A Day at Doug’s

A Day at Doug’s

As a sophomore rapidly approaching the halfway point in college, I still forget that I am a resident of one of the most unique and diverse cities in the world.  That being said, I feel like I need to do a better job at appreciating the city and all it has to offer.  And so, armed with a few dollars and a few good friends, I decided to take a trip to one of the local hot spots that have made a name for itself as a Chicago staple.  Of course, I can only be referring to Hot Doug’s, the self-proclaimed “Sausage Superstore”.

Located off the 77 westbound bus (which is off the red line Belmont stop), Hot Doug’s sits caddy corner to a large industrial building.  Though the hot dog shop is relatively small, the large sign marking the landmark is hard to miss.  Also difficult to miss is the herd of hungry visitors lined up out the door, all anxious to taste the Chicago tradition. Alex, Brian and I knew we were at the right place.

I must admit, the diner was more put together than I imagined it would be.  Prior to arrival, I imagined the “Encased Meat Emporium” to be a hole-in-the-wall joint that peddled hot dogs to anyone who strolled by. However, I was pleased to learn that much of the mouthwatering experience is the environment in which the food is cooked and consumed.  Decades-worth of memorabilia decorate the colorful red, yellow and blue walls of the building and numerous tables allow for Doug’s loyal customers to enjoy their ‘dogs inside, away from the Chicago cold.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was meeting the one and only Doug himself; a humble man who guides his new customers through the daunting menu.  Knowledgeable about every conceivable condiment combination, Doug has almost psychic abilities to pick which sausage each customer will like most.  For me, it was “The Paul Kelly”, for Alex (my roommate), “The Sal Tessio” and for Brian (a good friend) it was “The Brigitte Bardot.”  Of course, we all also ordered “The Dog”, a tradition Chicago-style hot dog.  There was no way were going another day without trying the city favorite.  Upon taste-testing each dog, it was a unanimous decision that the Chicago Dog reigned king, at least for the day.

After snapping off a few pictures with Doug and thanking him for true taste of Chicago, my buddies and I were on our way.  Stomachs full and taste buds satisfied, I know we will meet Doug again.

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