There are lots of places in our great nation to get your hot dog on. Detroit has its Coney Island dogs smothered with chili. Coney Island has its Nathan's Famous dogs, consumed each year in epic eating contests. Angelenos eat them with pork rinds, fried egg, seaweed and pickled papaya — one hopes not all at once. But Chicago's hot dogs outshine them all.
Gene & Jude's: We made a jaunt to River Grove, about 12 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, for the world-famous Gene & Jude's. I've read that you're either a fancy Superdawg kind of person or you're a down-to-earth Gene & Jude's kind of person, and I was eager to find out which I was. No one else in my family got out of the car; I was on my own.
Like 35th Street Red Hots, Gene & Jude's serves an old-style dog; they've been doing it since 1946. No tomatoes, no poppy-seed buns. I waited in line about 20 minutes and marveled at how the fries were crank-cut from potatoes, sunk into the fry oil, then used as insulation: They're poured sizzling over the hot Viennas in assembly-line fashion to keep the dogs hot before they are wrapped in paper and served. I returned to the car euphoric and a mere $2.69 lighter.
I appreciated the old-school price. Don't ask for ketchup here; there is none. Nor are there any seats, but there is a ledge that runs across the front window. I left without knowing what kind of person I am; perhaps closer to Gene & Jude's.
2720 River Road, River Grove, IL
See full article at LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-d-hot-dog-20150927-story.html