Duck Fat Fries from Hot Doug's, Chicago
At long last...after having missed the Fri/Sat-only duck fat fries at Hot Doug's on my last trip to Chicago, I made sure that we timed it correctly this time. We sure weren't the only ones thinking about a Saturday lunch at Hot Doug's though. When we arrived just before noon, a line was already forming outside of the restaurant. Don't forget that Chicago in December means sub-freezing temperatures that we had to patiently bear for 15-20 minutes outside before making it into the second half of the line inside.
Now, admittedly I was a bit let down with the duck fat fries when we finally got them. I guess that I was expecting some special quirky twist in it, but instead it seemed pretty straightforward. Don't get me wrong; even then, these were still probably some of the best fries that I've ever had, especially with that fresh potato taste. But I remember the same about his "normal" fries too. I really should try them side-by-side...not to mention getting a bit of those cool tater tots too while I'm at it (cue: Napoleon Dynamite). Well, I hope to have plenty of chances to do so.
Potato-based products aside, we also grabbed a couple of his special sausages today, including the Brandy-Infused Spanish Chorizo and the Atomic Bomb Spicy Pork Sausage. I'm normally not a big fan of sweet things, but the latter was so spicy that the sweet hot mustard and Brun-Uusto jalapeño cheese were perfect complements to that already delicious sausage. Similarly, the smoked Gouda shavings provided an amazing overtone to the chorizo, even if the bacon-garlic mayo was a bit heavy on the garlic.
Regardless, I truly love this place. The food here is just so darned good that it's no wonder why people would wait outside in the freezing cold for this. While Kobe beef ranks up there as one of my favorite meals ever, this one comes pretty darned close...and at only a fraction of the price at that. Thumbs way up.