Jimmy’s of Savin Rock (West Heven, Connecticut) in it’s original incarnation. Absolutely no question about it. The split, grilled Roessler’s Yellow Tag hotdog with mustard and relish, chopped onions and sauerkraut. Oh, my!
Hot Doug’s at the corner of California and Roscoe in Chicago.
Doug is a graduate of the Kendall College Culinary School in Evanston. He takes the art and business of selling "encased meats", as he calls them, as seriously as a chef at a four star restaurant would take his pate fois gras.
He sells not just the classic Chicago dog, but also a variety of other sausages, including Polish Sausage, Thuringer, Bratwurst, Corn Dogs, and a weekly Wild Game Special; sometimes a success, sometimes not.
Condiments include all the Chicago standards and he also offers grilled onions, kraut, and a variety of mustards.
On the weekends he cooks his French Fries in duck fat. He cooks them in duck fat because they tastes better. I wish he sold them all week long, but he wants to keep it special.
I know other folks who have opened Hot Dog joints in Chicago and other cities who have visited Hot Doug’s and used his operation as a model. If you’re opening your own place, let me suggest that you take a couple days and visit Doug’s place.
Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit.
I would have to say Yesterdog in Grand Rapids… Once you step into the place it’s like going back into the 1940’s. They make a good dog with fresh ingredients, and when I approached the owner and mentioned his chili sauce was too salty, he cut back on the salt. Very worthy place! Not to mention they have a good amount of staff working behind the counter, so your order gets made real quick! A true Roadfood kinda place! Not one of them generic places with tables and blah pictures on the walls.
The dog that is most prominent in my memory is the Char Dog at Gold Coast Dogs in Chicago. Although I last had one probably 10 years ago at their State Street store, and know that that particular location has been closed, I still look forward to my next visit to one of their remaining locations. Although the quintessential Chicago dog is steamed, Gold Coast will happily serve them up charcoal grilled, and then run it through the garden.
OK I know there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of hot dog eateries mentioned in these links and I know some people have a favorite brand of dogs, but putting that all aside I would like to know if you had to choose 1 hot dog place to eat at and only one which one would it be and why? I don’t want this to be a forum of putting one place or another down, everyone has their own tastes. I’m in the start up process of my own hot dog place and I’m just curious as to what your favorite place is. I just want to know what is so special about the place you would remain loyal to forever. I guess I’m more interested in the why than the where but as a lover of hot dog joints I love to hear about different places. Tell me about your favorite whether its still open or just a memory of the past. Thank you in advance.
Only 1 place to eat
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