Sausage City and Hot Doug's. The two, at some point, would have to meet. But how to pay due respects? As one of Chicago's most famous places to eat sausages (it's a self-described "encased meats emporium"), a mere visit like a normal person would not suffice. Thankfully, SE Chicago editor Nick Kindelsperger came to the rescue with his insane idea of ordering every single item on the menu—that's 23 sausages in all. He rounded up nine eager and voracious writers besides myself to document the entire menu.
But I took the opportunity to devote myself to a more insane cause, which was to taste a bite of every single one, and select my five favorites. It's unclear whether anyone has ever attempted such a feat.
Of course, the whole idea of favorites is personal, and I would like to say from the outset that the insanity and confusion of the endeavor did not lead to the most controlled, critically removed scenario. The whole thing was bananas. A 26-course tasting menu in a fine dining restaurant takes hours; on this fine Saturday in Chicago, every sausage came to our table within the span of five minutes, shuffled around for photographing, portioning, and tasting. I was eating with speed, gusto, and a madly scribbling pen.
These are the five sausages that have stuck with me, that I'm still dreaming about days later, and that I would recommend heartily for any visit to Hot Doug's. Perfectly cooked, every condiment necessary, balanced, and satisfying. In other words, these are Sausage City's highest recommendations. Click here to view the slideshow, or check my picks out individually below.