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Chicago Hot Dogs for Tourists

Chicago Hot Dogs for Tourists
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  • Post #151 - October 13th, 2008, 10:49 am
    Post #151 - October 13th, 2008, 10:49 am Post #151 - October 13th, 2008, 10:49 am
    iblock9 wrote:Mustard's Last Stand
    1613 Central Street
    Evanston, IL, 60201
    (847) 864-2700
    a Northwestern and evanston institution in the shade of Dyche Stadium.
    The last couple of times I've been there I was extremely disappointed in the hot dogs. Don't think they deserve their reputation at all. I would pass on them.

    Portillo's
    9400 Skokie Boulevard
    Skokie, IL, 60076
    (847) 933-0700
    Corporate dog maligned by many but will do in a pinch when you need a dog late or just want a drive thru z
    I still love Portillo's hot dogs and especially the Italian Beef. Their grilled chicken and fried chicken sandwiches have gone way downhill. Still love the onion rings and always order your fries well done.


    Wilmette

    Irvings for Red Hot Lovers
    3207 Lake Avenue
    Wilmette, IL, 60091
    (847) 251-6300
    Used to be a favorite of mine but has declined over the years since Irving died. Still a serviceable dog.
    The hot dog there is a Red Hot Chicago and the last time I remember having it, it was good.

    Glenview

    fRedhots & Fries
    1707 Chestnut Ave
    Glenview, IL, 60025
    (847) 657-9200
    New arrival and GNR award recipient. Exotic dogs, great fries with dipping sauces.
    Need to check them out.

    Highland Park

    Michael's
    1879 2nd St
    Highland Park, IL, 60035
    (847) 432-3338
    Hot dog emporium that has grown from a small counter in the 70s to a mega-stand serving dogs, fries and everything in between. I find Michael's to be consistently good, not perfect.
    I grew up in Highland Park and this was my main hot dog joint from age 7 to 18. In my opinion Michael's peaked in the 80's when they were getting big reviews all the time, but they don't seem to be as good as before. They're still not bad though. Decent burgers.

    Stash's
    610 Central Ave
    Highland Park, IL, 60035
    (847) 432-6550
    When Stash owned the restaurant it was much better but the fries are still pretty good. Huge menu.
    It seemed in Highland Park you were either a Michael's fan or a Stash's fan. I rarely went to Stash's and never liked it. However nowadays it's not bad at all.

    I hope this helps.
    Always! Great list, you have it covered well. They really should rename Dempster St. to Hot Dog St. One day soon, I'm going to do the Dempster Hot Dog run (Poochie's, Herm's, Weiner and Still Champion). Hot Dog Island is gone, right? They were great when they were on Golf Rd.
  • Post #152 - October 13th, 2008, 2:08 pm
    Post #152 - October 13th, 2008, 2:08 pm Post #152 - October 13th, 2008, 2:08 pm
    Ram4 wrote: Hot Dog Island is gone, right? They were great when they were on Golf Rd.


    Yes...they are no longer in business
  • Post #153 - October 14th, 2008, 6:54 am
    Post #153 - October 14th, 2008, 6:54 am Post #153 - October 14th, 2008, 6:54 am
    LTH,

    Speaking of hot dogs, I recently had one at long time favorite Herm's on Dempster and at first bite the wiener fell through the bun, this never happened to me before. It was a minimalist style dog (mustard, onion, sport pepper) on a good quality poppy seed bun. What I think happened is the dog itself was wet from steaming/simmering and they neglected to shake the moisture off before inserting in the bun.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Last line rewritten twice so as not to sound like an advert for a Porn Dog stand

    Herm's Hot Dog Palace
    3406 Dempster St
    Skokie, IL 60076
    847-673-9757
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #154 - October 14th, 2008, 12:53 pm
    Post #154 - October 14th, 2008, 12:53 pm Post #154 - October 14th, 2008, 12:53 pm
    abqandrea wrote:For the record, I just had my very first Chicago dog

    Welcome to Chicago and LTHForum.

    There is only one Superdawg (although a second location is in the works and there's a stand at Midway Airport).

