So what's it been, almost 7 months since Hot Doug's closed?
Still, the memory of Doug's lingers...Just the other day, I saw a woman wearing the Iron Maiden/Hot Doug's shirt at the grocery store. I've also gone to the restaurant that replaced Hot Doug's in their physical location (which is all right) and went to that place on Fullerton that "got Doug's permission" to make the foie gras dog (that place sucked.) Doug himself is keeping busy, giving back to the community (after he shortened all of our lives by feeding us sausage, noted a fellow Doug's fan.) The dude even made a pizza with Piece that I ate several times (that was good) and proceeds from that went to charity. But still, WHAT ABOUT ME AND MY THURINGER BECAUSE COME ON GUYS I'M NOT GOING TO GO ALL THE WAY TO MILWAUKEE TO EAT A DAMN SAUSAGE.
So imagine my surprise when I heard what I always assumed would happen - two of Doug's top cooks branched out and started their own venture, Hot "G" Dogs in the Uptown neighborhood. I somehow missed their opening, but a few days ago, the internet BLEW UP and before I knew it, everyone was talking about "New Doug's" or "Doug's 2." I initially thought that I'd hold off on going until the "hype" died down, but I had Wednesday afternoon off, so we went up anyways. Here's what happened...
The food is close to the same stuff. The thuringer IS the thuringer. The andouille is either the same, or at least close enough. Chris, yes, it's the same corn dog. I'm not sure if it's the same veggie dog, but it was enjoyed by someone that isn't me. Heck, even the prices are the same!
Where is it different?
1. Fries - similar, but not quite the same. If anything, "Not Doug's" has fries that are closer to what HD's had than this new joint.
2. The toppings - the caramelized onions are close, SO CLOSE, but not quite there. Also, it seems that the sausage to toppings ratio is still being worked on. Beth's sausage was a little "sauce heavy" and it certainly looked like it.
3. The wait - At Doug's, you usually waited outside, but got your food pretty quickly. Here, there's no wait to get in, but we probably waited a good 20 minutes or so for our food after we ordered.
4. Tater tots - What? They have these? LISTEN, CAN I JUST SAY A THING ABOUT TATER TOTS?
Unlike some of the experiences of my other buds, mine was generally pleasant. It didn't smell like garbage inside like someone said, so hopefully they took care of that. Is it the same as Hot Doug's? No, of course not. Is it close to it, though? Sure is! Then again, it's also a complete pain in the ass to get there from where I live, so I doubt I'll be going all that often (unless you want to give me a ride - and if you do, I'll buy the corn dogs.)
Who got what:
Neal (myself) - Thuringer, andouille, corn dog, fries.
Beth (not myself, other half of Korean Jeans) - elk sausage, corn dog, fries.
Michelle (not in Korean Jeans, but a dancer, educator and vegetarian) - veggie dog, fries.