Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Located about an hour north of Chicago, IL, this was an experience. I had the chance to eat with Joe, who is the owner of Trolley Dogs. Known for his hat which is about a two foot long hot dog, Joe told me the history of his restaurant after a career as a number cruncher. I had two dogs on the night. The first was a trolley dog, which came with a homemade tamale wrapped inside. To combine the Southwestern flavor with a Midwestern hot dog was a great idea and the flavors meshed well. Secondly came the Tijuana Dog. This was a treat unlike any I have had before. So promptly named by Joe after a dog he had following a night out in Tijuana, this was a dog wrapped in bacon then deep fried. Topping this deep-fried-dog was jalapenos that were more sweet than spicy, mayonnaise, mustard and tomatoes. I was optimistic at best when it came out to me, but after one bite I was in heaven. If he found this thing in Tijuana, that is where I am headed for my next vacation and gobbling these suckers all day. If headed north of Chicago, or within shouting distance of Kenosha, WI you must take the seven mile drive off of highway 94 and hit this place up. A-
Atmosphere- Joe wears a hat that features a two foot hot dog. How can a patron not help but smile when this large man with a thick accent greats you wearing this hat. The galley style restaurant had seating for about forty people with a train that circled about near the ceiling. On the walls featured many Vienna Beef hotdog signs, which is the only kind of dog served here. When an order was brought to out the tables, a simple conversation took place between Joe and the customer, creating many smiles. I don’t know if Joe sang just for me, but whatever the song was that came on the radio, he sang it while he made up my Tijuana dog. If it had not been for the early night fall, I would imagine that through the windows, I could see part of the harbor of where the city sits on the Western banks of Lake Michigan. B
Value- Each and every dog is served on a poppy seed bun. I asked if anyone had requested not to have a poppy seed bun, and if he refused to serve them any dog if they asked that. He smiled and said that he couldn’t yet turn away business. At $4.50 each it was a little more than I am used to paying for a dog, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the price. This price also included some fries so for a combo platter it is a fair price. After eating the two dogs and fries I was full. So I would say it is a fair price. C+
Side Dish Jody says… Side Dish Jody did not join me on this trip. I did however ask a family of four eating at the table next to mine what they thought of the meal. One person was having a cheese steak, the other a pizza puff, and another chicken fingers. The family raved about the food and said they ate their all the time.