Friday, September 21, 2007

Gene and Judes, River Grove

The greatest hot dog stand in the world serves neither hamburgers, nor polish sausage, nor grilled chicken sandwiches. There is no grill, no char-broiler, no spinning mound of gyros. At the greatest hot dog stand they only need buckets of simmering water for dogs, steamers for steaming buns and Supreme tamales and ever bubbling vats of oil for the fresh cut fries.

You can see the greatest hot dog from far up the street. Beecause the greatest hot dog stand is all glass and harsh flouresant lights and stands as a beacon for all who are hungry. If you see a line, you know it will move fast.

The greatest hot dog stand follows few of the rules laid out by the experts. Their buns are poppy-seedless. They offer few condiments beyond mustard (no ketchup on site). They do not dust their dog with celary salt. Yes, it is a Vienna sausage, but a skinnyish one at that. You really need to eat more than one at the greatest hot dog stand in the world, and many of the customers do (Sample customer, "I'll take seven hot dogs and an [extra] order of fries).

The cooks at the greatest hot dog stand in the world occupy their time in between orders by thrusting fresh idaho potatos through a machine that converts them into perfect sized french fries. These amazing sticks of pure pototo get tossed on top of each offering so that if you want to eat them inside your hot dog bun, well you can and maybe should.

The greatest hot dog stand in the world is a throwback to a world when people ate hot dogs. A throwback to a time when a great stand could keep their buns steamed just right, and their red hots, hot but not limp. So a Gene and Jude hot dog snaps right back at you. Interactive eating. With a side of hot fries, you will know you are at the greatest hot dog stand in the world.

Gene and Judes
2720 River Road
River Grove, IL 60171-1325

On the corner of River Road and Grand

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mustard's Last Stand

Mustard's Last Stand
Location: Evanston Illinois
Comments: This is Mustard's Last Stand - a great Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand...Say hi to Keith if you go there! Great Charred Polish Sausage as well

Sunday, September 9, 2007


701 Lake Street
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Phone: (708) 383-2645

Rated One of Top Ten
Hot Dogs in America!

Re-connect with suburban youth at this Oak Park mainstay, where everything on the menu costs less than a fiver. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers and gyros are among the offerings here, served up in a hurry by the efficient staff behind the counter. The large, clean dining room even includes counter seating for solo dining and six outdoor tables for those who want to commune with nature (or traffic). With so many more sophisticated dining options in Oak Park, Tasty Dog's clientele skews more towards cash-strapped high school students, but the place is so popular that the city's threat to close it in 2001 sparked emotional demonstrations and a petition. Relocated across the street to make way for new development, Tasty Dog's new digs are bright and spacious. If you still feel the need for a little culture with your meal, take a look at the old photos on the walls for a quick lesson in Oak Park history.

Johnnies Beef

Johnnie's Beef
7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park

Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 12pm-12am

Tel: (708) 452-6000

Chicago is one of the few cities in the country where there are many places to eat great Italian beef and Johnnie's Beef ranks among the best of them. The small beef stand is a perfectly preserved piece of the traditionally Italian neighborhood that surrounds it.

The structure itself resembles an old drive-in eatery, with baby blue walls and yellow neon signs. It is only big enough to hold about ten standing customers at its bar, and seems to have a line that stretches down the block at any time of day. The employees work together as a well oiled machine, though, which minimizes the wait. One worker assembles hot dogs, one spears sausages from the grill, one slaps together the beefs and yet another fills cups with Italian ices (make sure you say you don't want a lid on your ice...that way you get a nice heaping cup of it). Be sure to have your order straight by the time you get to the head of the line; the man who rings you up gets quite upset at indecision or stuttering.

The menu is small, but everything is exceptional. The Italian beef and sausage sandwiches are notably famous, as well as the Italian ices and hot dogs. Every Friday Johnnie's serves up amazing fried egg sandwiches.

Many Chicagoans consider Johnnie's to be the best Italian Beef joint in the world, which accounts for the long line you will usually encounter on your visit.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Superdawg Drive In

In May of 1948, Superdawg® was established at the corner of Milwaukee, Devon and Nagle in Chicago. Superdawg® continues to be family owned and operated in the same location today.

Maurie Berman, a recently returned G.I. from World War II, married his high school sweetheart Florence (Flaurie), in August of 1947. Maurie was attending Northwestern University, studying to be a CPA, while recent Northwestern grad Flaurie was teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. With their "school-year" schedules, the newlyweds wanted to open a business that they could operate during the summer months. Many other returning G.I.'s were opening roadside hot dog carts and Maurie and Flaurie decided to open their own roadside hot dog stand, one that would be as unique and distinctive as they were.

Maurie designed an architecturally distinct, 20' x 12' building topped with two 12 foot hot dog icons to beckon hungry passersby with their winking and blinking eyes. Maurie and Flaurie then created a proprietary, secret recipe to set themselves apart from the other hot dog stands popping up around the city. With a distinctive look and delicious recipe, they were almost ready to open. All they needed was a name. Inspired by the superheroes featured in the newly-created, popular comics of the '40's, Maurie and Flaurie named their signature product and restaurant. It was not a wiener – not a frankfurter – not a red hot – but their own exclusive SUPERDAWG™.

In 1948, Milwaukee and Devon was the end of the streetcar line. With the forest preserve and Whealan Pool across the street, the area was a great destination for swimming families and cruisin' teens. Kids could ride the streetcar for a nickel, and stop at Superdawg® where a Superdawg™ sandwich and drink cost only 32 cents. Many times, on their way home, they would stop and ask what they could buy for a dime. If they were a few cents short, Maurie and Flaurie would give them what they wanted and told them to bring the money back the next time they stopped, which they never failed to do.

In 1950 Maurie passed the CPA exam, but he and Flaurie decided to keep operating Superdawg® and to open year-round in order to retain the outstanding personnel that had become so invaluable to fulfilling the Superdawg® ideals. When Superdawg® first opened, the electronic speaker system had not been invented. Carhops went out to the cars to take orders and customers signaled that they were ready for their trays to be picked up by turning on their headlights. In the early 1950's the "carhop in a wire" electronic speaker system was installed, and Maurie designed the glowing blue "control tower" where the carhop sits to answer the switchboard and take orders. As Superdawg® grew into a successful business, Maurie and Flaurie found time to raise their family of three children (although not on Whoopercheesies® alone).

Throughout the years, small changes have been made to the menu, like the addition of the Whoopskidawg® in 1989 and the Superchic™ in 1991. However, the Superdawg™ recipe, the original trademark figures (continuing to flirtatiously wink at each other), and the drive-in concept have not changed. Customers can still order from their car and have a carhop deliver their order on a tray. Maurie and Flaurie’s attention to quality products and service, preparing each customer's meal to order, affirming the belief that the customer is always right, and insisting that the customer should always be treated as family continues today.

In 1999, Superdawg® underwent a makeover while retaining the original building and spirit. The classic '40's drive-in was updated with the addition of neon-studded canopies across the parking lot, a crisp new speaker system and a cozy, indoor dining room. The original rooftop figures were refurbished so that they can continue to serve as a Chicago landmark for years to come. In 2003, Superdawg® opened a second location on Midway Airport's B concourse, servicing Southwest Airlines.

Since 1948, Maurie, Flaurie, their children and grandchildren have scrupulously adhered to one goal: "always to serve you in a manner that will make you want to return – and bring your friends, and new generations, with you".

From the bottom of our pure beef hearts... THANKS FOR STOPPING