To celebrate the release of Hot Doug's: The Book, owner Doug Sohn invited all of the book's contributors to Revolution Brewery in Avondale for an afternoon of beer and sausages.
'Hot Doug's' on Serious Eats
Food on a stick is extraordinarily versatile—you have skewers, kababs, satay, Japanese grilled food, and lots more. And the best part about food on a stick? It's just plain fun!
So many stories about hot dogs have gone up this month, you may wonder whether we eat anything else in Chicago. But some of my favorite hot dog stands serve items that are just as good, and in some cases, even better than the dogs.
When Jesse Divine first moved to Chicago, he lived in River North, but he much prefers the quieter, more laid-back scene in Logan Square.
Don't let anyone fool you: choosing the perfect place to take an out of town guest requires planning. It may sound easy, but you're looking for something more than just an excellent meal. While the restaurant has to serve knockout food (that's a given), it simultaneously has to showcase something unique about the city.
Remember when a group of us showed up at Hot Doug's and ate every single thing on the menu? Imagine my surprise when I walked in to the Avondale joint this past weekend and came face to face with the Bowl o' 40-Sausage Chili ($6.00), a completely new kind of menu item.
In Chicago, cheese fries are more than a dish you consume after a night out. Whether this is related to Chicago's hot dog stand culture or that chefs here like to elevate simple dishes, I don't know. But I do know that you can find a very wide range of cheese fries here.
It's hard to believe how much I ate out in 2012. I probably ate out once a day, where I'd often try three to four different dishes. Then there were the occasions where I'd try one of everything at a restaurant, which immediately added dozens of options to the final tally. I thought putting together the list would be hard, but some very specific dishes jumped right out at me.
We gathered together a mix of new and old delicacies, which should help get you in the holiday spirit, no shivering on the L platform required.
Since we ate every single menu item at Hot Doug's, we've been asked what it was like. "Absolutely crazy and insane" is the simple answer. But to get a real sense of what it was like, we decided to put together a behind the scenes view of the process.
Sausage City and Hot Doug's. The two, at some point, would have to meet. These are the five sausages that have stuck with me, and that I'm still dreaming about days later, and that I would recommend heartily for any visit to Hot Doug's.
This past Saturday at 10 a.m. sharp, the Serious Eats Chicago crew met up in Avondale to accomplish one of the most glorious eating projects in Chicago history: to eat every single item at Hot Doug's.
When visiting a new city, I feel like I'm always caught in the that strange middle ground of wanting to sample the iconic local food specialties, while simultaneously avoiding the kind of restaurants that prey on my naivety and take all my money. These are the places that that offer an unmistakable glimpse at Chicago, while also dishing out great food.
Hot Doug's is getting ready to release a book, and if you have a great story about your time at the restaurant, it may be included.
As I've mentioned a few times this week, Serious Eats Chicago has only been going for a month and a half. So, it's best not to look too hard at the numbers and try to come up with some grand thesis. Regardless, here's our best shot: Chicagoans love fried chicken. And ramen. And any story that mentioned Hot Doug's. I know, earth-shattering stuff, right?
With the holiday season now in full swing, we've put together a little collection of some of our favorite products from the Windy City, including a collection of food, t-shirts, cookbooks, and other products that we'd enjoy receiving in the mail (hint, hint). So, whether you currently reside in the city or live far away and want a little taste of home, check it out and let us know what you think.
The Alternatives to Hot Doug's: Where to Eat in Avondale When Everyone's Favorite Hot Dog Stand Is Closed
No matter how careful you are, you'll eventually make the trek out to Hot Doug's to find the doors locked. Happens to the best of us. Luckily, there are a number of amazing restaurant options around the area, including a number of different cuisines. Just don't try to get a hot dog.
We haven't met many people who don't love a great french fry, and here in Chicago, there are a ton of places to choose from. We scoured the city to compile this list of 10 favorite fry sources. They range from sweet potato fries to foie gras fries to the more classic, skin-on ones.
SE'r Nick Kindelsperger tipped us to these new shirts from Hot Doug's, the Chicago hot dog mecca where you can get everything from the classic Chicago dog to wild game sausage to foie gras dogs—but not burgers, silly. The shirt is a nod to the Sex Pistols' album Never Mind the Bollocks, of course. Zach Brooks already caught onto the whole restaurant-shirt-is-the-new-concert-tee trend back in 2008. And apparently, they still are! Do you have a favorite food-themed shirt you throw on like a distressed Stones tee?
Our man Ed Levine profiles Doug Sohn, owner of Chicago's Hot Doug's, in this piece on AmEx's OPEN Forum Idea Hub. Sohn uses humor and a personal touch to to give his customers "a break from the day."