The Taste Buds Review: Hot Doug's (a.k.a. 826CHI Youth Invasion!) Compiled by Scarlett Stoppa, June 8, 2010
Compiled by Scarlett Stoppa, June 8, 2010
If you’ve never heard of 826CHI, you might want to check if you still have ears. This non-profit writing and tutoring center is a local branch of Dave Egger’s dream project 826 Valencia, and with the help of legions of dedicated and imaginative volunteers, 826CHI is shaping the future generation of original writers and thinkers. In fact, it was a group of these Young Creatives of America who came up with the name Taste Buds for the Chicago 6 Corner’s food/restaurant review feature. To thank the clever kids for their tasty inspiration, we invited a group of 826CHI students to Be a Bud and review one of the best hot dog stands Chicago has to offer: HOT DOUG’S!
Their task: Order. Eat a hot dog. Write about it.
Sounds simple enough. But add in a rainstorm, crowds of hot-dog-hungry masses (resulting in a line that “was moving like a snail that broke its leg” ~ Jerod), and only-available-on-Friday/Saturday-duck-fat fries, and the Taste Buds had to think outside the bun.
Most of our Buds included a Bio to assure you fine readers of their hot-dog-reviewer qualifications. They also personalized their categories and rating system, and some even created a Reviewer Persona. We hope you enjoy their sweet and salty opinions, and are persuaded to embark upon your own Hot Doug adventure (See Hot Doug's for hours & menu). Don’t forget your umbrella (or sunscreen)!
Bio: I love food and opinionating. There are many good reasons to trust my review, including: my mom makes good hot dogs (I don’t like yucky ones), my parents take me to all different ethnic restaurants, every day I use my verbal opinion, I’m smart, and it’s good to listen to other people.
Review: After years of watching people waiting on Saturday morning, I have finally tasted Hot Doug's.
Taste & Texture – I had the Marty Allen. It was very flavorful and had great texture. I would not recommend the mini bagel dogs. I would recommend the cheese and duck fries, but the duck fries are only served on Fridays and Saturdays. The Pete Shelly was okay and had great texture. The corn dog was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Decor – There are lots of pictures of hot dogs. It is very happy and colorful. I love the history of encased meats.
Service & Wait – The service is good. It is fast and very friendly, but the wait is about 20-30 minutes.
Price – The price is cheap. If you only brought $5 you could have at least two things. Most hot dogs are $2-3.
Review: The purpose of this review is to write about how food tastes. I am doing this because my mom made me get up to do this at 10:00 a.m. in the rain and the line was moving like a snail that broke its leg. I just wanted to go to Burger King because they have ribs. Then I had to write a review like Jaylen [his sister].
The Dog – But then I walked in. They had a whole bunch of hot dogs. I ate the dog. It was a Chicago-style hot dog with all the trimmings.
The Fries – The French fries were fried with duck fat. They tasted awesome! My sister said she didn’t want them, but she ate almost all of them after she tried one.
The Drink – The drinks were pretty good too. I wish every place had so many selections.
4 ½ out of 5 bottles of ketchup
Rachel, 4th GradeBio: Rachel needs a great restaurant to write a great review. She knows a not very good hot dog when she meets one. She’s had many different foreign culture foods. And she has many opinions.
Review: Wow, this food is FOODabulous! This restaurant’s name is called Hot Doug’s. They have the best quality a restaurant can have. Read this to see these amazing qualities:
How Long We Waited Outside Factor – We have waited for a long time. There were many in the line. It was wet outside. We were in line for about 20 minutes before we got inside.
Inside How Much We Waited Factor – So, now we’re in the restaurant. It is busy and clean. It has many interesting things to eat. One of them was buffalo hot dog. They have many pictures, and many colors on the chairs and walls.
Food Factor – The food is delicious. Delicious fries, fantastic fresh vegetables on the hot dog. They have wonderful bagel dogs and tater tots. They also have many fabulous hot dogs. Yummy!
Cost Factor – The cost was so cheap. The bagel dogs and tater tots were $2.50 only! These are great prices for these fantastic meals.
5 out of 5 Stars
Bio: I am 7 years old and I love to play and watch TV! I want to be a food critic when I grow up so this is a great opportunity for me.Review: Everything here was perfect. The place was perfect. The food was perfect. The people were perfect.
The Line – The line was really really long, like an hour. So I had to stand in an extremely long line in the rain for an hour. I even saw a person in a hot dog costume. That was too much even for me!
Worth the Wait – It was worth the wait! Once I got to the front of the line I got a root beer with a Chicago-style hot dog with fries.
Ate Too Much – I ate too much! I ate some of my hot dog. But those French fries were delicious. They were crispy just the way I like them. But back to the hot dog: WOW! I said, It was good.
9 out of 10 StarsDeclan, 3rd Grade
Bio: Declan was into computers, but now he is into sports AND computers. He finds hot dogs to be both gross and really yum. When asked what qualifies him to write a food review, he says he doesn't know, but the only meat he eats? Hot Dogs!
Review: I walked a block in the cold and the rain for this hot dog. When we entered the restaurant my mind went blank from too much going on.
