#1  
Old 05-06-2014, 05:30 PM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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Hot Dougs is closing

Hot Doug's is closing in October, say it ain't so.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/featur...,7406836.story

Love the food, but I have to be honest. I've only been there a handful of times. The obnoxious line of customers out the door and around the block is way too obnoxious for me. Still, I feel like I have to get there one more time before they're gone for good.
  #2  
Old 05-06-2014, 05:45 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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I live nearby, have been several times, and will absolutely miss it. Not only is their flashy stuff great, they honestly have my favorite simple char dog I've found.

The lines are a pain, but the trick is timing. Weekends are a madhouse. Go before ~11ish or after 2 on a weekday and it's often only a 15-minute wait.

I'm really surprised he's not going to just delegate managment to an employee and let the place just coast by on its own momentum for a while.
  #3  
Old 05-06-2014, 08:40 PM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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Originally Posted by typoink View Post
I'm really surprised he's not going to just delegate managment to an employee and let the place just coast by on its own momentum for a while.
That would be verrrrrry out of character. Doug Sohn is a very hands on owner/chef. The quality of what they serve is too important to him and most places that do what you suggest tend to see a decline from what they once were.
  #4  
Old 05-06-2014, 09:30 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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Originally Posted by Kolak of Twilo View Post
That would be verrrrrry out of character. Doug Sohn is a very hands on owner/chef. The quality of what they serve is too important to him and most places that do what you suggest tend to see a decline from what they once were.
Oh, he's obviously very hands-on and I get that mentality, certainly. But for a place so iconic and straightforward, it seems like a few competant deputies could keep things running smoothly and he could always have the option to shut it down if/when it isn't still running smoothly on its own steam.

But, hey, his place, his call.
  #5  
Old 05-07-2014, 01:59 AM
Little_Pig Little_Pig is offline
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Agree with all of the above posts. This "Hot Dog Stand" will have an impact on culinary practices for a long time. Any newcomers will be judged by this rock. Rare indeedy. And you get to say you actually went there. Go again, once more, if only to snatch a souvenir (the tab?) with your dog.

Last edited by Little_Pig; 05-07-2014 at 02:02 AM.
  #6  
Old 05-12-2014, 11:33 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by typoink View Post
The lines are a pain, but the trick is timing. Weekends are a madhouse. Go before ~11ish or after 2 on a weekday and it's often only a 15-minute wait.
Yep. I've been there about 8 times, and I've never been more than third or fourth deep in line (with one exception). After the first four or five visits, I wondered if the line thing was a myth. Then, one time, I wanted to take my girlfriend there, and I finally saw the legendary wrap-around-the-block line. So we went to Kuma's where we were immediately seated. (Another place that is legendary for long waits.)
  #7  
Old 05-06-2014, 09:02 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Yeah, if I were him, I wouldn't pass it on either. It would be a shame to have a legacy fall apart or even be the slightest bit different after letting it go. I'd much prefer the legend and the stories to even the slightest chance people could say anything resembling "it's not like it used to be."

BTW, why the heck hasn't he put up an awning along the side of the building, so people could have some cover from sun and weather? Just seems like a nice thing to do for people waiting for so long.
  #8  
Old 05-07-2014, 12:48 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Well, I think I'll finally have to take a day off from work to go. I tried going once before during the heat wave last summer. The line was 2 hours long, and they said two people already passed out in line.
  #9  
Old 05-07-2014, 05:52 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Can't say that I'll miss them. I went there twice, but both times gave up because the line was too frikkin' long. I applaud his business acumen and hope he made a boatload of money, but I can't be bothered with that kind of nonsense.
  #10  
Old 05-07-2014, 07:38 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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If you're looking for a haute dog joint to replace Doug's, there is always Franks 'N Dawgs on Clybourn. Same kind of gourmet, homemade sausages in upscale concoctions. Also, to a lesser extent, there is "Chicago's Dog House" on Fullerton near DePaul, which also has gourmet sausage sandwiches. Neither of which have lines around the block, and they are both open reasonable hours.

Last edited by Tim R. Mortiss; 05-07-2014 at 07:38 PM.
  #11  
Old 05-07-2014, 10:24 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
If you're looking for a haute dog joint to replace Doug's, there is always Franks 'N Dawgs on Clybourn. Same kind of gourmet, homemade sausages in upscale concoctions. Also, to a lesser extent, there is "Chicago's Dog House" on Fullerton near DePaul, which also has gourmet sausage sandwiches. Neither of which have lines around the block, and they are both open reasonable hours.
Not to sound snarky, but it's clear you haven't managed to eat at Hot Doug's.

'Franks 'N Dawgs is very good, but honestly isn't in the same league. I've had things at Franks 'N Dawgs that I would describe as "decent" or "gimmicky," but every single thing I've ordered at Doug's is something I would eat again. Eagerly.

