eatchicago wrote:Two words: Char. Salami.
Two words, hangover cure.
5-6 inches of grilled thick slice salami, sport peppers, raw and fried onions, a healthy shot of mustard all loaded on an Italian beef roll. Oh yea, you're preaching to the choir. I also like Poochie's house cut unpeeled fries, though they have a tendency to be slightly overcooked and need salt. Poochie's is a great hot dog stand, even if you don't have a hangover.
While I do love Poochie's, my current favorite Chicago Hot Dog, Hot Doug's notwithstanding, can be found at Herm's on Dempster. Herm's has natural casing Vienna, steamed poppy seed buns and a full spectrum of toppings, though I go for the minimalist mustard, onion, sport pepper. Fries are of the skinny school, ask for them crisp.
Speaking of hot dog stands, last time I was at Jimmy's, Grand/Pulaski, it occurred to me it's a perfect little slice of urban life, albeit the grittier side. Two businesses being run out of car trunks in the parking lot, one of which was, get this, full-on Japanese Samurai swords. Yep, 3-foot long swords hawked with perfect Ron Popiel patter.
Families with kids, tough guys with attitudes, businessmen, preachers, pretty much the full spectrum of humanity crowding in, only to be greeted by a cross-eyed, poorly dressed refugee from reality selling bootleg dvd's of recent feature films, $15 a piece, 3 for $35. No one gets out of line at Jimmy's though, at least not for long. Jimmy's is not the Wiener Circle, no Disneyesque affectations of verbal abuse here, if you tick 'em off they come around the counter and kick your ass or, at the least, bounce it out the door.
Jimmy's dog is of the minimalist school, mustard, onion, sport pepper, which is my preference. The dog itself is just ok, especially in light of the fact it's natural casing. It's not that it's bad, just the flavor is somewhat nondescript. The fries, on the other hand, are excellent. Crisp, burnt on a few edges, salty, slightly greasy, potatoey, fluffy, dense, lots of differing tastes, textures. Hand cut fry perfection.
Herm's Hot Dog Palace
3406 Dempster St
Skokie, IL 60076
Jimmy's Red Hots
4000 West Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60651
Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without. Low & Slow