    Superdawg Drive-In
    773/763-0660
    http://www.superdawg.com
    6363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
  • Post #155 - October 14th, 2008, 5:16 pm
    Post #155 - October 14th, 2008, 5:16 pm Post #155 - October 14th, 2008, 5:16 pm
    Ram4 wrote:
    iblock9 wrote:Highland Park

    Michael's
    1879 2nd St
    Highland Park, IL, 60035
    (847) 432-3338
    Hot dog emporium that has grown from a small counter in the 70s to a mega-stand serving dogs, fries and everything in between. I find Michael's to be consistently good, not perfect.
    I grew up in Highland Park and this was my main hot dog joint from age 7 to 18. In my opinion Michael's peaked in the 80's when they were getting big reviews all the time, but they don't seem to be as good as before. They're still not bad though. Decent burgers.

    iblock9 wrote:Stash's
    610 Central Ave
    Highland Park, IL, 60035
    (847) 432-6550
    When Stash owned the restaurant it was much better but the fries are still pretty good. Huge menu.
    It seemed in Highland Park you were either a Michael's fan or a Stash's fan. I rarely went to Stash's and never liked it. However nowadays it's not bad at all.

    I moved to Highland Park in 1970, Stash's was pretty much the only game in town and very, very good. They were honored by Chicago Magazine as the best Chicago style hot dog in the region. The brass hotdog trophy was on their wall for years.

    Things changed when their brick hotdog shack was demolished to build Port Clinton. It changed further when Michael's opened with a slicker, more polished hot dog stand with enthusiastic marketing and party room. Stash, the man, never was prepared for such competition, because he was largely a hot dog stand kinda guy. You wanna dog, you getta dog. He wasn't into catering, marketing or kissing too many babies.

    The new owner of Stash's seems to have a better sense on how to evolve this institution to at least serve his market. He does catering. He started an Italian pasta bar within Stash's with a name to fit: Guido's. He experiments with the format, about a year ago he introduced breakfast. He makes a decent hotdog, which I learned to order, "Chicago style" otherwise they wear you down with all the options. Stash's circa 1970 was default Chicago-style, which is no longer the case.

    I think Stash oversaw the rise and fading of his hot dog stand. The new guy is making a decent shot in reviving it. Presently, I rarely go to either Michael's or Stash's because they are too close to my home. I prefer buying premium hot dogs and seeded buns to make my own at home. Hot dogs is what I eat when I am not near home.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #156 - November 11th, 2008, 11:51 am
    Post #156 - November 11th, 2008, 11:51 am Post #156 - November 11th, 2008, 11:51 am
    Sparky just got a joke book, and with great...relish...read the following:

    What do you give a dog with a fever? Mustard! Because it's the best thing for a hot dog!

    Wahw wahw wahw
  • Post #157 - April 8th, 2012, 5:52 am
    Post #157 - April 8th, 2012, 5:52 am Post #157 - April 8th, 2012, 5:52 am
    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
  • Post #158 - April 8th, 2012, 6:34 am
    Post #158 - April 8th, 2012, 6:34 am Post #158 - April 8th, 2012, 6:34 am
    LAZ wrote: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 60630S
    (773) 205-2050

    I wonder when they switched to Vienna Beef. They used to serve Red Hot Chicago dogs.

    April 2009
    Image
  • Post #159 - April 8th, 2012, 6:57 am
    Post #159 - April 8th, 2012, 6:57 am Post #159 - April 8th, 2012, 6:57 am
    Rene G wrote:I wonder when they switched to Vienna Beef. They used to serve Red Hot Chicago dogs.

    April 2009
    In September 2004, the last time I was at The Dog House, they were using skinless Vienna Beef. Now that they switched to natural casing I will stop for a dog soon.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #160 - April 8th, 2012, 7:38 am
    Post #160 - April 8th, 2012, 7:38 am Post #160 - April 8th, 2012, 7:38 am
    In late 2009, the Dog House was sold. It reopened in 2010 selling Vienna Beef.
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #161 - January 28th, 2014, 11:39 am
    Post #161 - January 28th, 2014, 11:39 am Post #161 - January 28th, 2014, 11:39 am
    Da Beef wrote:There really arent that many place's that do it to the exact specifications. Budacki's drive-in has a really good Chicago dog (cheap too) with all the necessities but the poppy steamed bun and maybe the relish, which I always order w/o anyway so I wouldnt know.

