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The Chase for Chicago's Finest Chili Cheese Dog

The Chase for Chicago's Finest Chili Cheese Dog
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  • The Chase for Chicago's Finest Chili Cheese Dog

    Post #1 - December 20th, 2009, 11:08 am
    Post #1 - December 20th, 2009, 11:08 am Post #1 - December 20th, 2009, 11:08 am
    So there's been a few posts here and there about chili dogs, Coney's etc...but none dedicated to the chili cheese dog. I always get the hankering for a CCD during the wintertime and decided to test out 10 different spots that I had heard from people, knew of already, or read about somewhere else and see what would happen. Many of these spots are known on the board and some of the rec's came from regulars on here. Here are the ten places I visited.

    Index (abc order)

    Branko's
    Chickie's
    Franksville
    Huey's
    Lulu's
    Mr. D's
    Pop's Beef
    Portillo's
    Tore's
    Whats the Beef?

    I visited all the places listed above and scored them accordingly below. In the last month I have tried a chili cheese dog from each one. It was my hope to find a replacement for my favorite chili cheese dog ever from Demon Dog's (RIP). I graded the CCDs in four categories. Here is how it was setup.

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog:
    chili:
    cheese:
    fries:

    best score: 20

    I judged it as follows. As far as the hot dog went, as long as you weren't using Oscar Mayer or some other childish brand you would score a 3 or 4. Almost all these places used Vienna Beef, if not all of them. However different scores were given for different styles of dogs from Vienna Beef and each place used different ones. My favorite CCD from the extinct Demon Dog's used a 8 to 10 natural casing skinless wiener. I think these are the best way to go for a CCD. The chili used didn't need to be an award winning secret recipe from Texas but it did need to blend well with the rest of the elements. Too much beans is still a no no for a good CCD for me as is a soupy-runny brew. I decided I like slices of melted American cheese best for a CCD. The melted nacho cheese wasn't nearly as good and made them too sloppy when used freely. If a place used too much cheese that wasn't a good thing. There needs to be a balance. I always get my CCD with onions on top. The fries were easy, if they were fresh cut and fried up nice you did well, if they were frozen you got a three if not lower. Consider a score of three to be average. Anything below is not so good and anything above was good or better than good.

    Image
    The 10 participants
    ___________________________

    Branko's

    Its funny that I found Branko's when doing a little websearch on the city's best CCDs and saw an old post from MikeG on chowhound suggesting Branko's. Its funny because this is a place I grew up right near and I've been in there an insane amount of times since the early 90's. However my whole reason for this chase is because Demon Dog's, is no more. I used to go to DD's whenever I wanted a CCD and they were my favorite. So I had never had a CCD from Branko's that I can remember but it turned out to be a contender from the get go.

    You have the option of a jumbo Vienna dog or a regular for your CCD. I went regular which is my preference. It was at Branko's I realized I like slices of melted American cheese used for CCD. Not as sloppy as the ooze and works better for me. They also use an alright good homemade chili but it all comes together really well. few less beans would of been nice. I've never liked the fries at Branko's but you cant complain when they come with all dogs and sandwiches.

    Image
    Chili cheese Dog from Branko's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 4
    cheese: 5
    fries: 2

    Score: 15/20
    ___________________________

    Chickie's

    Next up was a spot who's Italian beef I love. I also had a hankering that since they use the natural casing wieners and are a first rate grease shack that maybe they did up a good CCD. Well I was right. In fact this was the closest thing I have found to Demon Dogs as far as taste. I thought it was from there. The only difference was the poppy seed bun and the fries. At Chickie's the fries are more like another long gone favorite of mine for beef and fries-Fazzio's which was at 2801 N Lincoln.


