Team Hensley

Team Hensley

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Greatest Hot Dog

First, it's been snowing.Native Chicagoans would laugh at us when we suggested that 35-degree weather was cold. They were right to laugh. Most days the temperature doesn't even get to the 30s. Sometimes it doesn't get to the 20s. Yesterday, Randi and I were walking to the bus when we noticed how nice it was outside. It was 34 degrees.

Ben naturally wanted a hot dog while he was here. I told him I had heard that Fat Johnnie's Famous Red Hots was one of the best places, but I had never been there. He asked what part of town it was in. "South." That's the only part he hadn't seen. We made haste to the car.

Fat Johnnie's is basically a shack.
No, it's definitely a shack. You go up to a crusty window to order your Red Hots from some crusty guy you can barely see. Some other crusty guy makes your order.

Anthony Bourdain ate there once. Or, at least, someone with a name close to Anthony Bourdain's ate there once.

This (above and below) is the "Mother-in-Law." It's name comes from the fact that they "both give you indigestion." As it turns out, I get indigestion neither from my mother-in-law, nor from the mother-in-law.
What is this magical creation? The wiener has been replaced with a beef tamale, covered in chili, and topped with the usual Chicago-style toppings (except that Fat Johnnie's uses a cucumber slice instead of a pickle slice. I feel like the cucumber is better...).
Ben takes his first bite:
Apart from probably being the best hot dog in Chicago, it's also cheapcheapcheap! I got one Red Hot (which was insanely good), a Mother-in-Law (which was insanely good), and a large Coke for $5! I want to eat there everyday! Every. Day. ...everyday.

Later, Pele complained that she didn't get to have a hot dog. I told her there was no way I was going to feed something so delicious to a cry-baby cat. She gets cat food. That's it.

Now that my first quarter is over (!!!), I've started to work on my fitness again. I think I look pretty good these days.


  1. Do you suppose those hot dogs would fit in my stocking? I'll ask Santa.

  2. hehee! I love hearing about y'all's adventures! it gives me great knowledge for future trips too.

  3. Aren't most pickles originally cucumbers?