Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Hot Doug's Experience

Since I took Monday off, I ventured up to try out Hot Doug's, The Sausage Superstore and
Encased Meat Emporium. (3324 North California-Chicago)

I saw it on TV and had to go. But they're only open from 10:30 to 4. And the lines are crazy on the weekend, so that's why it was a day off event.

Their menu includes all what you'd expect, plus wild one's you wouldn't:

* * *

The Mountain Man: A damn tasty combination of Elk, Venison, Buffalo and Antelope with Cassis Butter and Coolea Cheese

The Marcus Fizer (Today's Celebrity Sausage)
Greek Loukaniko with Skordalia, Olive Tapenade and Sheep's Milk Haloumi Cheese

Other Specials
Portuguese Linguiça with Saffron Rouille and Castelinhos Cheese

Cognac and Hazelnut Pheasant Sausage with Black Truffle Sauce Moutarde, Foie Gras Mousse and Sel Gris

Fig and Brandy Duck Sausage with Sweet Dijon Mustard Sauce and Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Bell Pepper and Mozzarella Chicken Sausage with Pizza Sauce, Sautéed Peppers & Onions and Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Blue Cheese Pork Sausage with Sir William Pear Purée, Smoked Almonds and Roasted Apples

The BLT: Bacon Sausage with Avocado Mayonnaise, Lettuce and Cherry Tomatoes

Savory Ostrich Sausage with Strawberry Dijonnaise and Queijo Sao Jorge

* * *

Also, the famous duck fat fries are only available on Friday and Saturday.

I went there planning on getting something wild, but between the prices and all the choices, I ended up ordering:

The Elvis
Polish Sausage: Smoked and savory - just like the King.
(with mustard, relish, carmelized onions, and sport peppers)

The Salma Hayek
(formerly the Madonna, the Raquel Welch and the Ann-Margret)
Andouille Sausage: Mighty, mighty, mighty hot!
(with just relish and carmelized onions to really taste the meat)

They were both excellent. The polish was just what I'd expected. The Andouille came sort of split open, and in a bakery style bun that soaked up the delicious grease. It wasn't spicy just flavorful. Very good, even if it didn't live up to the description.

I'd love to go back and try something more exotic. Can I really justify paying 7.50 for a bacon sausage? Who knows.

Oh yeah, and I'm not nearly the first to blog about this place.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Grill!

I picked up this bad boy today in Target for 30 bucks. Here's what's got me excited:

1. Big Handle so you don't have to lift near the grilling surface.
2. Big Area, it says 80 square inches, and my guess is it's close to about 8 deep by 10 wide. perfect for a long steak, or 2 burgers at the same time.
3. Floating Hinge! It's always been a bit of a challenge to get a chicken breast to cook evenly because of the shape, but now it should have more uniform grilling.
4. 2 giant grease trays and 2 spatulas. Now I can put one tray in the dishwasher and still have one under the grill.

Considering I paid 20 bucks 5 years ago for the classic small white one, I think this is a steal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

midnight scene

So this is what I've been listening to this week: Hold Steady and Against Me! (sic)

I'm not vouching for the video part, just the songs:

Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

Against Me! - Thrash Unreal

Hold Steady - Your Little Hoodrat Friend

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the most ridiculous thing i've ever seen

It's summer! It's time for ice cream! Now I'm diabetic!

Taken from their own website:

It's not just a shake, it's a dream come true! And quite the dream it is, at 2600 calories, 135 grams of fat, (59 saturated), and 263 grams of sugar! That's three times as much saturated fat as you should have in a day, you're getting in a between meals shake. Of course this is listed under beverages.

Seriously, when the USDA calculates everything on a 2,000 calorie diet, and you're making a "beverage" that has 2600 calories, there's something wrong. I guess it's part of their new slogan. Baskin Robbins: We're trying to kill you.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sports Guy unglued

I just checked in on Simmons' latest unplugged blogspot post: a 1999 article about golf announcing. The first thing that surprised me was a real, honest to goodness f-bomb.

But this stood out more:

"some out-of-nowhere guy named Mike Weir was playing with Tiger and submitting a performance worthy of Carl the Gardner from "Caddyshack." It was a familiar story, a Roy McAvoy-type putting together three great rounds before self-destructing in the fourth round under the TV lights. It happens every golf tournament. There's always a Mike Weir involved. Always.

So Weir's putting in on the 18th for an 80 -- repeat, 80 -- and one of the CBS guys tells us, "He'll be back. He'll be back. He got some good experience today."

Good experience? Good experience? The guy just shot an 80 in the final group in the final round of a major. He could crash his car on the way home and have a better experience than that. Are you kidding me?"

Of course, that was 1999. Mike Weir went on to win the 2003 Masters and and spent 100 weeks in the top 10. Sure it sounds funny to criticize the announcers in 1999, but sometimes they know more than you do.