    Chickie's scored perfect on the hot dog since they used my favorite kind, the NC 8-10 a pound from VB. As far as the cheese goes this was also the closest thing to Demon Dogs I had. Yes it is processed nacho cheese but as you can see in the picture its a certain type. Its different then your typical baseball stadium nacho cheese which many places use. Its a different hue of orange than the rest had. I thought the chili was good and went great with the dog and cheese. The fries at Chickie's always deserve mention when the best in city are discussed.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Chickie's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 5
    chili: 4
    cheese: 4
    fries: 5

    Score: 18/20
    ___________________________

    Franksville

    I hadn't been to Franksville since my days of summer work with the sheriff's department. We used to go there every now and then when we were around Portage Park but I don't remember anything too special about it. However I saw somewhere online they were on a best chili cheese dog in Chicago list. The people mentioned they have a good spicy chili sauce they use and included a few spots I knew about and thought were good so I decided to try.

    I saw Fransville's banner for induction into the Vienna Beef HOF so I know they use Vienna hot dogs. However as you can see from the photo this is a different dog than many others used. I'm not sure which type of tube this is but its not a natural casing. The chili was pretty good, actually some of the better chili topping I remember but as you can see in the pic its baseball stadium nacho cheese and they used alot of it. Nothing to say about the fries which were average.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Franksville

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 3
    chili: 4
    cheese: 2 (too much)
    fries: 3

    Score: 12/20
    ___________________________

    Huey's Hot Dogs

    Huey's is another spot where I had seen on a best of list. I believe it was in Newcity's best of Chicago list which it was listed as having Chicago's best CCD. I had heard about this somewhat new hot dog stand here and there but never made the trek north up Clark to try the place out. Its your typical ever increasing in popularity "Gourmet Fast food" shack. Nothing too fancy just attention to detail and good ingredients. They have a nice looking menu but I was there for the CCD.


    The first question asked when you order a CCD is if you want it charred or steamed? Interesting because when I make CCD at home I like to grill the dogs but I also know that most places don't grill them up like I do. I like to slit them up. I ordered mine charred and surely they didn't cut it up. Nonetheless it was still good but what was lacking in this CCD was the chili. It was rather soupy and I really didn't get much flavor from it. The cheese was nacho like but they added alot and the fries were home cut and pretty damn good.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Huey's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 2
    cheese: 3
    fries: 4

    Score: 13/20
    ___________________________

    Lulu's

    Lulu's got the call due to a tipper from a sheriff I know. Although it wasn't for their CCD but just as his favorite lunchtime joint. I have been to Lulu's a few times but not recently and I never had a CCD from there. However I always see the homemade chili sign when driving by and it got the call in the 1st installment in the quest for the CCD here. Its a very popular lunch spot with the UIC medical crowd and Cook County Sheriff's department and correctional officers and has been around for a while now.

    Well this ones on me. You don't have to get a CCD should you visit Lulu. I like the regular dogs at Lulu's just fine the years ago I had them. Its not the city's best hot dog but if I was working near there Id have one now and then. But for whatever reason the hot dog I got in my CCD was damn near decomposed. It looked like a convenience store hot dog after a 3 day crack binge. They have the signs from Vienna Beef everywhere and I'm guessing this was a VB dog but it had been around a little too long I think. Its skin was wrinklier than your Grandma Bessie's. It didn't get much better with the chili which was more like beans. I count over 15 in this picture. They did get the cheese right with it being slices of American but the fries were your average frozen brand.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Lulu's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 2
    chili: 2
    cheese: 5
    fries: 2

    Score: 11/20
    ___________________________

    Mr. D's


    Mr. D's was a spot I had wanted to try a CCD from on many occasions. I'm already a big fan of this as you already know from HERE. When I was talking to a buddy from CPD at a bar one night we were talking about Mr. D's and he mentioned he always gets a cheeseburger in summer and CCD over winter. It was all I needed to give trying one a go since I had already known they make their own chili and everything is pretty much good if not great here. Its one of Chicago's best "Chicago Style fast food" joints. What does that mean? they do what they do, really good. Lots of other places have the same things but most of them don't do it like Mr. D's. Which is the right way.

