Archive | January, 2011

The Final Chicago Dog Stop: Gold Coast Dogs

19 Jan

According to their website, Gold Coast Dogs are the best hot dog in Chicago. That was from a contest ran by ABC 7 News…in 2003. Whether or not they are still Number 1 is up for what would be a heated debate, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to give them a try. After all, how could you pass up a dog at the airport just before your flight out of town?

As I write this two months after my trip, I am craving a Chicago Style Hot Dog and while Wiener Circle was my favorite dog that I tried, Gold Coast did not disappoint, even at Midway airport. They actually have 10 locations in Chicago, with 3 in O’Hare Airport as well.

Onto the star of the show dog – delicious Vienna beef dog, big time flavor. They are offered either steamed or char-grilled. I am a fan of steamed dogs when they are done up right, but when given the choice I could not in good conscience, pass on a char-grilled dog. The dogs are grilled until slightly blackened, which adds another tasty layer to the already outstanding flavor. The encased goodness sits inside of a fresh poppy seed roll, topped with crisp, colorful condiments. The server did go a little heavy on the celery salt, but with a line that was easily 20 deep, who can blame them? Employees churned out dogs to the starving crowd with quickness.

They may not update their website very often, but what they are good at is very tasty Chicago-Style Hot Dogs. Highly recommended as your immediate first stop once you touchdown in the Windy City.


Chicago Dog Stop #2: Wiener’s Circle

7 Jan

The cheese fries at Wiener’s Circle might be just as famous as their dogs. I didn’t want anything to taint my dog experience at the Circle, so I elected to go without fries. That was a mistake. They smelled and looked unbelievably good…fresh cut and salted right out of the fryer. Cheese fries are on the list for the next visit (there definitely will be a next visit), as is a burger, which I hear are also fantastic.

The place itself has a lot of character. There are stools for about 6-10 people inside and also some picnic tables outside as well. You just step right up to the counter and place your order to the trained professionals that are all business. And that business is serving up phenomenal food that will have you craving more almost immediately.

The dog was the best I had tasted in a very long time. It’s a well done char dog, which I am a big fan of. Steakhouses hate it, but I love well done meats and dogs are no different. All of the Chicago Style condiments are available. As a curveball, I tried grilled onions instead of raw on my Wiener’s Circle dog. Love that option and it was amazing. That sold me, this was the spot. I could see this being a potential excellent late-night snack stop as well.

The Wiener’s Circle was in the winners circle for me as far as Chicago Dogs go.