BEST HOT DOGS - 2008
This West Bank dive might be the messiest restaurant in the city, but that doesn't mean they don't make a great dog. The meat is Vienna Beef brand and so are the buns, which are speckled with purple poppy seeds. The man manning the grill, owner Pat Starr, with his trademark beard and stocking cap, seems to know most of his customers. And he has plenty of patience for those who have trouble deciding between a traditional Chicago dog, the Coney Island chili version, or the more unconventional Picnic Dog (baked beans, coleslaw, and cheese) or breakfast-style Upsetter (bacon and eggs), of which Starr says, "It's hardcore." If you want your dog with mayonnaise, well, you can have it with mayonnaise. You can also have it vegetarian, or even vegan. In fact, you can probably have it with anything Starr has back in the kitchen, if you ask nicely enough. Just make sure to order it with fries.