dogs with custom rolls.