Food Gold: Hot Doug's

Posted on Jan 31st, 2009 in Food Gold by Mr. Goldbar

It’s been a bit since my last Food Gold post, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I’m out in Madsion, WI right now on the third day of my Midwest swing, but yesterday I went to eat sausages with Curt from Flosstradamus and Willy Joy.  The venue was Hot Doug’s, and this was my first trip to Chicago’s legendary dog establishment.  Follow the jump for the whole story.

From the outside, Doug’s is an unassuming corner restaurant in a residential neighborhood.  You wouldn’t really think there was anything special going on, except that when we pulled up at around 2 PM there was a healthy line extending from the counter all the way through the airlock double doors out to the freezing Chi-Town air.  We got in line, and after about 15 minutes were staring at the wall mounted menu, pictured above.

This photo only captures the daily specials menu and Doug’s has a standard menu of more economically priced dogs with fun and annoying dog-shack names like “The Elvis (smoked and savory, just like the king)” and “The Selma Hayek (mighty,mighty,mighty, hot!)” but those reminded me too much of Providence, RI’s Spikes to make the cut.

When it comes down to it, I can definitely mess with some bougie hot dogs, so I opted for two selections off the specials menu.  I mean really, how could you not want to get all of these?  After much deliberation I chose the Chardonnay and Jalapeno Rattlesnake Sausage (!!) with Pomegranate Mustard and Cheese Stuffed Hot Peppers as well as the Spicy Jerk Pork Sausage with Citrus Mojo Mayonaisse and Goat Cheese.  After adding an order of french fries fried in rendered duck fat and a root beer, my total came to an even $20, easily the most I’ve ever spent on lunch ever.

Despite the fanciness of the multiple-adjectives-for-each-ingredient menu items, Doug’s keeps it simple when it comes to everything else.  I did not receive my sausages in half baguettes on a porcelain saucer gilded with gold leaf, but nestled in cardboard holsters on the standard plastic tray.  The taste, however, was anything but ordinary.  The chardonnay note was completely present in the tasty rattlesnake sausage, and the goat cheese soothed the burn of the jerk pork.  I was a little disappointed by the duck fat fries, if only because there’s not way they could have lived up to my expectation.  They were kind of just soggy and fatty fries.

If you’ve ever met me, I’m not that big of a dude, but with a little help from Curt and Willy on fry patrol I cleanly finished off the whole tray, with a refill on the root beer to boot.  The food was so good that there never was really a question of not eating it all. And the 20 bucks proved to be completely worth it; It’s nearly 24 hours later and I still haven’t felt the need to eat anything else. Although my stomach did just start growling.