The only exception is the famous duck fat fries -- not that I have any complaint against 'em, but I don't think they're appreciably better than the weekday fries.
  #12  
Old 05-08-2014, 11:33 AM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
If you're looking for a haute dog joint to replace Doug's, there is always Franks 'N Dawgs on Clybourn. Same kind of gourmet, homemade sausages in upscale concoctions. Also, to a lesser extent, there is "Chicago's Dog House" on Fullerton near DePaul, which also has gourmet sausage sandwiches. Neither of which have lines around the block, and they are both open reasonable hours.
I would like to second Chicago's Dog House, only because they have frips.
  #13  
Old 05-07-2014, 10:20 PM
Notassmartasithought Notassmartasithought is offline
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Glad I'm making one more trip to Chicago before October. I've never had a long wait if I got there around 11 on a weekday.
  #14  
Old 05-08-2014, 12:59 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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It's been awhile since I've been to Chicago, but can anyone tell me about a hot dog place that is was on the North Side, IIRC just barely in the city proper, whose sign was a giant anthropomorphic hot dog with glowing red eyes? As it's been about 20 years since I saw it, I'm just curious.

As I'm sure I thought to myself when I saw it, Behold this creature that walks like a man!

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 05-08-2014 at 01:00 AM.
  #15  
Old 05-08-2014, 01:12 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
It's been awhile since I've been to Chicago, but can anyone tell me about a hot dog place that is was on the North Side, IIRC just barely in the city proper, whose sign was a giant anthropomorphic hot dog with glowing red eyes? As it's been about 20 years since I saw it, I'm just curious.

As I'm sure I thought to myself when I saw it, Behold this creature that walks like a man!
Heh. Superdawg.
  #16  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:23 AM
Little_Pig Little_Pig is offline
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Heh. Superdawg.
My parents used to take me there when I was a small child. Go back whenever I'm in town. A Real Hot Dog. Yessiree.
  #17  
Old 05-13-2014, 11:00 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Heh. Superdawg.
The steam from the dog and the fries confined in that box turns everything to glop instantly, and just mustard, relish, and gloppy, possibly jarred, onions on a hot dog? What is this, a church picnic? Worked for years around the corner and ate there once. A little too 50s retro for me.

Barely heard of Hot Dougs and if they served char dogs I won't miss it.
  #18  
Old 05-14-2014, 12:29 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
The steam from the dog and the fries confined in that box turns everything to glop instantly, and just mustard, relish, and gloppy, possibly jarred, onions on a hot dog? What is this, a church picnic? Worked for years around the corner and ate there once. A little too 50s retro for me.

Barely heard of Hot Dougs and if they served char dogs I won't miss it.
You can get at least the basic dogs steamed, fried, grilled, or fried and grilled there. I don't think I've ever had their basic hot dog there, though. It's either one of the specialty dogs or the char Polish or Andouille that I get. It's not really the sort of place you go to for just a normal hot dog (although they are supposedly solid in that front, too.) For a basic dog, I go Gene('s) & Jude's. I love char dogs, but Chicago hot dogs I tend to like steamed. But the place is also special for the owner. He's been there every time I've visited, he's funny, personable, and the place is truly a labor of love for him. He treats every customer like a guest. More places should follow his lead.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-14-2014 at 12:33 AM.
  #19  
Old 05-11-2014, 10:22 PM
drastic_quench drastic_quench is offline
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I stood in line for over an hour for a foie gras dog. Worth It. I had to drag my wife and in-laws to the place. I had to placate their outrage at standing in line for a hot dog. "Get something out there," I said. "Don't just get a regular old hot dog, and it will be worth it." Whatever. I got mine. The bro-in-law did get a gator/crawfish dog or something awesome IIRC.

I will seriously miss this place. If I was a local, I'd easily eat there once a week. I never got to have their duck fat fries. Damn.
  #20  
Old 05-12-2014, 11:39 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I never got to have their duck fat fries. Damn.
I've had them and, honestly, I couldn't tell you the difference between them and the normal fries. I went on back-to-back days, and I didn't think it was worth the extra two bucks. I mean, it was worth trying, but any additional flavor from the duck fat was entirely lost on me. It's odd, as I love roasted potatoes cooked in duck fat, but any difference was quite subtle to me. My brother went on a different occasion, and he said the same thing.
  #21  
Old 05-19-2014, 03:21 PM
Alma Alma is offline
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I work a block away and we can never go to lunch there because of the lines. Same for Kuma's (the line isn't as long but the dining is slow). Two great restaurants I never get to visit.

I have gone on my own and I agree that the duck fat fries seem the same as the regular ones to me.
  #22  
Old 05-20-2014, 10:05 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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I had Thursday & Friday off work last week with Thurs set aside for a road trip and figured this would be the perfect opportunity for my first visit to Hot Dougs. Midweek, arrive early, fill belly before a five hour cruise to a hip, young, popular kids convention, perfect. I arrived a bit after 11 to find the line at least 50 deep.
Ya, no.
I got a beef dipped with hot at Al's on Taylor.
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