Ah yes, how could any foodie visit Chicago without lining up at Hot Doug’s? Famous for its crazy hot dogs with premium ingredients without breaking the bank, it was covered in numerous TV shows and media. I made this my “must go”.
Solid intel prompted me to arrive early around 11:00am when the store opened. Parking was scarce, I managed to find a spot for my rental Mazda3 about 4 blocks away. When I got to the store there was already a line up outside and still I had to wait 20 minutes. That sounded familiar, but at least that line moved quickly with none of that annoying Vancouverite Starbucks connoisseurs type to be found.
Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel. – When Anthony Bourdain said the amount of foie gras was generous, he wasn’t joking. Four dollops of smooth, buttery foie gras shielded the sausage underneath. While the the sausage wasn’t exactly juicy, it was firm and had a flavorful, meaty bite. The creamy truffle aioli tied the foie and the meat together beautifully. I could easily have another one of these!
Duck Fat Fries. This was just deliciously wrong. The fries were crispy and I could taste that hint of fat with every bite. And because this was America, I got twice the amount that I would usually get back in Vancouver. Absolutely artery clogging unreal.
I washed it all down with some pineapple Fanta, which I don’t remember seeing back in Canada. It was carbonated, fruity and sweet, perfect for flushing down every single molecule of fat away (or rather, further processing)!
While not exactly the representative of Chicago style hot dog for a purist, Hot Doug’s just wanted to create over the top hot dogs with no compromise. Don’t think of it as one of those gimmicky touristy food spots, because it wasn’t – the media hype and the long lines already proved that. If you are visiting Chicago, even if you have one day to spare, make this your must stop.