    Mr. D's comes thru again and at this point I'm used too it. Its easy to see why this place has constant traffic and gets busy at lunchtime. The hot dog was a perfectly steamed Vienna that went great with Mr. D's homemade chili. Ok so there were a few beans in it but not too many and they also use the slices of American cheese melted down real well. You already know about the fries which are some of if not the best fries in the city. I'm betting Mr. D's does a mean chili cheese fries. Even though this turned out as one of the better CCDs, It's hard to ever pass on that shish kebab sandwich.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Mr. D's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 4
    cheese: 5
    fries: 5

    Score: 18/20
    ___________________________

    Pop's Beef

    Next stop is Pop's which has a few locations on the southside which are all very consistent. I have also been to Pop's countless amount of times and love their Italian beef. They got one of the better beefs in the city and my favorite hot peppers. I was also tipped off by a friend when talking about their IB that they also have a really good CCD. So it was only a matter of time before I tried one.

    The hot dog was just fine and your normal above average dog your going to get in Chicago. The chili was also pretty good and I had no complaints about it but also nothing that made we say WOW! More places used American slices than I thought and Pop's is included in that list. While Pop's does use frozen fries they are also my favorite frozen fries from anywhere that uses them. They are the thinner McDonald's size variety and are much like Mickey D's and they fry them up nicely at Pop's.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Pop's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 3
    cheese: 5
    fries: 3

    Score: 15/20
    ___________________________

    Portillo's

    This is why there's fast food and "Chicago style fast food" Portillo's has it down to an art. Its not great but for the size and operation, I think they're pretty consistent.. It might not be the best for anything hut its perfectly acceptable and better than average with all of its menu items. Its also been my go to spot for a CCD since Demon Dog's closed.

    I knew the CCDs were good at Portillo's but I wasn't sure if they are Chicago's best. I'm still not going to say they are the very best but as I already knew they are one of the city's best. Its always been one of their most popular items right after the Chicago style dogs, Italian beef and hamburgers. The hot dogs are very nice and I think they now have their own recipe made and I think its still from Vienna. The chili at Portillo's is also one of the restaurants popular items and it works really good on a chili cheese dog. Its better on the dog than it is in a cup or bowl. They don't use melted American slices but they like Chickie's above use a decent melted brand. The fries at Portillo's are just ok.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Portillo's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 5
    cheese: 4
    fries: 3

    Score: 16/20
    ___________________________

    Tore's

    Tore's was the wild card in this bunch. I never had one from here but have heard a few people ordering them when I was stopping in for a meatball or Italian beef. Which they do ok versions of. They also have good hot dogs and great fries. I figured why not a good CCD?

    Well it wasn't one of the best but again not one of the worst. It was a middle of the pack runner. The hot dog was good but the chili had a few too many beans although did have an alright taste and also wasn't the worst just not the best. The cheese was nacho like and they piled both it and the chili on top. The dog fell apart about the second bite. Everything blended together made for an ok CCD despite the mess. I did very much enjoy mopping the leftovers that fell thru with their top notch french fries. They made for some good chili cheese fries.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Tore's

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 3
    cheese: 2 (too much)
    fries: 5

    Score: 14/20
    ___________________________

    Whats the Beef

    Another spot I've been to a few times, not too many, but never had a chili cheese dog at. I decided to add this to the list when I saw they made their own homemade chili and did a few other things well, even if beef isn't one of them.

    Just like Tore's above they loaded everything onto this CCD and it became damn near impossible to pick up. The dog was good and the chili was ok but not bad for a CCD but the cheese was baseball nacho and they poured it on. The fries at WTB are are good and again the fall thru chili and cheese made for a good batch of chili cheese fries.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Whats the Beef

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 3
    cheese: 2 (too much)
    fries: 5

    Score: 14/20
    ___________________________

    So there you have it folks, I have two weeks off thru New years and as you can see I was bored. If you got any favorites let us know. Here is how they turned out.

