Hot Doug's in Chicago

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2005/01/22 13:22:10 (permalink)

Hot Doug's in Chicago

Has anyone been to Hot Doug's since it reopened this month? After the snow settles down, I've got to get over there and try the duck-fat fries.

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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2005/01/27 12:11:33 (permalink)
    I went there for the first time on Tuesday. My girlfriend and I were visiting her family in Chicago, and a friend of hers who lives nearby declared that I needed to try Hot Doug's. I had the first four things on the menu: A Chicago Dog, a brat, an Italian and... I think it was called a Polish? Anyway, I thought the Chicago dog was decent but unremarkable. It's probably a regional taste thing, because I'm used to the German style. I thought that the other three were excellent, though. The brat had a nicely subtle peppery taste, and was quite savory. The Italian, served with hot peppers that were comfortably within the upper bounds of my spice tolerance, was one damned fine sausage sandwich. The Polish was also darned good, although after the spicier stuff I think a lot of the tastes went under my radar.

    The duck fat fries aren't available on Tuesdays, but I thought that the regular fries were stunning. We got two large orders and if I hadn't restrained myself I would've finished both of them during the drive home.

    I'm told that Doug makes all his own meat, and that it has no preservatives. That, combined with the taste, left me very impressed.

    Junior Burger
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2005/01/27 13:25:21 (permalink)
    I'm pretty sure Doug doesn't make his own sausage but he does search far and wide for good, unique proprietors. He'll often offer an ostrich or alligator sausage and then provide unusual toppings to complement the flavors. Off the regular menu my favorite is the Thuringer and then the Brat. The duck fat fries make the regular fries taste like cardboard in comparison.
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2005/01/27 15:19:31 (permalink)
    I'm wanting to try this place. He was closed for a long time due to a fire but recently reopened. What does the duck fat do to the fries, flavor, texture? Please tell.
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2005/01/27 17:35:59 (permalink)

    The oil or fat determines the taste of the fry. Originally, Belgian fries (pommes frites) were cooked in horse fat or beef fat for their fabulous taste. McDonald's used to cook their fries in a mixture of 7% cottonseed oil and 93% beef tallow. In 1990, they switched to pure vegetable oil and their fries never tasted as good. Fries cooked in vegetable oil cannot compare to fries cooked in duck or goose fat( very, very expensive). Fries cooked in duck or goose fat are addictive. Cooking fries in pure lard also enhances their flavor above and beyond vegetable oil.
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2005/02/10 23:18:37 (permalink)
    If at all possible, go during the week or very early on weekends (for the fries). The lines get very long.[|)]
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2005/02/13 16:58:36 (permalink)
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2006/06/20 14:00:42 (permalink)
    The hot dogs are the greatest. The menu is the greatest. I would eat there every day if I could. BUT I have a real beef about Hot Doug's: the line. I have never waited in line for less than an hour there. What makes it worse is the hours: He's only open for 4-6 hours a day. Usually when I finally get to sit down, he is locking the front door. Why doesn't he extend his hours??? Good business sense would tell him to expand his hours or his business: maybe have more than one register? I love hot dogs and fries, but not enough to spend my entire Saturday there.

    The patrons are a little obnoxious too. In Chicago , we call them the "Check, Please" crowd. "Check Please" is a local TV show on PBS where snotty, rude Chicagoans get together to talk about their favorite over-priced restaurants. Hot Doug's was featured on their "Cheap Eats" special, and it's been crowded ever since.

    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2006/06/21 11:26:00 (permalink)
    If you get to Hot Doug's early, before 11:00am, there's no wait and you can even talk to Doug before the place gets busy. After 11:30, the place is a mad house with long lines and crowded tables.


    Born in Chicago
    Escaped to Wisconsin
    Selling Vienna Beef hot dogs & Polish
    Business Instructor
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: Hot Doug's in Chicago 2006/11/05 01:52:03 (permalink)
    I FINALLY made it to Hot Doug's today (I know, blasphemy, since I AM the "Sausage King of Chicago", ha ha) The line was long- my friends and I waited about 40 minutes to get in. It was good- I had a Gyros Sausage (made from gyros meat, with tzatziki sauce, feta and kalamata olives on top) which was really good and a regular hot dog, with mustard, relish, raw onions, a pickle and yes, ketchup (I know, I know! At least I'm not totally insane like my cousin from Nebraska who puts mayo on her hot dogs- she caused quite the scene at wherever BuddyRoadhouse took her when she visited Chicago and asked very loudly "can I get mayonnaise on mine?" People turned around and stared!)....Anyway, I also got the duck fat fries. At first, you don't really notice a difference, other than they taste good, but when you taste one of their regular fries, you can taste how rich the duck fat fries taste compared to the regular ones. I think it was Doug who took our order (guy in his probably late 30's, hipster glasses?) and he seemed really nice- didn't get snotty when I asked for ketchup on the hot dog, was patient when we had to decide how we wanted our sausages cooked (steamed, grilled, fried, fried & grilled).

    I'd definitely go back, but the long line prevents me from going back too often, which is probably a good thing! The Italian sausage (they have one on their regular menu, and there's also an extra spicy one that comes up occasionally on their weekly specials) will be my next choice!
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