    I'm bumping because Budacki's has somehow opened a Los Angeles branch, next to USC of all places. And Budacki's, beyond the Bourdain mentions, don't really appear on the board, aside from the casual chicken wings mention ( :?: )

    Can someone "explain" Budacki's to me? I've never been.
  • Post #162 - January 28th, 2014, 2:06 pm
    Post #162 - January 28th, 2014, 2:06 pm Post #162 - January 28th, 2014, 2:06 pm
    TonyC wrote:Can someone "explain" Budacki's to me? I've never been.


    Price, selection (decent hotdog (though not a destination hotdog), gyros, some vegetarian choices, et al), parking, the people are pretty friendly..., but it's convenience, amenity, and choice that make the case for Budacki's, not the memorability of the food. I don't think you drive across town for Budacki's. In reality, since Slim's opened on Montrose closer to my house, I don't walk the extra couple blocks to Budacki's. In Chicago, decent hotdogs are fungible.

    Lately I've been hotdogging at Redhot Ranch on Ashland. I like it, but perhaps not enough for it to become my standard. Their dog reminds me of the hotdogs of my youth from Tony and Frank's on Polk and Western. That's a good thing and about the closest I've ever come to having a Proustian memory.
  • Post #163 - January 28th, 2014, 2:25 pm
    Post #163 - January 28th, 2014, 2:25 pm Post #163 - January 28th, 2014, 2:25 pm
    TonyC wrote:
    Can someone "explain" Budacki's to me? I've never been.


    Budacki's is a typical Chicago Dog/Beef/Burger stand. I used to live within walking distance and I rarely went there, which should pretty much tell you my opinion of the food. The dogs are serviceable if there's nowhere else around, but this is Chicago so... The best thing Budacki's has going for it, IMO, is that fact that they have their own parking lot.

    I suppose if I lived where you do, I'd welcome Budacki's with open arms, though I'm not sure I'd even choose it over Portillo's, which is also in your market.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #164 - January 28th, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Post #164 - January 28th, 2014, 2:30 pm Post #164 - January 28th, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Choey wrote:In Chicago, decent hotdogs are fungible.


    Banner quote, all the way.
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #165 - January 28th, 2014, 4:13 pm
    Post #165 - January 28th, 2014, 4:13 pm Post #165 - January 28th, 2014, 4:13 pm
    TonyC wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:There really arent that many place's that do it to the exact specifications. Budacki's drive-in has a really good Chicago dog (cheap too) with all the necessities but the poppy steamed bun and maybe the relish, which I always order w/o anyway so I wouldnt know.

    I'm bumping because Budacki's has somehow opened a Los Angeles branch, next to USC of all places. And Budacki's, beyond the Bourdain mentions, don't really appear on the board, aside from the casual chicken wings mention ( :?: )

    Can someone "explain" Budacki's to me? I've never been.


    Yep, I saw that too. But it seems from the comments here that I won't make a special trip for it.
  • Post #166 - January 28th, 2014, 4:52 pm
    Post #166 - January 28th, 2014, 4:52 pm Post #166 - January 28th, 2014, 4:52 pm
    TonyC wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:There really arent that many place's that do it to the exact specifications. Budacki's drive-in has a really good Chicago dog (cheap too) with all the necessities but the poppy steamed bun and maybe the relish, which I always order w/o anyway so I wouldnt know.

    I'm bumping because Budacki's has somehow opened a Los Angeles branch, next to USC of all places. And Budacki's, beyond the Bourdain mentions, don't really appear on the board, aside from the casual chicken wings mention ( :?: )

    Can someone "explain" Budacki's to me? I've never been.


