Commiting Gluttony at Hot Doug's, Chicago

Monday, July 19, 2010

Doug of Hot Doug's has the dream job - producing a product universally loved by followers, creating new flavors of 'encased meats', taking orders from customers who are willing to line up for 2 hours, and meeting people from all over the world while serving up sausages at his modest size restaurant on California street in Chicago, IL.

My first experience was two summers ago, driving in the sweltering heat from Northwestern University and circling for parking. I was sticky, tired, hungry and there was a short line. Oh yea.

There was a child ahead of me holding a crumpled $5 bill so he could pay for his ice cream. Doug looked at him, smiled and waved him to keep walking. The child gleefully opened his ice cream.

I associate this scene with Hot Doug's and of course, his flavorful and unique sausages. Arriving at 10:15am (Hot Doug's opens at 10:30am) on a Monday, there was only 2 people ahead of us. A few minutes before the gates open there was a good 15 people in line.

Doug is laid back and cool, greeting everyone "How are you doing today?" and taking a few minutes to chit chat. The regular customer ahead of me was discussing sports. He ends the ordering process with "Thanks so much."

We were slightly gluttonous and ordered a total of 6 sausages (2 were the foie gras sausage.)

First up, the infamous $9 Mousse and Fleur Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Grasde Sel.

Foie Gras with Duck Sausage

Affordable Luxury. Heaven on a Bun. [Silence]

Last time I had a memorable Thai version sausage but alas, the ever rotating menu did not have it. The closest was the Teriyaki and Mandarin Orange Chicken Sausage with Spicy Peanut Sauce, Caraway Havarti Cheese and Toasted Coconut. This was my 2nd favorite after the Foie Gras. The toasted coconut really made it fragrant and so enjoyable.

Teriyaki and Mandarin Orange Chicken Sausage

The words ‘Atomic Bomb’ from the menu bounced off the wall to me. I wanted something that would make me sweat. A little. My spice tolerance is getting higher and higher. The $7.50 Damn Spicy Pork Sausage with Chipotle Dijonnaise and Habanero-Jack Cheese had good spice.

The Atomic Bomb

As I’m eating my way through each dog, I realized how much thought is put into the flavor profiles. Each ingredient complements each other very well, a little like “The Honeymooners” they may bicker at first but it works out perfectly in the end.

The $7.50 Bacon and Jalapeno Duck Sausage with Bacon Garlic Mayo and Smoked Gouda. The charred sausage lifted the smoked Gouda and then sedated with the cool sauce.

Duck Sausage with Smoked Gouda

I thought the roasted plantains with the goat sausage was genius. The sweetness played down the gaminess of the goat and also added texture. The $8 Caribbean Goat Sausage with Spicy Prickly Pear Creme Fraiche, Roasted Plantains and Delice du Jura Cheese was also lean.

Goat Sausage

Hot Doug's is a must stop every time I am in Chicago. Sending you off with a quote from Ralph from "The Honeymooners"

"Baby, you're the greatest."

Hot Doug's
3324 North California
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 279-9550

Read a summary about my visit to Chicago here.
Hot Doug's on Urbanspoon


Lolia S said...

I will try to make it there the next time I'm in town

Steve said...

I heard about this place on the Travel Channel. The "Mousse and Fleur Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Grasde Sel" looks decadent!


Food Gal said...

I remember seeing this place on TV and drooling over it. Oh my! Foie hot dog! I feel like I should don pearls and opera gloves with my jeans to enjoy that one. ;)

Bonnibella said...

Lolia: I would have thought Tuttibear ate at Hot Doug's already.

Steve and Food Gal: Yes, Hot Doug's get lots of love from the media and deserving so. I did have some pearls on when I was eat the foie gras =)

Mallory Elise said...

yum :) hey Anthony Bourdain ate the foie gras dog, he was in heaven :P

The Duo Dishes said...

The duck sausage is the one. That's the ONE!

Forager said...

Are you kidding me? A foie gras & duck sausage hot dog?!

I want to go to there!

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