So sorry dudes I have another long ass post but I've been stuffin my face for two days straight with a veritable cornucopia of sausages and dags. I swear I'll keep the next one short.
I'm day two into this Chicago trip and it has been nothing short of delicious. Full of meats, rock and roll and coldies. Not particularly healthy but that's not why we are here is it? Aside from the obvious culinary treats of this trip maybe the best part is everyone asking "So why are you in Chicago? For a poster show?" and I get to answer "to eat hot dogs." and then there's the chuckle from them and "no really why are you here?" and I repeat "seriously...to eat hot dogs"
And eating we have been doing. Straight off the plane my amazing artist buddies Jay Ryan and his lovely wife Diana Sudyka say "you hungry?" and drop a sack of Portillos on me while we drive to the Hideout to see my buddies in Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel
Welcome to Chicago!
After a great show which included a really excellent set by Chris Flemmons singer of The Baptist Generals we go for "breakfast" at Hot Doug's. As I professed in a previous post my love of Doug and all he does is boundless. He is a giant among men. Doug how many ways do I love thee? Let's count them:
#1: HE MADE ME THE CELEBRITY DOG! Are you fucking kidding me? I walk in and am checking out all the specials and sonofabitch if my own lousy name isn't on the board. I had to call my sweet old lady and share the news. She said "I'm very proud of you" while my buddy Helms said "Holy Shit! You can die now." While there chowing down every time someone ordered it Doug yelled at me and I cheerfully waved at the lucky diner to congratulate them on their exceptional choice.
#2: My very own celebrity sausage - Ladies and Gents (or just gents I guess) The Ribeye Steak Sausage with Chimichurri and Madrigal Cheese
#3: A reprise of a past favorite - The Atomic Bomb: Spicy Pork Sausage with Sweet Chipotle Mustard and Finnish Lappi Cheese
#4: Maybe the best one this day - Smoked Crayfish and Pork Sausage with Cajun Tartar Sauce and Habañero-Jack Cheese
#5 Last but not least - The Game Of The Week - Antelope Sausage with Cassis Crème Fraîche and Danish Fontina Cheese
From there we putzed around all day stopping by Steve Albini's studio where we talked about hot dogs, going to see Mike Budai's awesome show at Rotofugi Gallery, and checking in at Dan MacAdam and Mat Daly's respective studios. Mat is designing what I am sure will be a badass tattoo to finish out my right sleeve. Next on the way to dinner with my buddy Craig from The Hold Steady (who's show at the Riviera killed later that night) we decided to hit Superdawg for a snack.
One quick Chicago and a Whoopskidawg® which is a basically grilled sausage with bbq sauce. Now everybody says "you have to go to Superdawg if you go to Chicago." But honestly after Hot Doug's they didn't stand a chance. These weren't terrible but they weren't amazing.
Now to Day Two. Starting again with breakfast at Hot Doug's. We meet up with more Chicago buddies Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi, who run Sonnenzimmer , right before 10:30 when Doug's opens and there is a line up down the block already. This time my travel buddy Daniel and I decide to dig in a little more and hit the "regular" side of the menu. I order a chili cheese dog and he goes for another Chicago. In all my trips here I have never ventured from the crazy specials. It was a good move. The dog had that snap when you bite into the casing just like is should. The bun was perfectly steamed and chili was tasty. Let's add that to the list of why to love Doug and keep counting.
#6 - The Chili Dog
#7 - Doug's Chicago
#8 - Cilantro-Chipotle Smoked Chicken Sausage with Mole à la Carlos and Cotija Cheese
#9 - Über Garlic Beef Sausage with Roasted Garlic Dijonnaise and Wild Garlic Havarti Cheese
#10 - Brandy-Infused Smoked Portuguese Chorizo with Saffron Rouille and Bucherolle Cheese
#11 - Swiss Cheese Smoked Knackwurst with 3 Floyd's Gumballhead Mustard and Applewood-Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Jay and Northcutt with, as Northcutt put it, "their babies"
So that's it for now. Not sure where we're going next before we hit The Sea and Cake but I'm sure it will be delicious. Even if it's not a dog catching up with all my Chicago buddies, seeing my music buddies deliver the rock and eating the hell outta all them dags has already made this an excellent Buddies and Hot Dogs trip.