What would cause otherwise rational people to line up in 90F+ sunny weather for over an hour and a half? If we told you we waited for a few hot dogs, would you still think we were sane?
Our sanity aside, the 5 sausages (plus duck fries!) from Hot Doug's made up one of the best meals we've ever had!
(Yes, the wait was long, but we passed the time enjoying our ice cream, talking about the menu with others in line, and watching a very brief and subdued ice cream truck turf argument).
So many choices! When we reached the front of the line, we ordered from Doug himself - a friendly and, despite the contained chaos, pretty relaxed guy.
Here was our Hot Doug choices, in preferential order:
#1 Why we came here - Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage ($9) with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras mousse, and Sel Gris. Heavenly! This was so rich, earthy, and indulgent - definitely worth every penny!
#2 The Salma Hayek (formerly the Madonna, the Raquel Welch and the Ann-Margret) ($4): We added sport peppers onto this (andouille sausage) and still did not find it very hot. It was overall very tasty, like a spicy hot Italian sausage with tons of toppings.
Duck Fat French Fries ($3.50) - Only served on Fri and Sat, these crispy, savory, and surprisingly not too greasy French Fries were fantastic.
#3 or dead last - Atomic Bomb ($7.50): This was the controversial one between us. If you can handle the heat of multiple habanero peppers, you can handle this "damn spicy" pork sausage with blood orange mustard and habanero-jack cheese. We both love spicy foods, but after one bite, only one of us was able to still feel our taste buds!
#3 or #4: Elk Sausage ($8): This came with Bacon-garlic mayonnaise and beer-washed truckle cheese. It was rustic plus who could resist a sandwich with bacon, beer, and sausage all in one?
#4 or last - The Cognac Lamb ($8): The lamb sausage itself was good, but the sauce was too subtle to match the taste of the meat. Perhaps a minty sauce would taste better with the lamb.
Hot Doug's is located at 3324 North California in Chicago, IL. The place opens at 10:30am - it's worth the wait - just get there early!