The Dog – I gave this hot dog 3 stars. It was well cooked and juicy, but I like the hot dogs my dad makes. The Fries – Duck fat. I was not a big fan, but I liked them pretty good for a fry. I could tell they tasted different from the oil.
The Doug – He was really nice and asked my name. It's fun that the owner takes the orders.
The Drink – Fanta Pineapple. It was a little too fizzy – I like my soda flat.
It was worth the wait for food, but I don't really care if I come again.Jules
Bio: My name is Jules and I live in Chicago. I have no pets. I enjoy video games. I like lots of foods, including hot dogs, polish sausages, candy, popcorn, nachos, ice cream, and (now) duck fat fries. I love meat! It is my favorite type of food. I have always loved hot dogs all my life. Everywhere I went I loved them no matter where they were from. I have experience sharing my opinion on food, games, and movies. You should listen to me because I have a good sense of taste.
Review: Hot Doug's is very popular, crowded, and noisy. They had a ridiculously long line. It seemed small from the outside, but it was surprisingly big. They have a very creative menu, and a large drink selection. I could barely smell the grease. I had "The Elvis" polish sausage – 5 stars! Off the chart!!! Duck fat fries – 5 stars! Off the chart!!! They have the best polish sausage I ever had. I love the Chicago-style relish! It's my favorite type. I liked everything I got.
Off the Chart out of EverythingSam, Kindergarten
Bio: Sam loves food and knows a good yummy hot dog from a bad one. And he's honest.
Review: I really don't know how to do this [write a food review], but I love hot dogs, I just love them.
Line Factor – I get hungry when I wait in line. It sure is a long line. I hope it is worth it. When I get to the front, everything is hot dogs!
Doug Factor – He makes me happy. He tells the other workers to make the hot dogs that I love. The hot dog man on the t-shirt is Doug.
Food Factor – The fries are so juicy. I can't stop eating them. The hot dog is perfect. It looks as good as it tastes.
Building Factor – Everything is hot dogs! The colors are bright and happy.Ms. Root beer (aka Cristina)
Bio: My real name is Cristina and I live in Chicago. I haven't eaten that many hot dogs. I don't know about food, but I like food, and I am honest.
Review: I came to Hot Doug's to get good food and write a review. The place is loud and weird, with colorful pictures and music. The root beer is awesome! And the french fries are awesome! But the hot dogs are soo so so so good!
ChgoLink123458 (a.k.a. Evan)
Review: Hot Doug’s is top dog! They have so many great things to offer. It is also a very family-friendly restaurant.Food & Beverage – The food and beverages are amazing. They have a giant station of beverages. I chose Mellow Yellow. The food is delectable. I had duck fat fries, which are awesome. I also had cheese fries and a plain hot dog. Best food experience I ever had.
The Line – The Line is pretty long, but the food is worth the wait. I suggest coming on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday – if you don’t want duck fat fries.
Service – The service gives new meaning to service with a smile. They are always happy, especially when they give you your food or take your order.
5 out of 5 duck fat friesNayelli
Review: The food was excellent and cooked quickly. We were waiting for 20 minutes. It has eleven kinds of dogs. And ice cream too. They change the specials every day. They have healthy and not good drinks.Smell – The mini bagel hot dogs smelled like biscuits and hot dogs together.
Décor – I liked the yellow, blue, and red painted walls. It was very clean inside the restaurant.
Service – They were friendly, and the man that took our order was the owner. The bad part was waiting 20 minutes to get in.
Value – My meal was under $8, so I consider Hot Doug's a great value.
4 out of 5 tater tots (It would have been 5 tater tots but the wait was too long.)Fiamma
Review: I liked the food. It tasted good. Hot Doug's owner took my order. He was nice and friendly.
The Wait – The line was long with almost 50 people. I would come back.
The Food – I ate a plain hot dog. It was chewy. It was delicious. I drank Fanta. It was good.
10 out of 10 dogsGabriele
Review: I liked the food. It was very good.
The Wait – Very long line, had to wait 30 minutes. But Hot Doug's owner took my order!
Decor/Ambiance – Very little space. Round tables. Window seats. Coca Cola fans. Music. Lots of people.
Food – Very Good! Creative. Good fries fried in duck fat.
4 out of 5 stars
Mrs. Hungry (a.k.a. Anais)
Bio: Mrs. Hungry became Mrs. Happy after she ate at Hot Doug's. She likes horses and dogs and hopes no one eats them. She likes hot dogs, sharing her opinion, and food. Listen to her because she buys stuff and is the customer!
Review: I came to Hot Doug’s for a class of the Boring Store to try new foods, including hot dogs and more! It’s really crowded and rainy on a Saturday. Line very long! Line moving fast! Not really a lot of space in the place. The Pib is good, so is the dips. And very good for hot dogs. I had buffalo hot sauce and chicken sausage. Delicious, great, good, tasty, and very yummy!5 out of 5 Stars
P.S. French fries: Good! Good! Happy!
Ms. French Fry (a.k.a. Isabella)
Bio: Cristina is my best friend in the whole wide world. I love cooking and hot dogs. I like to share my opinion.
Review: It's really crowded on Saturdays. After we ate, the line was really long! We got to meet Doug! (Isn't that awesome?) I got to drink root beer. The hot dogs were really really good. You should listen to me and get in here! I should go tell my friends.