We’ve been doing these Chicago eating binges with our friend Maria, which allows us to do a lot more sampling than if it was just me and my wife. This is why we can order four different sausages at Hot Doug’s without feeling too guilty.
Chicago-style hot dogs differ from other styles of hot dogs because they generally include mustard, onions, an artificially colored neon-green relish, tomato slices, and a pickle spear, all served on a poppy seed bun. I made sure that all of our orders had everything on it, although this may have been a tactical mistake on the bratwurst, which I would have like to have tried with just sauerkraut. The bratwurst was still excellent since it was very juicy, probably because it’s soaked in beer. We also had The Elvis, a smoked polish sausage, and The Dog (below), a traditional Chicago-style hot dog.
But the best hot dog of the day was the spicy hot dog known as The Keira Knightly. What I liked about the Keira was that the spicy dog had a nice heat that balanced out the other flavors that were packed into the dog, especially the sweet relish. The other dogs were good, but Keira’s relative hotness separated it from the pack.
The menu described the Keira Knightly as “mighty hot,” but I thought it was a pleasant, mild heat. By comparison, the andouille sausage known as The Salma Hayak (which we didn’t order) is said to be “mighty, mighty, mighty hot.” If this is true, then Salma is hotter than Keira both in hot dogs and real life.
Still, as good as the hot dogs were, they were nearly eclipsed by an even more impressive concoction…duck fat fries. That’s right…french fries fried in duck fat. I shouldn’t have to say anything more, so here:
There’s a quote on the wall at Hot Doug’s by someone named Secret Robbie that says:
There are no two finer words in the English language than “encased meats,” my friend.