    Best Chili Cheese Dog w/ fries

    Tie-Chickie's and Mr. D's (18/20)

    Best Chili Cheese Dog's (fries not scored)

    Branko's (13/15)
    Chickie's (13/15)
    Mr. D's (13/15)
    Portillo's (13/15)

    Pop's (12/15)
    ________________________________________


    Branko's Sandwich Shop
    1118 W Fullerton Ave
    Chicago, IL 60614
    (773) 472-4873

    Chickie's
    2839 S Pulaski Rd
    Chicago, IL 60623
    (773) 277-2333

    Franksville
    3550 N Harlem Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60634-3629
    (773) 237-5848

    Huey's
    1507 W Balmoral Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60640-1207
    (773) 293-4800

    Lulu's Hot Dogs
    1000 S Leavitt St
    Chicago, IL 60612-4214

    Get Directions
    (312) 243-3444

    Mr. D's Shish Kebob's
    6656 W Diversey Ave
    Chicago, IL 60707
    773-637-0042

    Pop's Italian Beef and Sausage
    10337 S Kedzie Ave
    Chicago, IL 60655
    (773) 239-1243
    Website

    Portillo's
    100 W Ontario
    Chicago, IL
    (312) 587-8910
    locations throughout Chicagoland
    Website

    Tore's Beef & Pizza
    2804 N Western Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 486-2600

    Whats the Beef
    1863 N Clybourn Ave
    Chicago, IL 60614
    (773) 477-7200
  • Post #2 - December 20th, 2009, 11:13 am
    Post #2 - December 20th, 2009, 11:13 am Post #2 - December 20th, 2009, 11:13 am
    nice post, but this has me confused:

    8 to 10 natural casing skinless wiener.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #3 - December 20th, 2009, 11:28 am
    Post #3 - December 20th, 2009, 11:28 am Post #3 - December 20th, 2009, 11:28 am
    great post, Da Beef, I have always held Portillos as the gold standard of chili dogs, and always order one when I visit.

    With that said, I think I need to try one @ Branko's and Hueys you showed pics of.

    thanks
  • Post #4 - December 20th, 2009, 12:20 pm
    Post #4 - December 20th, 2009, 12:20 pm Post #4 - December 20th, 2009, 12:20 pm
    elakin wrote:nice post, but this has me confused:

    8 to 10 natural casing skinless wiener.



    I think this refers to 8-10 dogs per pound...similar to how shrimp is categorized.
  • Post #5 - December 20th, 2009, 1:11 pm
    Post #5 - December 20th, 2009, 1:11 pm Post #5 - December 20th, 2009, 1:11 pm
    DClose wrote:
    elakin wrote:nice post, but this has me confused:

    8 to 10 natural casing skinless wiener.



    I think this refers to 8-10 dogs per pound...similar to how shrimp is categorized.


    Dan,

    Eddie is questioning how a frank can be both skinless and natural casing.

    :twisted:
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #6 - December 20th, 2009, 1:17 pm
    Post #6 - December 20th, 2009, 1:17 pm Post #6 - December 20th, 2009, 1:17 pm
    great post . i like duke's burbank,il. :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #7 - December 20th, 2009, 1:59 pm
    Post #7 - December 20th, 2009, 1:59 pm Post #7 - December 20th, 2009, 1:59 pm
    My all time favorite ccd hands down, FAT JOHNNIE'S at 73rd & western. He uses David Berg all beef weiners.
  • Post #8 - December 20th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    Post #8 - December 20th, 2009, 2:59 pm Post #8 - December 20th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    Bravo, Da Beef, for an excellent post -- the pix are especially helpful, and I appreciated your rating system, as well.

    I've had very few chili dogs in my life (I've had many more Coney dogs of the Kalamazoo variety, which, honestly, I've never understood: just ground beef with some onions on a dog; ??).

    One hurdle for me with the CCD is that American seems the default "cheese" and that is tough to take. I understand it's part of the deal, and if I don't like that cheese then I guess I don't like chili dogs, but the idea of chili with a good cheese (like maybe grated cheddar, nothing fancy) on a dog sounds just delicious. I understand melting point is critical, and American cheese melts like butter, but it seems a decent grated cheese would also melt readily enough to make it usable.

    Nacho cheese will never be okay with me; I've tried it again recently and I just cannot hack it down.