    For hot dogs, Budacki's isn't worth going out of the way for, though they are good. The wings are a different story: Juicy fried wings smothered in, when ordered spicy, what seems like a combination of buffalo sauce and sambal oelek. The family that owns Budacki's went on to open Crisp.
  • Post #167 - January 28th, 2014, 5:02 pm
    Post #167 - January 28th, 2014, 5:02 pm Post #167 - January 28th, 2014, 5:02 pm
    thanks team! i especially enjoyed the Portillo reference.

    chitrader wrote:Yep, I saw that too. But it seems from the comments here that I won't make a special trip for it.

    O, but what if we made a "meet-n-greet" out of it? :twisted: and they have beer. BEER. And Beef!!

    I think I'll drop by the next time we hit the shuttle exhibit. 'SC area has far and few good eats.
  • Post #168 - January 28th, 2014, 5:35 pm
    Post #168 - January 28th, 2014, 5:35 pm Post #168 - January 28th, 2014, 5:35 pm
    TonyC wrote:thanks team! i especially enjoyed the Portillo reference.


    Tony,

    Next time I'm out there, we'll do a side by side taste test. I'm curious how Cali-Budacki's compares to Cali-Portillo's. (Do they pronounce Portillo's correctly out there, or is it pronounced as a Hispanicsized Porteeeyo's?)
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #169 - January 28th, 2014, 5:44 pm
    Post #169 - January 28th, 2014, 5:44 pm Post #169 - January 28th, 2014, 5:44 pm
    TonyC wrote:thanks team! i especially enjoyed the Portillo reference.

    chitrader wrote:Yep, I saw that too. But it seems from the comments here that I won't make a special trip for it.

    O, but what if we made a "meet-n-greet" out of it? :twisted: and they have beer. BEER. And Beef!!

    I think I'll drop by the next time we hit the shuttle exhibit. 'SC area has far and few good eats.


    You had me at "Beer and Beef" :P
  • Post #170 - January 28th, 2014, 6:09 pm
    Post #170 - January 28th, 2014, 6:09 pm Post #170 - January 28th, 2014, 6:09 pm
    stevez wrote:Next time I'm out there, we'll do a side by side taste test. I'm curious how Cali-Budacki's compares to Cali-Portillo's. (Do they pronounce Portillo's correctly out there, or is it pronounced as a Hispanicsized Porteeeyo's?)

    i think this'll end poorly since the 2 are.. *gulp* 27 miles apart and we'd have to meet in the middle somewhere, say.. the city of Commerce.

    it'd be like running a side-by-side of Katy's XLB and Lao Shanghai. still, you should def call me to nosh.

    PS: the locals pronounce Nigel NEE-GAL so.. Portillo would be....
  • Post #171 - January 29th, 2014, 2:14 pm
    Post #171 - January 29th, 2014, 2:14 pm Post #171 - January 29th, 2014, 2:14 pm
    An possibly important thing people are leaving out - and why it might make sense in LA and might make sense to have good wings - Budacki's is Korean owned and operated....

    Tony, headed your way soon. Ws just in LA/SM for a quick trip that involved no good eats. So, where to eat in the OC?
  • Post #172 - January 29th, 2014, 7:22 pm
    Post #172 - January 29th, 2014, 7:22 pm Post #172 - January 29th, 2014, 7:22 pm
    JeffB wrote:An possibly important thing people are leaving out - and why it might make sense in LA and might make sense to have good wings - Budacki's is Korean owned and operated....[/b]

    DUUUUDE. Now the pieces are coming together. Just got off the phone, Budacki's LA is absolutely related to Budacki's Chicago. However, they don't have enough room (took over a pizza take-out) for the pressure cooker for the wings, so no CRISP/Budacki's wings. I was all friggin excited because Kyochon Ktown is still down for remodeling! Anywho, Budacki's using Vienna's complete line for beef/dogs/giardiniera, and Kronos for gyros. And there's beer. Which is weird for Chicago dog joint, but good for me.

    With Al's opening just a town over, it's gonna be like I never left. Also, there's possibility of CRISP opening in LA.

    Tony, headed your way soon. Ws just in LA/SM for a quick trip that involved no good eats. So, where to eat in the OC?
    OC? I think there's a thread for that. Also another one on PHXeater.