One last note, it amused me that even in 1999 he was relying on "electroshock" for humor.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Home stretch. Everything's falling into place and it feels good. I'm feeling good about having the rough draft done by July. That would be just about 6 months. That's not too bad.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rick Reilly rips off Rick Reilly

In his 2nd ESPN article, Rick Reilly rips off Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated. He starts this week's US Open article:

"Rooting for Tiger Woods is like rooting for Justin Timberlake to get lucky, Exxon to hit a gusher, Bill Gates to find a twenty on the sidewalk. It takes no imagination. It takes no courage."

I know that sounded familiar. So I went through the Hoagie Central archives and found this quote I posted in May 2007 about rooting for the Yankees:

"It's like hoping Bill Gates wins the lotto, it's like rooting for Brad Pitt to get laid."

A few observations.
  • I see in a year he's updated his reference from Brad Pitt to Justin Timberlake. Fair enough.
  • He's also swtiched from "laid" to "lucky." I don't remember if the original was in print or where I saw it, but apparently working for Disney/ESPN doesn't give you as much freedom.
  • He's stuck with Bill Gates as a archetypal rich man but downgraded the metaphor from lotto to finding a $20. But I think it works better. A fine improvement.
  • And of course, he thinks that everything that applies to the Yankees applies to Tiger Woods.
Is Tiger the Yankees of golf? I think it's a lot easier to root for Tiger than the Yankees because there's no strings attached, like you have to be from New York. Tiger is America, neo-American if you will. And how do we choose which golfers to like anyways?

If there's no team affiliation, how do we grow affinity for anyone? Skill? Personality? Coolness? Tiger's got 'em all. I guess my point is, I like Tiger, and I don't think it's like rooting for the Yankees.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Okay, sure it's not a major milestone, but after it took me 5 weeks to write 10%, it's pretty cool that I wrote another 7% in 3 days.

And this is the 2/3 mark. I wrote the first 1/3 in about 10 weeks, and I'm still on that pace.
That would put me at the middle of August, but I might be able to finish sooner. My theory is now it's sort of like a puzzle, and once you get the outer frame, the inside's a lot easier to fill.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

nba finals pick

Lakers in 5.

Or maybe 6.

Or Celtics in 7.

Seriously though: Lakers in 5.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


So I went to McCain's site to pull up his policy statements for a fair comparison, and this is what I find.
It was bad enough was Hillary tried to chant "Yes We Will"...and now this. Come on.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Well, these last 5000 words were slow going. I just haven't had time to work on it, with everything else going on.

I'm way off pace and won't finish the rough draft in July, but that's okay. I should still be able to hit my target release date. Maybe I'll be able to get into a groove. If I could write 5000 words every two weeks, that would put me at July 29. We'll see.

teams of the decades

You'll see why I'm bringing this up by the end of this article, but let's take a look at the teams that won the most champions of any decade, in the four major sports.

1960s: Green Bay Packers (6)
1970s: Pittsburgh Steelers (3)
1980s: San Francisco 49ers (3)
1990s: Dallas Cowboys (3)
2000s: New England Patriots (3*)

*The Pats have clinched being the team of the decade since no one else has won more than once. They could still raise this total to 4 in 2009.

1900s: Chicago Cubs (2)
1910s: Boston Red Sox (4)
1920s: New York Yankees (3)
1930s: New York Yankees (5)
1940s: New York Yankees (4)
1950s: New York Yankees (6)
1960s: (none) tie between Yankees/Dodgers/Cardinals at 2
1970s: Oakland Athletics (3)
1980s: Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
1990s: New York Yankees (3)
2000s: TBD*

*The Boston Red Sox have won it twice. The other 6 teams to win it this decade are the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Angels, Marlins, White Sox and Cardinals. With two years to go, any team could claim it.

1930s: (none) tie between Canadiens/Red Wings at 2
1940s: Toronto Maple Leafs (5)
1950s: Montreal Canadiens (5)
1960s: Montreal Canadiens (5)
1970s: Montreal Canadiens (6)
1980s: (none) tie between Islanders/Oilers at 4
1990s: (none) tie between Penguins/Red Wings at 2
2000s: TBD*

*The Devils and Red Wings have both won it twice with a year to go. (Updated June 5th)

1950s: Minneapolis Lakers (4)
1960s: Boston Celtics (9)
1970s: (none) tie between Knicks/Celtics at 2
1980s: Los Angles Lakers (5)
1990s: Chicago Bulls (6)
2000s: TBD*

*Lakers and Spurs are currently tied at 3 each, with the Lakers in the Finals this year. Here are the possibilities for this category:

Lakers 5, Spurs 3
Lakers 4, Spurs 3
Lakers 4, Spurs 4
Lakers 3, Spurs 3
Lakers 3, Spurs 4