Bronzeville has the history. It also has the chicken joints. But when you open a gourmet hot dog emporium there, heads turn. And, it's this latest addition to the neighborhood that is attracting customers, due in part to the homemade toppings.
In Bronzeville at least, chicken and catfish probably outnumber the standard hot dog joint two-to-one. But at H-Dogs, not only are encased meats the rule, they are borderline exotic. Every one of the sausages here comes from the well-respected Paulina Market in Roscoe Village and is dressed with some type of homemade topping.
"Well, we have the Greektown, which is a lamb sausage we top with tzatziki, tomatoes, and onions," said manager DeAndre Harris. "We have the turducken, which is the turkey, duck, and chicken sausage."
But that's not all. That turkey-duck-chicken sausage is then topped with a Cobb salad of sorts, including lettuce, tomatoes, turkey bacon and blue cheese dressing.
"We have the Frenchie, which is a duck sausage in some fruit mustard and caramelized onions," Harris said.
Again, after the duck sausage is grilled, toppings need to be applied. In this case, sweet caramelized onions and a fruit mustard that begins with orange juice, cranberries and currants in a skillet. They're heated slowly, for about 20 minutes, to reduce and concentrate the liquid; dijon and yellow mustard are then folded into it, and the resulting fruit mustard is added to the Frenchie.
There are other options on the menu as well, including a decent vegetarian dog with onions, cukes, red peppers and Brussels sprouts, plus a grilled salmon patty.
And here's a surprise: they're carrying some of the best gelato in Chicago, thanks to Bensenville's well-regarded Angelo Gelato.
"Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla bean, pistachio, black walnut, lemon and watermelon sorbets," said Harris.
Mix one of those sorbets with their homemade lemonade for a unique slushie, or just check out a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Either way, Harris says he's offering something that's certainly unique to this part of the city.
"Pretty much typical hot dogs everywhere else except here," he said.
There are nine dogs in all on the menu, plus Italian beef and some interesting sandwiches.
4655 S. King Dr.