Hot Doug's gets generally positive reports on the board, and in a lot of ways, it is easy to like. Afterall, what is not to like about a place, that when the bill comes to $20.50, sez, "give me $20." My problem, however, is how we got to the $20 in the first place.
Hot Doug's has a series of sausages that are mildly expensive, but really in no way out of line for what they are, maybe not even mildly expensive. But they also have a series of specials, priced at $6 per and those, or at least the two we had the other day were a bit much for what we got.
One sausage was especially good, the cajun smoked pork sausage, even if it was insulted with a garnish of canned mushrooms. The other sausage, a chicken artichoke, and a few other things, was just slightly above average. Neither sausage left us very sated for the high price. At $4 I would have been happy, at $5 satisfied, at $6, rather steamed.
We got the regular fries, not the duck fat fries and they were not very good at all. Way to greasy and totally absent of any flavor. A chowhoundita's tater tots, although greasy too, were better.
And the fries reminds me that I have been meaning for ages to report on Jimmy's, the classic hot dog shack on Pulaski and Grand. Famous as much for its nighttime black market, and being the alleged progentor of VI favorite eatery, Gene and Judes, I was for ages, remiss in trying it. Finally, one day, the Ultimo dragged me there after another meal. We both found the dogs odd to say the least, and they excused it that afternoon as the fault of their inventory re-filling. They had been delivered the wrong dog they cried. Willing to buy that, I tried again recently. Nope.
Jimmy's hot dog is, if you can imagine this, even skinnier than Gene and Judes. It is skinless, mushy and as I said above, possessing an odd taste that is different than the standard Vienna. What Jimmy's does continue to have, is very good french fries.
I actually would give Jimmy's the nod over G&J when it comes to spuds. Crisper, just as fresh, and with the superior option of a special hot sauce, which is similiar to David Schy's ketchapeno.
At Hot Doug's bring more money than you should and at Jimmy's skip the dog, pay the 40 cents or more for the hot sauce, eat the fries, and stock up on your DVDs.
2314 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618
Jimmy's Red Hots
4000 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60651-1918