Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, February 7

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Upscale Comfort Food at Max's Wine Dive Celebrate Belgian Independence with Belgian Beers »

Event Thu Jul 17 2014

ManBQue Sweeps the GB Hot Dog Cookoff

ManBQue team. Photo by Brad Snyder.

After sampling all five inventive hot dog dishes and consuming many an Old Style tall boy, the consensus is that the second Gapers Block Hot Dog Cookoff was a delicious success.

ManBQue's hot dog dumplings. Photo by Brad Snyder.

Defending champions ManBQue took home both the Top Dog and the People's Choice awards with their impressive hot dog gyoza-- two handmade dumplings stuffed with hot dog, one dressed "Chicago Style" with celery salt, poppy seeds, relish, and homemade mustard, and the other an anti-Chicago spin topped with homemade siracha ketchup. While the very mention of "ketchup" generated some controversy, the judges were impressed by the effort put in to make 300 dumplings by hand.

Fat Rice hot dog buns
Hong Kong-style hot dog buns from Fat Rice. Photo by Brad Snyder.

However, debate among judges was heated and it was a tough decision for all. Chef Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice wowed the crowd and took a close second place with his take on a traditional Hong Kong-style savory sausage-stuffed pastry, topped with coconut and mango jam. This little hot pocket of goodness offered the starchy comfort of a steam bun or pigs-in-a-blanket, but totally defied expectations with an explosion of unusual flavors. Leave it to Fat Rice to bring a Portugese-Chinese fusion take to the humble hot dog and totally knock it out of the park.

MakeItFor.Us liquid piggies
"Liquid piggies" and hot dog bubblegum from MakeItFor.Us. Photo by Brad Snyder.

Shaking up the competition with some food science, innovation start up MakeItFor.Us owner Moshe Tamssot made a smoked dog with his own "liquid piggy" BBQ sauce with a chaser of hot dog bubble gum. That's right, hot dog bubble gum.

Harmony Grill hot dogs
Harmony Grill's buffalo cheese dogs. Photo by Brad Snyder.

Harmony Grill whipped up a buffalo cheese dog-- a working man's red hot that they recommended pairing with a fine American brew.

Gapers Block taco dogs
"Pinche weenie" taco dogs by Gapers Block. Photo by Andrew Huff.

And rounding out the competition, the not-intimidated-by-professionals Team Gapers Block delivered a crowd-pleasing taco dog after Gus Paschalis of Wiener and Still Champion had to drop out due to appendicitis.

Get Up with the Get Downs
Get Up with the Get Downs. Photo by Brad Snyder.

Thanks to all the competitors, our sponsors Vienna Beef and Old Style, and to The Get Up With The Get Downs for a great show. Not only did we take the hot dog to weird and exciting new heights, we raised money for Reach Out and Read of Illinois while having a great time.

See you next year!

bacon socks
Bacon socks. Photo by Brad Snyder.

GB store
GB store

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 »

GB store



Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15