Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Georges Hot Dogs

Neighborhood: Bucktown
1876 N Damen Ave
(between Cortland St & Moffat St)
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-4034

Now if there is a place to splurge on a Chicago dog and the best tasting fries in Chicago, this is the place to go. Vegetarians will like the selection of the veggie burger and fries. The salad is a good option as well (if you want to stay a little healthy). Ten years ago it was simple to visit George's for lunch (and even dinner) on the weekends, so I hope all those hot dogs and fries helped keep him open as the neighborhood changed.

You know a true hot dog/gyro joint by the signs, then by the quick service, then by price and finally the taste. Here, you get quick and friendly service (even if you are a newcomer). Also, they have some outside dining. All deserving of 5 stars for a Chicago hot dog joint.

George's is located in the heart of Bucktown, so if you are in the area during the day and need a quick bite, be sure to stop in and enjoy.

Fat Johnnies

Fat Johnnie's Famous Red Hots
7242 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60636
Phone: (773) 737-6294

Review for Fat Johnnie's Famous Red Hots
In Short
This dilapidated shack on busy Western Avenue has been serving up Great hot dogs, sausage and tamales for more than 30 years. Place your order through the window, then eat in the car or at one of several picnic tables set up in the summer. Hot dogs are steamed and topped with mustard, neon-green relish, chopped onions, cucumber and tomato. Those with a bigger appetite might go for a double dog (two wieners, one bun) or a fat one (a larger dog).

Insider Tips
Know Before You Go
Fat Johnnie's takes pride in staying open all year despite the winter cold. It does close early, though, due to the sketchy nature of the neighborhood.

Where to Sit
If the picnic tables outside are full, there are more tables available two houses to the north.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


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

Friday, October 12, 2007


Fluky's first started in 1929 on Maxwell and Halsted Streets in Chicago. We carried all the character and romance for which Chicago Street Merchants were famous, and Fluky's reputation as having the best "Hot Dog" in the city started to grow.

In 1932, a second Fluky's was opened, and then in 1935, a third and a fourth in 1936. Fluky's became known for its "Depression Sandwich" - a Hot Dog with mustard, relish, onion, pickles, pepper, lettuce, tomatoes and french fries FOR ONLY $.05!

Fluky's reputation was built on good food, good service and good will through the hard times of the depression. Many youngsters - and adults, too - who didn't have the $.05 were fed anyway.

With the coming of World War II came meat rationing. This made it difficult to get the quality product Fluky's needed, and within a short time, Fluky's closed its doors at three of its locations and the fourth was the only store that was to continue until 1955.

On February 18, 1964 Fluky's again opened its doors, after 9 years of silence. The opening was greeted with a tremendous outpouring of warmth and fondness from thousands who had many fond memories.

In just a few months, Fluky's was the largest Hot Dog stand in the Chicago area. Except Fluky's was no longer a Hot Dog Stand. It was now housed in a large glass-enclosed structure, previously unknown to the Hot Dog industry. Fluky's had made a giant step toward upgrading the Hot Dog business.

On November 2, 1978, a more progressive move was made, and Fluky's brought the Hot Dog into the fast food industry. A new building was purchased, and a beautiful, new, refreshing look for an old and well established business was introduced
Fluky's Locations

1038 Weiland Road
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

3333 W Touhy Ave
Lincolnwood Town Center
847.677.9945 Fax

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chicago Hot Dog History

The "Chicago Style" hot dog got its start from street cart hot dog vendors during the hard times of the Great Depression. Money was scarce, but business was booming for these entrepreneurs who offered a delicious hot meal on a bun for only a nickel. The famous Chicago Style Hot Dog was born! They'd start with a Vienna Beef hot dog, nestle it in a steamed poppyseed bun and cover it with a wonderful combination of toppings: yellow mustard, bright green relish, fresh chopped onions, juicy red tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and finally, a dash of celery salt. This unique hot dog creation with a "salad on top" and its memorable interplay of hot and cold, crisp and soft, sharp and smooth, became America's original fast food and a true Chicago institution.