    Anyway, very fine review; thx.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - December 20th, 2009, 3:22 pm
    Post #9 - December 20th, 2009, 3:22 pm Post #9 - December 20th, 2009, 3:22 pm
    I think this refers to 8-10 dogs per pound...similar to how shrimp is categorized.


    Dan,

    Eddie is questioning how a frank can be both skinless and natural casing.



    both, actually. hot dogs aren't like shrimp. the factory makes them all exactly the same size. vienna makes an 8:1 (eight dogs per pound) and a 10:1 (10 per pound).

    and, yeah, they're either natural casing or skinless. can't be both.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #10 - December 20th, 2009, 3:42 pm
    Post #10 - December 20th, 2009, 3:42 pm Post #10 - December 20th, 2009, 3:42 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Bravo, Da Beef, for an excellent post -- the pix are especially helpful, and I appreciated your rating system, as well.

    I've had very few chili dogs in my life (I've had many more Coney dogs of the Kalamazoo variety, which, honestly, I've never understood: just ground beef with some onions on a dog; ??).

    One hurdle for me with the CCD is that American seems the default "cheese" and that is tough to take. I understand it's part of the deal, and if I don't like that cheese then I guess I don't like chili dogs, but the idea of chili with a good cheese (like maybe grated cheddar, nothing fancy) on a dog sounds just delicious. I understand melting point is critical, and American cheese melts like butter, but it seems a decent grated cheese would also melt readily enough to make it usable.

    Nacho cheese will never be okay with me; I've tried it again recently and I just cannot hack it down.

    Anyway, very fine review; thx.


    I've never tried one there, but I would think a CCD at Paradise Pup would be made with Merkt's cheddar, like their fries or burgers, rather than American or nacho goop.
  • Post #11 - December 20th, 2009, 4:00 pm
    Post #11 - December 20th, 2009, 4:00 pm Post #11 - December 20th, 2009, 4:00 pm
    I don't understand using chili with beans in it or the nacho cheese on a CC Dog.

    A cheddar chili dog is the way to go.
  • Post #12 - December 20th, 2009, 4:33 pm
    Post #12 - December 20th, 2009, 4:33 pm Post #12 - December 20th, 2009, 4:33 pm
    philw wrote:great post . i like duke's burbank,il. :mrgreen:

    long agoi'm talking 70's &erly 80's down harlem from duke's there use to be a hot dog stand with the best . pup& pop was at the stop & go light at 83rd & harlem but that is long gone. they had the best chilicheese dogs
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #13 - December 20th, 2009, 9:25 pm
    Post #13 - December 20th, 2009, 9:25 pm Post #13 - December 20th, 2009, 9:25 pm
    elakin wrote:nice post, but this has me confused:

    8 to 10 natural casing skinless wiener.


    Yes and I could see why, meant a natural casing over a skinless. I guess I was wrong about the other. I forget the exact names of the ones I get over at the factory but they're the smallest of the NC.

    jimswside wrote:great post, Da Beef, I have always held Portillos as the gold standard of chili dogs, and always order one when I visit.

    With that said, I think I need to try one @ Branko's and Hueys you showed pics of.

    thanks


    Portillo's was def. one of the best. Its hard not to like their version. Everything is pretty well rounded.

    local597 wrote:My all time favorite ccd hands down, FAT JOHNNIE'S at 73rd & western. He uses David Berg all beef weiners.


    Yes the super dog is also a worthy contender, I will expand on this list, just wanted to start with the first 10 I got to. However FJ also doesn't have fries but that's not a big deal, just cant be scored.

    David Hammond wrote:Bravo, Da Beef, for an excellent post -- the pix are especially helpful, and I appreciated your rating system, as well.

    I've had very few chili dogs in my life (I've had many more Coney dogs of the Kalamazoo variety, which, honestly, I've never understood: just ground beef with some onions on a dog; ??).

