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Posts Tagged ‘Doug Sohn

Don’t do it Doug!

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This was quite possibly the worst news one could have received this week. I usually criticize media coverage for not sticking/focusing on more important issues, but this is pretty damn important.

Doug Sohn is closing down Hot Doug’s, effective October 3, 2014.

This is one of my favorite Chicago places, which became more evident when I had seven or eight people tell me on Tuesdays that the place was closing.

Doug, the savant of encased meats, sat behind the counter each day (Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or whenever he felt like it really, since he took a lot of days off) and greeted his customers with charm, with, and a bit of ribbing. No one else does what he does: giving people crazy game meat sausages and duck fat fries in an eclectic setting. The line that often stretched around the corner and into the nearby residential area was hardly a hassle to traverse. The reward at the end was worth it.

Aside from seeing WGN news media there in a more casual setting (looking at you Robert Jordan Jr.), my favorite memory of Hot Doug’s is this. I usually order three dogs and fries when I go: a corn dog, a normal dog, and a game meat dog. Their corn dogs are amazing, and I’m surprised more people don’t get them. Anyway, Doug’s joint is a cash-only restaurant. And while I had the $20 necessary to pay, I only had it in singles. As I keep handing Doug single after single, he asks if I just came from the Admiral and got a good laugh out of me and my friends.

That was also the day I had my favorite sausage at Hot Doug’s: the rattlesnake sausage. Tender, juicy, and oh so delicious, the toppings gave it an extra kick.

By the way, in order of favorite sausages:

  1. Rattlesnake sausage
  2. BLT Dog sausage
  3. Mountain Man (five meats in one!)
  4. Deer sausage
  5. Chicken sausage
  6. Duck sausage w/foie gras (delicious but just too much for me)
  7. All other hot dog joints in existence because nothing else ever has or ever will come close.

I wish Doug the best and understand his reasoning. He had a rough start in Chicago early on, being one of the only restaurants to serve foie gras during the Chicago ban on the ingredient, and he was part of the fight to bring it back. Obviously he won that fight. What isn’t so obvious is how many times I will have to visit Hot Doug’s before it closes.

Goodnight sweet prince of encased meats. Parting with you will be nothing but scrumptious sorrow.


Written by mlogli

May 9, 2014 at 2:45 am

No dogs like Hot Doug’s

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I love this place. I haven’t been back here since I came back from Indiana. And today I got to go again with a new friend.

Hot Doug’s is off N. California in Chicago, and they do it right. There’s almost always a line, even when it opens. And Doug, the owner, sits behind the counter and takes all the orders. It’s a special little place and I have a lot of good memories there. Even got to meet WGN newscaster Robert Jordan one time.

They had a lot of crazy specials on this trip, featuring game meats combined with many different food groups, and I usually only get one, but since I brought a newbie, I shelled out for three special sausages and a corn dog.


So from left to right:

Portabella mushroom and swiss cheese pork sausage with anchovy mayonnaise, shiitake mushrooms sauteed in duck fat and crispy fried onions: This was pretty rich. You could taste the duck fat on the mushrooms, and combined with the mayo it was a heavy dog. But if you were used to the taste, it was pretty delicious. The onions added a nice crunch. You also have to be a bit of a mushroom fan. You barely taste the anchovy so don’t let that throw you off either. They just add a little bit of smoky goodness that really takes it to the next level on this one.

Apple and Cinnamon pork sausage with pear creme fraiche and goat cheese: This was the most unique sausage I’ve ever had at Hot Doug’s, and I’ve tried the rattlesnake. If it was possible to make a dessert out of meat that wasn’t a terrible Epic Meal Time video, it would taste like this. I know it was apple and cinnamon, but it reminded me of Christmas. There was a sweet and savory mix to this sausage, and the pear and goat cheese on top (which had melted a bit) almost seemed like a whipped cream frosting. It was extremely creative, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be extremely adventurous.

Cherry-infused venison sausage with pumpkin cream sauce and bonvallis mahon cheese: I do not know what that cheese is. I have not looked it up either, though it did look like a light shredded cheddar. I didn’t get much of a pumpkin taste out of the sauce either, though it was creamy and good. No the key to this one was the sausage itself. It had a unique texture, thanks to the cherries you could literally pick out of the sausage. And it tasted like it was roasted over a fire (which isn’t a usual request for these dogs). Overall, my least favorite of the three, but still very good.

There was also a corn dog back there. I think they have the best corn dogs in the world, and they are consistently delicious. Plus they’re cheap, so there’s really no reason to not get one.

I still have to go back when they have the kangaroo and yak sausages on the menu again, so hopefully that will be soon! But another excellent trip accomplished. Plus, we got to see some news copters and trucks near the elementary school doing a story about the teacher strike. Hooray CPD!

Written by mlogli

August 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm