Hot Doug's (The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium) was really the ONLY place Matt wanted to go to during our Chicago visit. Our conversations leading up to the trip often went like this:
Kayoko: Should we go to Burt's Place for pizza?
Matt: Sure, I'll leave it up to you. But we're going to Hot Doug's, right?
Kayoko: How about Avec?
Matt: I've been, but will go again. Let's just make sure we get to Hot Doug's.
Kayoko: I'm thinking we should try Kuma's Corner, for their ginormous burger.
Matt: Great. As long as we go to Hot Doug's.
So, not much choice in the matter-- Hot Doug's was mandatory. We took a cab out to the Avondale section on Chicago, which was quite far from the center of town. And guess what? Our cab broke down on the highway! It was definitely a prized moment, me and Matt on the side of the freeway trying to hitch a ride into town. Hilarious!
A gentile Chicagoan pulled over and picked us up-- the people in this town are just SO NICE! I still can't get over it. The genuine-seemingness of the Obamas really all makes sense now.
We made it to Hot Doug's in one piece. The Sausage Superstore!!!
It was only 11:30am, and take a look at this line! Jesus Christ!
We waited a good half hour-- all for the love of the encased meat. The inside was bright and kitchy. Really unique and so adorable!
Duck fat fries on Fridays and Saturdays only. It was Friday-- lucky us!
The guy taking orders reminded me of Henry Rollins slash Elvis Costello. Great mashup. I really, really regret not getting one of their tshirts.
Let's start with the basics: THE DOG, which was a typical Chi-town style with "all the trimmings": tomatoes, onions, housemade neon green relish, celery salt. This might be one of the best things I ate during the entire trip. That relish was out of control-- Matt, who doesn't even really like pickles, enjoyed this.
Special #1: Smoked jalapeño cheddar pork sausage with mole and jalapeño jack cheese. This was super spicy, almost too spicy, as it just really overwhelmed all the other flavors. The mole added a nice smokiness, though.
Special #2: Smoked pork linguica, saffron rouille, and queso Iberico. Que delicioso! So creamy. This was Matt's favorite.
The fries were great-- the duck fat was pretty subtle, you couldn't really tell one way or the other. The actual potato itself, with the skin and everything, was perfectly cut and fried.
I walked into the bathroom and look what was painted on the wall!!!
ENCASED MEAT AMERICAN GOTHIC!!! So clever. There was a play on Magritte's The Treachery of Images in the other bathroom, which I peeped. I believe it said Ceci n'est pas une hot dog, with an image of a hot dog. Love this place!
The REAL American Gothic, by the way, is at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was so awesome to finally see it.
More wall photo fun.
This was a fun excursion all around-- from the cab breakdown to the encased meats, the fries, the whole vibe of the place. They don't serve beer, though, which was super disappointing. Work on that beer and wine license please, Doug!
3324 North California
Top photo by Matt K.