    One hurdle for me with the CCD is that American seems the default "cheese" and that is tough to take. I understand it's part of the deal, and if I don't like that cheese then I guess I don't like chili dogs, but the idea of chili with a good cheese (like maybe grated cheddar, nothing fancy) on a dog sounds just delicious. I understand melting point is critical, and American cheese melts like butter, but it seems a decent grated cheese would also melt readily enough to make it usable.

    Nacho cheese will never be okay with me; I've tried it again recently and I just cannot hack it down.

    Anyway, very fine review; thx.


    Thanks. I've had a few Coneys from here and there to throughout the Midwest but didn't think the true Coneys (pork dog, beef heart/kidney ground beef mixture, mustard, no cheese) could be graded against a CCD.

    I do like the regualr old shredded cheese as well as the slices of American. The newly opened devil Dawgs on Sheffield has a "coney" dog on the menu. Although they use Red Hot Chicago Dogs and I still dont exactly what "real" coney sauce is but I'm sure someone would say Devil Dawg's isnt it. It does however make a good CCD. I got the mustard too.

    Image
    Coney dog with cheese from Devil Dawgs

    Devil Dawgs
    2147 N. Sheffield Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60614
    773-281-4300
  • Post #14 - December 21st, 2009, 12:46 am
    Post #14 - December 21st, 2009, 12:46 am Post #14 - December 21st, 2009, 12:46 am
    Nice post, I'll have to try Branko's, I haven't visited that place in 5 years or so. I really enjoy the CCD at Herm's Palace in Skokie. You get the option of a liquid cheese or American slices and their chili is homemade.
  • Post #15 - December 23rd, 2009, 10:05 am
    Post #15 - December 23rd, 2009, 10:05 am Post #15 - December 23rd, 2009, 10:05 am
    Great roundup, sir. I've always appreciated a good chili-cheese dog and when I'm at Portillos I always defer to their version of the CCD.* Nothing hits the greatest of heights, but everything just works and it's a dependable workhorse version of the dog.

    If anyone wants to check out my go-to chili cheese dog, consider the humble Happy House in West Chicago. A tiny little hot dog shack hidden in plain sight on Roosevelt Road, they've got the best version of the CCD I've found yet.

    Image

    Image

    The genius of the dog is that they lay a slice of cheese (not a shot of that nacho goop) in the bun before applying the dog or the chili, so when you bite in you get a blast of that chili (yes, with beans) on top, then the dog, and then it finishes with a smooth creamy melted bite of cheese. It's great. Fries aren't bad either (frozen but better than most in that class) and they've got red creme soda on tap which is always worth grabbing.

    Image

    It may not look like much from this terrible photo, but if you're in the area, check it out.

    *As a catholic-school kid, I have a hard time seeing CCD and not thinking of the kids that always screwed up our desks every weekend.

    Happy House
    140 E Roosevelt Rd
    West Chicago, IL 60185-3965
    (630) 231-8989
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #16 - December 24th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Post #16 - December 24th, 2009, 10:07 am Post #16 - December 24th, 2009, 10:07 am
    This thread has had me craving chili dogs since it was posted...

    I only had about 5 minutes for lunch yesterday so heading to any new spots listed above was out. So over to the old standby Portillos for (2) chili dogs with cheese and onions. As good as always, so good I may need another for a lite lunch today to tide me over until X-mas Eve dinenr @ Double Li @ 6:00.
  • Post #17 - December 27th, 2009, 1:32 pm
    Post #17 - December 27th, 2009, 1:32 pm Post #17 - December 27th, 2009, 1:32 pm
    Agree completely about Demon Dogs. Absolutely the best, as were the chili cheese fries. I used to love the chili cheese polish at Wolfy's, but haven't had one in years. Still might be worth a try.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #18 - December 27th, 2009, 5:06 pm
    Post #18 - December 27th, 2009, 5:06 pm Post #18 - December 27th, 2009, 5:06 pm
    kuhdo wrote:I used to love the chili cheese polish at Wolfy's, but haven't had one in years. Still might be worth a try.


