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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, April 7, 2014 4:46 AM

Classic Chicago Hot Dog

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Glen Stepanovic, who wrote imploring us to visit Gene & Jude's. Somehow, this estimable hot dog stand just a few minutes the OTHER side of O'Hare had eluded our radar. It is hugely popular – Glen said it's the largest purveyor of Vienna hot dogs on earth – but it is a relatively small and extremely modest place. There are no tables or chairs at all; as is Chicago custom, the eatery offers a chest-high counter to which you may bring your meal, unwrap it, and eat standing up. When you're finished, use the wax paper in which the food was served to gather up any scraps and heave them in one of the large garbage cans provided in the corners of the room. We find this arrangement comfortable and eminently practical for eating extremely messy food; however, many customers choose to dine in their cars in the parking lot.

You get a hot dog or a double dog. The natural-casing, all-beef Vienna brand tube steaks are slim and snappy; they are inserted into soft buns and dressed with mustard, onions, piccalilli, or sport peppers as you request. Glen told us that some hot dog historians consider this the "original" Chicago style dog, before the more baroque garnishes of pickle spear, tomato slice, and celery salt.

A fine, fine hot dog … but wait, there's more! Whatever toppings are included, each dog gets heaped with a large fistful of French fries … some of the best French fries in Chicago. Fresh? Forget about it! As you wait for your hot dog to be prepared, you can watch the counter folks peel and cut whole potatoes, then fry them, drain them, and pile them onto waiting dogs. They spend a good long time in the bubbling oil, emerging a dark, dark brown with some pieces crunchy through-and-through, others thick and potato-creamy inside.

It's a great, true-Chicago meal.
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Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014

Joe's "Dreyfus Store" Restaurant

The strange name of this restaurant goes back to the 19th century, when a building on this spot was a dry goods store run by Theodore Dreyfus. When Joe and Diane Major made it into a restaurant in 1989, they kept the name as an homage to the old store.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, April 6, 2014 5:20 AM

This week's Stern story at The Daily Beast is about New Orleans' nearly-forgotten breakfast treat, cala cakes, and a funky little French Quarter cafe called The Old Coffee Pot that serves them topped with powdered sugar and accompanied by creamy grits.

Source: Cala Cake Story
Roadfood of the Day: Café Lola - Lafayette, LA
Posted on Sunday, April 6, 2014


A doppio, described on the Cafe Lola menu as "the concentrated 'essence' of coffee pressure brewed." It is stout, rich, and creamy topped.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, April 5, 2014 6:18 AM

If you are a layer cake lover, we suggest a trip to Orlando, where the variety and quality are superb. Clockwise from upper left: chocolate frosted white cake at P&D Soul Kitchen, Key lime cake also at P&D Soul Kitchen, strawberry-white cake at Nikki's Place, and red velvet cake from Gordon's Be Back Fish House.

Roadfood of the Day: The Pie - Port Jefferson, NY
Posted on Saturday, April 5, 2014

Closest Thing to New Haven

To those Long Islanders who can't make the journey to New Haven, CT - I suggest eating at "The Pie" to get a piece of it.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, April 4, 2014 5:51 AM

This weekend's broadcast of The Splendid Table will include our report about Dr. Ho's Humble Pie, a charming eatery in North Garden, Virginia, where Turner Ham House ham is used to top this "Bellissima" pizza, which also includes arugula, shaved Parmesan cheese, and a glaze of lemon vinaigrette.

Roadfood of the Day: Prejean's - Lafayette, LA
Posted on Friday, April 4, 2014

Eggplant Abbeville

Named for the nearby town known for its delicious oysters, Eggplant Abbeville contains no oysters. It is fried eggplant topped with crab and surrounded by shrimp.
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Posted on Thursday, April 3, 2014
Item Results
Small Town Cafe 306
Diner 265
Tavern 90
Drive-In 46
Cafeteria 33
Truck Stop 21
Comments (1)
Posted on Thursday, April 3, 2014

Meat Pie

Super-savory and assertively spiced, this meat pie was a tastebuds-revelation. Easy to eat while driving, too!
Rate this place Reviews (2) Learn more about Champagne's Breaux Bridge Bakery...
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