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The Dog Show Mon Jan 18 2010

The Dog Show: Flub A Dub Chub's

TheDogShow_01.jpgFlub A Dub Chub's is a relatively new hot dog emporium in Lakeview that's getting more and more attention from the locals. It could be because of their cute logo or their friendly atmosphere, but I have to chalk it up to their amazing menu. Featuring good ol' fashioned American staples, hot dogs and burgers, there's always something for even the pickiest eater to find at their restaurant. Family owned and operated with the help of their friends, Flub a Dub Chub's welcomes you downstairs with a waft of encased meat and the promise of a warm atmosphere. Every time I've come into this place I'm always greeted by one of the owners, who are always there, and have a great conversation. These guys care about food and about their customers, which is a welcome change to the quick service places around the area who couldn't care who you were.

In this particular hot dog excursion I ate six hot dogs. That's right, six loaded to the top hot dogs with only my trusty boyfriend to help me finish the remainder of what I couldn't. I will probably never do this again until I go to Hot Doug's but let me tell you right now, when the menu has 14 different types of hot dogs sometimes it's okay to let a few wait until the next visit.

Flub a Dub Chub's has two basic Chicago-style dogs to choose from - the Flubby and the Chub'sby. The Flubby is a classic Vienna Beef hot dog with all the correct Chicago trimmings, while the Chub'sby is just that, a ΒΌ lb. hot dog. In interest of trying to keep my appetite I went with the Flubby. The Flubby comes steamed on a poppy seed bun, and in some ways I wish that they could char this particular dog because it would have taken it to the next level. It's a typical Chicago hot dog, which isn't a bad thing, but it needed something more to become a hot dog I would rant and rave about like at Murphy's.

The Durkalski is Flub's version of a Polish dog. I got this bad boy with mustard and onions. I've gripped about Polishes and Brats before and how often times people go over the top with the beer taste and it ruins the meal for me. I was happy to find that Flub A Dub Chub's's broke the cycle. Their Polish did have that certain standard bite to it but it didn't overpower the natural flavor of the sausage. These guys know how to cook a good hot dog regardless of ethnic origin. I'll never be a huge Polish fan but if I have to get a decent one somewhere I would pick the Durkalski.

The Speiser was the best of the bunch, hands down, but it was the hot dog that pushed me past the brink of no return. The Speiser is a Chub'sby hot dog topped with their homemade chili, cheese, and peppers. According to the menu description this dog will "give you gas." Now it didn't do that to me but it was a lot of dog to handle. I've ordered the Chub'sby by itself before and a quarter pound hot dog is nothing that should be messed with. It is a beast of a hot dog. Topped that with chili, cheese and peppers and it's like a chili dog that'll kill you. I know I'm making this hot dog sound like a horror story out of a health magazine, but it really is delicious. The chili alone is great with enough heat that it doesn't overpower the peppers on top. And the tangy taste of the cheese mixes nicely with the huge hot dog taste you get in every bite. It may be a beast but it's one I'm willing to tackle any day.

The Bryan on the other hand was a weird one. The Bryan is a pretty simple hot dog - a classic Vienna topped with mayonnaise and tomatoes. I normally like mayo on sandwiches and even on burgers, but I would have to save the Bryan for the mayo fetish restaurants in Japan. I got nothing from this hot dog. There was no definite taste, everything just tasted really bland. The tomato and the mayo were so overpowering that it canceled out the taste of the hot dog and made you taste a very strange flavor indeed. I would have to call it something like meaty tomato. This may be some other people's thing but for me, it didn't make the cut.

When I saw the Lars and the Willie Dog on the menu, I had to get it. The Lars is a corn dog, plain and simple and the Willie Dog is a veggie dog made up Chicago style. I've often found it hard to please some of my girl friends who like to dine with me because when I take them to a hot dog joint, there's nothing on the menu that they like either because their vegetarians or they just "don't like Chicago dogs." But Flub a Dub Chub's is a place where I can take any of my gal pals because of these items. The Lars dog is one of the best corn dogs you'll have outside of a state fair. The outer breaded coating is sweet just like it should be with a ripe hot dog smack in the middle. I'm a meat eater, as you have probably figured out, and I even liked the Willie Dog. It's taste obviously screams "I'm not real meat" but with all the condiments of a Chicago hot dog it actually tastes pretty good. Fellas, if you have a picky eater girlfriend and you want to take her out for a hot dog, take her here.

Flub a Dub Chub's is located at 3021 N. Broadway Ave right on the 36 bus route. They are open Monday-Thursday and Sunday 11 am to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday 11 am to 11 pm. All hot dogs come with an order of their seasoned fries, which are a perfect match for any meal. This column may be about hot dogs but don't forget to try a burger there too. The Roe (named after one of the owners) is one of the top ones there. And don't ask for ketchup on your dog, or you will go on the wall of shame! Yes, the proprietors are serious to meeting Chicago hot dog standards and are ready to disgrace anyone who is willing to tamper with it.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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