Gene's and Jude's
 Chicago, Illinois        Date of Visit  04/07/11          
 No Known Website

We knew we were going to have to hit at least one dog joint in Chi town. But which one? We looked around and had some ideas but our Wonka-esqe culinary Sherpa had a definite destination in mind. His personal go-to dog in the windy city. This place is called Gene’s and Jude’s and is off to the West side of the city. Then our guide mentioned they had just been chosen America’s top dog and it was a lock. We pulled into a non-descript parking lot next to a rectangular brick structure that already had a line for hot dogs at 10:30 in the morning. Bring it on.



Do You Want a Dog or Dogs?

If Gene’s and Jude’s were to be ranked on amenities I don’t know if the scale would have a place for them. There are two things on the menu, dogs and tamales. The dogs come with fries and you have the option of four condiments, plus one self applied at the counter. First and of serious importance is NO KETCHUP!!! If you wanted it…you ain’t gettin it. Apparently the McDonalds next door was watching their profit margin disappear in ketchup packets alone as the sign on the door says…No, we won’t give you ketchup for your Gene’s and Jude’s. Either enjoy as intended or smuggle your own and eat in the parking lot. What they will put on your dog are any or all of mustard, relish, onion and sport peppers. As you order, the line moves with the automated precision of a staff that has made millions of dogs. #1 takes the buns and dogs out of the steamer. #2 stands next to four big stainless bowls, three with spoons, and applies the requested condiments. #3 stands next to the always working series of fryolaters and stuffs a handful of fresh cut fries on top. And #4 takes your cash and hands over the bag of goodies. Our guide and I both ordered a single with the works and Steph went with mustard only. We also decided to try a tamale.

America's Top Dog

Here's Why!

The dining consists of a wooden counter that meets between the two walls of the far corner from the production line. I can’t be certain…but I think the wood for the counter may have been salvaged from the Monitor or the Merrimack…which ever one didn’t get sunk when they met in battle during the civil war. The counter also holds four industrial cans of salt for self application to your meal. So standing in the corner, in front of the article from the Wall Street Journal naming them Top Dog, we unwrap our little packages. First the tamale. It’s just fine…but it is certainly not the reason even more folks have piled into the line behind us and are receiving bags full of dogs and squeezing into the counter or going to eat in their cars. What is going on? Then we unwrap the dog. An all beef Vienna, you already know what is on it and then those fries. The fries are perfect…when mixed with the dog, the hot peppers, the mustard, the relish, and the raw onion…oh man. It is absolutely delectable. You might say it is just a hot dog…I say to you the Mona Lisa is just a picture of some woman. I guarantee you, more Chicagoans are making pilgrimage to Gene’s and Jude’s for “Just a hot dog” than the Frogs are going to the Louvre. Now I know why.


Tamale Was Fine...Go for the DOGS and FRIES!!!

The Combination is Awesome!





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