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DINING: Dog days aren't over at new Michigan Road eatery

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Dining - A&E

Specializing in hot dogs is a dicey proposition. Oh, the downtown King David seems to be doing well in its new, expanded location, and you can find plenty of thriving sausage shops in bigger cities. But without foot traffic to support it (and Indy is woefully short on foot-trafficked places), a dogery usually has trouble cutting the mustard.
 

ae-chicago-dog04-15col.jpg Don’t look for ketchup on a true Chicago Dog. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The minds behind Chicago Hot Dog Co. (8320 N. Michigan Road, 808-5950), filling in a former La Bamba location, protected their investment with solid food, reasonable prices and a good soundtrack (a little Sinatra, some blues, a bit of Kander and Ebb). A BMV office across the parking lot might also help generate traffic.

As for the food itself, the cheese sauce was laid on a little thick for the Windy City Chili Dog ($3.79 plus 49-cent upcharge), obscuring the taste of both the Vienna beef dog and the chili. Better was the Chicago Hot Dog ($2.99) in which the mustard, relish, sport peppers, tomato and onions blended nicely into an accurate taste of the City of Big Shoulders. The only problem was that most of the celery salt was caught by a pickle spear that ran the length of the dog.

The owner, transplanted Chicagoan Brian Jessogne, knows his way around Italian Beef ($4.99) and Italian Sausage ($3.99). The beef, served dry, wet or dipped, is made daily and served on French bread strong enough to hold the meat, even when saturated. The char-grilled Stockyard Burger ($3.99) won’t win any awards, but it’s a respectable alternative that starts with a 5.3-ounce Angus beef patty.

Sides are limited to Krinkle-Cut French Fries ($1.59/$1.89) and Onion Rings ($2.19), both satisfying. On one of my visits, the former arrived cold but the staff happily took them back and quickly replaced them with an upsized portion, hot and delicious.

If a Chicago Dog and fries aren’t enough of a treat, there’s more. A traditional straw proved the wrong delivery tool for the Strawberry Shake ($2.69/$3.69), which needed a spoon. Big, chunky, locally made cookies ($2.19) and sliced Italian Lemon Cake ($3.29) demonstrate the wisdom of delivering solidly on limited choices.

Did I mention foot traffic? What’s really needed after a meal here is a place to walk it off. Perhaps a stroll over to Lowe’s … •


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Second in a month-long series of keep-it-simple restaurants

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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