Informal though it may be, the food Poochie’s serves is exquisite. To us, a meal here is more delicious and more deeply satisfying than almost any deluxe $100+ dinner. Star of the menu is the humble all-beef hot dog nestled in a steamed-soft Rosen’s bun and available with the full array of Chicagoland frankfurter condiments: mustard, piccalilli, raw onions, sliced tomato, pickle spears, ground pepper, and celery salt, plus deliriously tasty sweet grilled onions. You can also get your dog topped with barely-melted cheddar cheese – a fabulous addition not only to hot dogs, but to Poochie’s hamburgers and its hand-cut, fresh-from-the-fry-basket French fries.
Beyond taut, plump red hots that are steamed, Poochie’s offers crunchy-surfaced char dogs, cooked over coals until their skin is chewy-dark and flavored by the fire. Polish sausages are plumper, porkier sausages that are slit in a spiral pattern to attain maximum crunchy surface area as they cook. And if one in a bun of any of these tube steaks is insufficient for your appetite, you can get either a jumbo dog or a double. Our personal favorite meal is a jumbo char dog with cheddar fries (superb fries!) on the side.
Poochie’s is proud of its char-cooked hamburgers, and we like them very much, especially piled high with those sweet grilled onions. But if you are passing through Chicago and stop at Poochie’s with time for only one street-food indulgence, make it a red hot with the works and a side of fries. This meal is why you cannot argue with a Chicagoan who boasts that Windy City hot dogs reign supreme.