Speaking of stands that serve natural casing hot dogs: While helping Blake call over 100 stands over the weekend, I was surprised to learn that all of the franchise locations of Al's Beef serve one. Why is this important? Well, Al's has a lot of locations around the city, making it one of the more convenient ways to enjoy a proper Chicago-style hot dog. Plus, it just added one more.
Al's Beef at 2804 N. Western Avenue opens today in Avondale. It replaces Tore's -- an old beef stand that I wanted to like more than I actually did. So, even though a Serious Eats roundup last year confirmed that the original Al's #1 Italian Beef on Taylor is still better than the franchise locations, this is still definitely a positive for the Italian beef scene. And now that I know it also serves natural casing hot dogs, I might even need to add this location to the Alternatives to Hot Doug's list.
2804 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647