Friday, June 27, 2014

First and last Hot Doug venture

Well, today was our first (and probably last) time at Hot Doug's in Chicago. I have never been there because I usually refuse to wait that long for food, but I figure if it is closing in October, I should probably just go for it. I waited until Dave was in town and we took a day off together to go down to wait in line right when it opened.

We split four orders: 
  • "The Dog" (a simple Chicago-style hot dog)
  • Smoked yak sausage with bacon-garlic mayonnaise and smoked gouda cheese
  • Roman luganega sausage with pesto aioli, fresh mozzarella, and slow-roasted tomatoes
  • Fois gras and sauternes duck sausage with truffle aioli, fois gras mousse, and fleur de sel  
Can I just say that I am sorry that I doubted that these sandwiches were worth an hour's wait in line? IT WAS AMAZING. The luganega sausage was my favorite, followed closely by "The Dog" and the yak sausage. Dave's favorite, adorably, was "The Dog." I guess don't mess with a classic. 

Dave and I liked the duck sausage but found the fois too rich. (Still really good, though, and I let Dave eat most of the fois gras.) We got the duck fat fries, which I probably would not get again. I could have gotten another sandwich and been happier.

I am proud to have made owner and cash register operator Doug Sohn laugh, although I am sure I am not the first person to have made this joke. Under his cash register is a glass case full of all manner of hot dog toys, some of which are crocheted. I told him I liked the yarn hot dogs and that he must get a lot of hog dog crap. He nodded emphatically, pointing at the case as evidence. I said, "well, they are EN-CASED meats, am I right??" 

Maybe I will go back, although I doubt I will find the time to take off another day and go before October. So good, though. 

After that rich meal, Dave and I went for a hike in the Skokie Lagoon area, another one of my 60 Hikes. It was good to get those four miles in after eating so much, and it was a beautiful day out. I already dropped him off at the airport, and he has landed in D.C. safely.

It is worth noting that today is my dad's 60th birthday. It's weird to think of him being 60. Somehow in my mind, he is always a robust 36, with tan skin and long blond locks. I know he would probably not have approved of waiting in line for an hour and fifteen minutes for a few hot dogs, but he would have heartily approved of the delicious meal we ate and the wonderful time we spent outdoors today.

His favorite band, The Who, was known for their lyrics, "Hope I die before I get old." It is an oft-quoted saying that is frequently and ironically applied to a group of stars who did in fact die long before they got old. The blessing and the curse of such a fate is that to those who love him and remain here, Dad will always be young in our minds. Miss you.

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