So, with Hot Doug's being named Pat Bruno's favorite hot dog joint in the Sun-Times a week ago, I decided to drop in again today. I'd been there once or twice before, but admittedly still don't have much experience with Doug's wares.
Anyway, a status update:
Last saturday, I tried to cruise by Doug's. I had no knowledge of the article until this morning. It was something of a pleasant surprise to see all those people packed outside hot doug's (there was a line far out the door), desperate to experience something many hounds have known for a while. I didn't have enough time to go inside, though -- I would probably not have time enough to hit the Penguin up for a dish of sorbet before work, so I ended up (happily) at Noon O Kabab for lunch (joujeh and koubideh, dill rice, large hummus, utterly fantastic).
I made it back to doug's today. There was no line out the door this time, but the place itself was packed, absolutely filled with people. I had about a 10 minute wait to place my order, and then a 10-15 minute wait for my food (duck fat fries delayed it, i'm sure).
I had a thuringer and a fire dog, each with mustard and celery salt only, an order of duck frites, and a coke.
I found the fire dog to be better than the last time I had it, but the thuringer to be not quite as good. I don't know why this might be. Perhaps the thuringer was not as highly seasoned in this batch.
The duck fat fries were wonderful -- the first time I'd had them. They were nicely crispy, not very greasy, and fresh. I much preferred them to his normal fries, which I've always found to be too thick for my tastes. The fries were, in my opinion, undersalted, though (as his normal fries are), but that's easily remedied. I think from the shape of the duck fries he probably uses a mandoline, or something similar, to slice them. The normal fries look more like they've been pushed through one of those all-in-one-shot french fry cutters.
I should admit my prejudice for thin, mandoline-cut, fries, though: whenever I make my own fries, that's how I cut them, and so I've become partial to that style of fry.
All this being said, I did not find the duck fat french fries to be significantly better or worse than an order of fries at parky's, ordered a bit extra done (so they're crispy rather than slightly soggy). And an order at parky's comes to $1.50 after tax, compared to $3 at doug's.
Of course, I'd much rather have a dog or a sausage from hot doug's than from Parky's.
Sausages of the week, by the way:
Tequila, Lime, and Black Bean Chicken Sausage with Pineapple Salsa
Cheddar Veal Wiener
Chorizo with guac. and shredded cheese.
I think next time I head out there I'll have to try an andouille and, if it's still there, that wonderful looking tequila/lime/black bean sausage. Yeah.
Unfortunately, since that'll be next week or later, I won't likely try the tequila sausage.
Anyone had a chance to sample any of the special sausages? I've always had trouble justifying a $6 tequila chicken sausage over a $2 fire dog, myself.