    I've been driving into Garden Grove randomly the last couple of weeks, and EVERY dingy Vietnamese dive I've crawled out of was a hit. You really absolutely can't go wrong there.
  • Post #173 - January 29th, 2014, 7:31 pm
    Post #173 - January 29th, 2014, 7:31 pm Post #173 - January 29th, 2014, 7:31 pm
    LA Budacki's had their soft opening last Sunday and from early reports, the place is going gangbusters. I'm in LA next week teaching classes at our west coast campus in Vernon and will meet with Jin Ra and Team Budacki. Stay tuned!
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #174 - January 30th, 2014, 9:48 am
    Post #174 - January 30th, 2014, 9:48 am Post #174 - January 30th, 2014, 9:48 am
    It had been a while since I had a Chicago dog at Portillo's. I have had better hot dogs served up by the Chicago Park District. No snap...mush. They also toned down the neon green relish to an ordinary green The last time I got a Maxwell Polish it was totally cooked dry and the onions undercooked. Something is happening that is not good.
  • Post #175 - January 30th, 2014, 9:55 am
    Post #175 - January 30th, 2014, 9:55 am Post #175 - January 30th, 2014, 9:55 am
    www.yelp.com/biz/budackis-hot-dog-los-angeles?nb=1
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #176 - January 30th, 2014, 10:07 am
    Post #176 - January 30th, 2014, 10:07 am Post #176 - January 30th, 2014, 10:07 am
    On the Brown Line recently, as it was making its way around the Loop, some young Eastern European tourists asked me (I must have looked like an authority of some sort) where they could find a good Chicago hot dog somewhere near their stop, which was Randolph and Wabash. Searching my memory bank, the best answer I came up with was Gold Coast Dogs, just north of that stop.

    What answer would you have given? I'm asking in case any young Eastern European tourists who are getting off the Brown Line at Randolph and Wabash ever ask me about hot dogs again.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #177 - January 30th, 2014, 10:32 am
    Post #177 - January 30th, 2014, 10:32 am Post #177 - January 30th, 2014, 10:32 am
    UB Dogs is not far at all.

    I hope you at least got their wallets.
  • Post #178 - January 30th, 2014, 12:00 pm
    Post #178 - January 30th, 2014, 12:00 pm Post #178 - January 30th, 2014, 12:00 pm
    riddlemay wrote:On the Brown Line recently, as it was making its way around the Loop, some young Eastern European tourists asked me (I must have looked like an authority of some sort) where they could find a good Chicago hot dog somewhere near their stop, which was Randolph and Wabash. Searching my memory bank, the best answer I came up with was Gold Coast Dogs, just north of that stop.

    What answer would you have given? I'm asking in case any young Eastern European tourists who are getting off the Brown Line at Randolph and Wabash ever ask me about hot dogs again.

    Max's Take Out on Adams between Wabash and State.
  • Post #179 - January 30th, 2014, 5:52 pm
    Post #179 - January 30th, 2014, 5:52 pm Post #179 - January 30th, 2014, 5:52 pm
    Thanks for the thoughts.

    I've passed by Max's Take Out a million times and never knew it was anything special. Good to know.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #180 - February 2nd, 2014, 11:04 pm
    Post #180 - February 2nd, 2014, 11:04 pm Post #180 - February 2nd, 2014, 11:04 pm
    This afternoon, I enjoyed a 4/1 natural casing, Maxwell Street Polish with fries and a drink for $6 at the newly opened LA Budacki's. The Polish was properly scored, deep fried, and served on a plain S Rosen/Mary bun. The fries were the frozen shoe string type, served hot right out of the fryer while my Polish was being prepared. Drinks are Coke products served in cans and bottled beer. Jin, the owner and family member of the Chicago Budack's is a Chicago boy who really know his business. Prices for LA stand are right in line with Chicago prices-Chicago style hot dog, fries, and a drink $5. The menu also featured burgers, Italian beef, and gyros and the place was packed for a Sunday afternoon. I've posted pictures on the Hot Dog U Facebook page.
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef

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