Dallas is already due to get an authentic Chicago hot dog joint with the pending arrival of Portillo's, the Chicago-based fast casual brand, which is coming to The Colony in the fall. But for those who can't wait, there's an indie shop now open in Frisco said to do a convincing take on Chicago hot dogs and more.
Called Chicago Avenue Hot Dogs, it opened in March at 15922 Eldorado Pkwy. #700, where it's already wowing Chicago natives with its hot dogs, fries, and Italian beef sandwiches.
The restaurant is in a shopping center with a Petco at the intersection of Custer Road, in the former Barnlight Eatery space, which it has transformed with touches of Chicago culture that include checked tablecloths, velvet brocade wallpaper, street signs like W. Ontario St, and a couple of perfectly restored vintage gas pumps on display.
The centerpiece of their menu is Chicago hot dogs, and they use Vienna hot dogs to achieve that much-desired "snap" in the casing.
Their Chicago style hot dog comes with mustard, relish, celery salt, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, kosher pickle, and sport peppers piled onto a steamed poppy-seed bun, sounds legit. They also have a chili cheese dog, a Polish sausage given the Chicago hot dog treatment, and a Maxwell Street Polish sausage grilled and topped with mustard and sliced grilled onions. Prices range from $3.59 to $5.39.
They also cover that other Chicago staple, the Italian beef sandwich, topped with sweet peppers, hot giardiniera peppers, and mozzarella or American cheese. A Big Beef sandwich features 50 percent more meat than the regular.
Beyond Chicago classics, they have ribs, chopped salad, Caesar salad, a spicy fried chicken sandwich — because you cannot not have a fried chicken sandwich right now — plus chicken tenders, a burger, and a cheeseburger.
Sides include crinkle-cut fries solo, topped with cheese, or topped with chili & cheese; and onion rings.
Owners are Rick Henry, a Chicago native, and wife Jamye, and they've been overwhelmed by the onrush of enthusiastic customers. Aficionados have noted that the menu bears many similarities to Portillo's, and those who've already been caution that the wait can be up to an hour. The restaurant has had to close early a few times, and does not yet have a phone, meaning there's no way to call ahead.
They eventually plan to serve beer and wine but are waiting on TABC approval. "Until then, BYOB!" they say.