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Chef Fri Aug 08 2008
I decided to swing by Hot Dougs today and enjoy the award winning New Chicago dog and some Duck Fat fries. Right after I finished taking a photograph of my encased meat, a young woman came over and asked me very apologetically if I would move over a few seats. "You see, we're doing some filming, and this is unfortunately the seat with the best light." Since I was done using the light for my own purposes, I agreed and asked who was filming.
"It's a Travel Channel program called No Reservations.
My belly flopped, my breathing stopped and I was somehow able to mutter "Yeah, but Anthony Bourdain isn't really here? Right?"
I spent the next several minutes trying to eavesdrop on his ordering conversation with Doug Sohn, owner and head comedian of Hot Doug's, and trying to get a halfway decent shot of him standing in line. And then he came and sat beside me and grumbled about how hungry he was while the camera operators got everything focused and queued up and then he began to eat and talk while he was eating. The eating definitely took preference over the talking and he ate The Dog (what Doug calls a Chicago dog) and he ordered a "Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Mustard, Foie Gras Mousse and Sel Gris", probably just to piss of Alderman Joe Moore for trying to make foie gras illegal and costing poor Doug a fine for selling it anyway.
Honestly, if you've seen one man eat a hot dog, watching Bourdain eat a hot dog wasn't really any different. However, because almost everyone in the restaurant knew who he was, even though they were trying to pretend they weren't staring at him, and since everyone was suddenly "dialing" their cell phones at eye level, even he seemed a bit unnerved by the staring and attention. But he handled it gracefully. I honestly think he's used to being stared at while he eats, but probably not used to being stared at by people who know him while he eats. But he seemed to love his meal, including the duck fat fries (even though the camera operators, assistant and sound folks probably ate more of them than he did). And while Chicago is no Malaysian jungle, this Chicago foodie hopes that Tony enjoyed the rest of the meals he ate in our fair city. I'm not sure about everywhere that he went, but The Food Chain has a few places listed.