Eatery - Hot Doug's (IL)
3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Neighborhood: Avondale)
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual, To-Go | Cuisine - Hot Dogs
My lawdy, I am glad that my blogger friend at Eating My Way Through OC told me to go here. The line was quite long on a Saturday morning even though we had just gotten there about 20 minutes after they had opened for the day. I believe we waited in line about an hour in the cold windiness before we could even get to the menu.
I snagged a picture of the random pig they had outside and the menus they had inside. Talk about crazy! There were normal hot dogs with sausages you'd think of such as hot dog, andouille, chicken sausage, etc but then there were the "specials" which had a wide range from rabbit to elk to buffalo to rattlesnake. Feeling adventurous (and also because I had waited so long), I opted for the most decadent one.
So my first was the regular "The Dog" which was Chicago-style complete with Kosher pickle, carmelized onions, tomatoes, lots of mustard, poppy seed bun, celery salt, and NEON relish. I mean, look at the picture! It was bright green and kind of awkward. I know I pictured it first but it was actually the last hot dog I tried so I didn't finish it. To be honest, nothing remarkable seeing as the sausage itself was fairly normal; I felt that all the toppings were overbearing but hey, gotta eat the Chicago way!
My friend got the Chardonnay and jalapeno rattlesnake sausage with roasted pepper aioli and Pere Joseph cheese. Wow. The aioli and cheese paired so perfectly with that rattlesnake meat. It was like a bite into the Southwest with the spicy kick from the sauce and the juiciness of the rattlesnake sausage.
My order was to opt for the foie gras and sauternes duck sausage with truffle aioli, foie gras mousse, and fleur de sel (sea salt...basically). It was the creamiest, most awesome hot dog I've ever had. Even my friend who has never tasted those ingredients before thought it was the best he'd ever had. I mean, I love all of those flavors but who would've thought to stick it on a bun as encased meat and top it off so lovingly with foie gras rounds. The fleur de sel curbed the overly savory-sweet but light creaminess of the foie gras mousse on top while the heavy truffle aioli pulled us away into a different kind of heaven than the gamier duck meat. I loved licking my lips after every bite to get the most truffle flavor out of my experience. Best. Hot Dog. Ever. Completely worth the wait, especially with the nice touch of having bottled gourmet sodas (had a birch beer) and an atmosphere completely fitting with a hot dog culture. Fantastic.
Lastly, I made sure to come here on the Saturday I was here because they had their duck fat fries (Friday and Saturday only). Some pretty heavy fries, those. I liked them a lot but definitely had to throw in the towel after so much food. Also, if you're going to pig out like me, make sure to bring lots of cash with you because they only take the green paper here!