|Soon to be gone but never forgotten|
Hot Doug's is closing in a few days and those who once made the pilgrimage to the tiny corner restaurant will have no place to go for duck sausage draped in a blanket of foie gras. No more shrimp and grits as an accompaniment to a gourmet weiner. No more julienned potatoes fried in duck fat.
The line stretched endlessly on Saturday, with some arriving at 2 a.m. to be sure of eating a gourmet sausage one last time.
Cities are dotted with countless emporia that serve hot dogs. Different towns proclaim the glory of their local speciality, be it the salad in a bun that is the Chicago dog or the Coney Island hot dog with its frills of sauerkraut. But only Hot Doug's could boast of a sausage with foie gras that was nothing less than a slap in the face to some idiotic Chicago aldermen who put through a ban on foie gras sales in all Chicago restaurants. The finest eateries flinched and changed their menus. Hot Doug's said they weren't selling it but giving it away with the purchase of a sausage. Doug Sohn took his lumps and paid the fine and his fans made such a mockery of the anti-foie gras ordinance that it was soon overturned.
Farewell to the encased meats of Hot Doug's. The restaurant's sausages brought fine cuisine to the common man who might have been too intimidated for Charlite Trotter's and too poor for Alinea. We are truly sad to see you go.