    Still the best polish in town IMO, but I'd never in good conscience be able to try one with chili and/or cheese on it. I'll take your esteemed word for its glory. I assume it's still the same. Not much has changed there since they stopped offering the choice of Hungarian or Polish for your sausage eating pleasure and switched to food service fries back in the 70's.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - December 28th, 2009, 12:17 am
    Post #19 - December 28th, 2009, 12:17 am Post #19 - December 28th, 2009, 12:17 am
    stevez wrote:
    kuhdo wrote:I used to love the chili cheese polish at Wolfy's, but haven't had one in years. Still might be worth a try.


    Still the best polish in town IMO, but I'd never in good conscience be able to try one with chili and/or cheese on it..


    Never would have occurred to me either. Credit/blame must go to my wife, perfect in most other ways, but unaware of the sacred rules of condimentation (she once tried to put ketchup on an Italian beef, but I was able to act quickly enough to stop her , thereby saving both of us from being transformed into pillars of salt on the spot) ordered one of these years ago. After recovering from the initial horror I found myself unable to resist a bite and was converted instantly.

    I have to admit though, I would always order one of these "for her" and one "regular" for me (mustard/onions/hot peppers) and then offer to "share".
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #20 - December 29th, 2009, 8:25 pm
    Post #20 - December 29th, 2009, 8:25 pm Post #20 - December 29th, 2009, 8:25 pm
    whiskeybent wrote:
    The genius of the dog is that they lay a slice of cheese (not a shot of that nacho goop) in the bun before applying the dog or the chili, so when you bite in you get a blast of that chili (yes, with beans) on top, then the dog, and then it finishes with a smooth creamy melted bite of cheese.


    Thats how we do it here. The layer of cheese on the bottom, I feel, prevents the chili from soaking the bottom of the bun causing it to break apart. Less messy.
  • Post #21 - December 30th, 2009, 2:31 am
    Post #21 - December 30th, 2009, 2:31 am Post #21 - December 30th, 2009, 2:31 am
    For me, beans in the chili is a deal-breaker.

    Where would I go in Chicago to get a CCD without?
    See, I'm an idea man, Chuck. I got ideas coming at me all day. Hey, I got it! Take LIVE tuna fish and FEED 'em mayonnaise!

    -Michael Keaton's character in Night Shift
  • Post #22 - April 13th, 2010, 12:01 pm
    Post #22 - April 13th, 2010, 12:01 pm Post #22 - April 13th, 2010, 12:01 pm
    Quick Note about the Original 10-Whats The Beef is now closed and where Franks N Dawgs now stays. Although its also thought that WTB is now Margies.

    I've been meaning to make a full report on the somewhat new Chicago's Dog House on Fullerton in Lincoln Park and will get to that but should put of note on here that their chili cheese dog aka Snoop Dog is one of the better I have had from a dog joint. The Vienna dog is grilled and topped with homemade chili and melted shredded colby jack cheese. The fries are actually frips which are basically fresh fried potato chips. More on the rest of it in a report coming soon but the CCD is mighty good.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Chicago's dog house

    Rating Scale 5/5

    hot dog: 4
    chili: 4
    cheese: 5
    fries: 4

    Score: 17/20
    ___________________________

    Chicago's Dog House
    816 West Fullerton Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60614
    (773) 248-3647
  • Post #23 - April 13th, 2010, 2:24 pm
    Post #23 - April 13th, 2010, 2:24 pm Post #23 - April 13th, 2010, 2:24 pm
    In the original post there is no mention of buns in the grading criteria, at least that I caught in my skimming of it. Personally I think that poppy seeds have no business near a CCD, your thoughts?

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #24 - April 15th, 2010, 11:47 am
    Post #24 - April 15th, 2010, 11:47 am Post #24 - April 15th, 2010, 11:47 am
    Had a Mr. D's chile-cheese dog for lunch. I forgot the onions, but it was good even without them.

