Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicago/Evanston: the homebase.

A month without being surrounded by college friends had begun to really gnaw on me, so I finally took a three-day trip back to the city. (My valid excuse for the excursion was a passport renewal in preparation for my India trip. Details about that on a later date.)

On day one, I met up in Chinatown with nine of my beloved teammates at Lao Szechuan for dinner. Ten steaming dishes of the most authentic Chinese food around, family-style. Bill split over ten cards, as an amused Seth candidly documented. Molly's Cupcakes in Lincoln Park for dessert afterwards; I had the caramel apple.

On day two, I lopped ten inches off my hair, went to dollar burgers at Bar Louie with some of my core college posse, and thoroughly frightened myself watching the trashy new thriller Orphan.

Day three was defined by my first acquaintance with one of the most wonderful eating establishments in all of the city, nay, the world. My friend Taylor's recent experiences at Hot Doug's first stoked my curiosity (here, here, here). Then, three nights ago, I popped the television on right as Anthony Bourdain was espousing the merits of the very same hot dog joint (see for yourself at 2:37).

That did it. I had to taste the foie gras dog for myself.

Pictured counterclockwise:
- classic Italian-style chicken sausage ("The Dave Kingman")
- hot Andouille sausage ("The Salma Hayek")
- beer-soaked bratwurst ("The Paul Kelly")
- corned-beef sausage with Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese
- Sauternes duck sausage with foie gras mousse and truffle aioli

I'll go on the record to say that if deliberately force-feeding birds is wrong, then shit! I don't wanna be right. The taste was strangely familiar and yet totally new, rich and creamy enough to be downright sinful.

I really do applaud the place for their ingenuity. One, it takes a real kook to imagine making gourmet hot dogs, and two, there was nothing wanting in the execution. Just look at the menu. It took a single taste of that truffle sauce on char-grilled meat for me to add this one to my select list of Chicago treasures.

Thanks to my friends for a satisfying visit back to homebase, and to Alex for letting me crash on his couch and putting up with my inexplicable fascination of the Tyra Banks show.


Lexie said...

i think jacob has been wanting to go to this place! do they also serve duck fat fries?

Jacob said...

"Hello Restaurant. Pleased to make your acquaintance."