    Nobody had told me how good the fries were. The fries are in the top 5 in the city. Right there with Hot Dougs. A small step ahead of Gene and Judes.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #25 - November 10th, 2010, 7:40 pm
    Post #25 - November 10th, 2010, 7:40 pm Post #25 - November 10th, 2010, 7:40 pm
    I have always been a fan of Portillo's regular chili dogs with cheese and onions(going back 25 years or so). Lately I am hooked on the jumbo chili cheese dog with onions from Portillo's. Ive had at least 3 a week for the past month or so, it may be an obsession.

    The jumbo dog adds alot more balance to the whole package than the smaller dog imho, and makes the burger, Italian saasage, or Chicago style dog i eat after it at each sitting unremarkable.

    Contemplating how to best create a "mother in law" @ Portillo's on my next visit.. cheese dog with onions, side of chili & a tamale?
    Last edited by jimswside on November 18th, 2010, 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #26 - November 10th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    Post #26 - November 10th, 2010, 10:42 pm Post #26 - November 10th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    I am also a fan of a good Chili Dog and will have to give Portillo's a try. Especially since there is one a little over a mile from my house. :)
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #27 - December 22nd, 2010, 7:07 pm
    Post #27 - December 22nd, 2010, 7:07 pm Post #27 - December 22nd, 2010, 7:07 pm
    Nick's Tavern in Lemont, home of the Nickburger, has a damn fine CCD. In fact I enjoyed it more than I did the burger for what they both were. Nick's is a cozy little tavern with a really nice interior cramped into the small space. They have great deals and specials and one of them is the chili cheese dog. I think it was $1.99 and is a wintertime thing since they use the housemade chili to top them with. The dog was not a Vienna or Red Hot Chicago or any of that. It was a smokey variety that worked well with the bun, Midwest chili and shredded cheddar. No score since they don't have fries. In the OP I did not score the bun because for the most part they were one or the other (poppy seed or not). The bun seen in the pic below was stellar and I think I liked it better than all others I have had a CCD with.

    Image
    chili cheese dog from Nick's Tavern

    Nick's Tavern
    221 Main Street
    Lemont, IL 60439-3624
    (630) 257-6564
  • Post #28 - May 23rd, 2012, 11:34 am
    Post #28 - May 23rd, 2012, 11:34 am Post #28 - May 23rd, 2012, 11:34 am
    LAZ wrote:
    LAZ, crossposted from Chicago Style Hot Dogs for Tourists, wrote:Image

    Natural casing Vienna dog, poppyseed bun, pickle, tomatoes, onion, mustard, sport peppers, neon relish, celery salt at The Dog House, a seasonal walk-up stand in Irving Park. There are a few picnic tables if you want to eat there.

    The Dog House
    4501 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60630
    (773) 205-2050


    I think the switch over to Vienna Beef (and more care put into the place/product) has made the Dog House 2 worth the stop. Not too far east off 90/94 on Lawrence ave and worth the small detour for their perfect example of a Chicago style dog, they also do a tasty chili cheese dog. Natural casing dog and beanless chili, if only they had real shredded cheese. No fries. Nonetheless a good CCD and really good Chi-Style dog if you're ever near there on a nice summer day and in need.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Image Image
    Proud to be a Vienna Beefian...
  • Post #29 - May 23rd, 2012, 1:14 pm
    Post #29 - May 23rd, 2012, 1:14 pm Post #29 - May 23rd, 2012, 1:14 pm
    If it is true that this place is now serving natural casing dogs, then Chicago Dog House is now the closest acceptable hot dog vendor to my house . I'll be going there later today to check it out.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - May 23rd, 2012, 3:47 pm
    Post #30 - May 23rd, 2012, 3:47 pm Post #30 - May 23rd, 2012, 3:47 pm
    UPDATE: I stopped at Dog House 2 for a quick dog on my way home. Yes, they are indeed natural casing Vienna dogs. This place will do in a pinch, but even though they are natural casing, and the condiments and buns are correct, the sandwich doesn't seem to come together like it does at the top tier places...plus, they don't offer fries (only chips). It will be nice to have Dog House 2 in the neighborhood for wiener emergencies, but I don't think it will make my regular rotation.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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