44 Comment

  • Love their hotdogs… and they’re reasonably priced (not to mention they have two Goose Island beers!). If you haven’t been, I’d recommend giving it a try (especially for a late night Chicago dog).

    I’m always surprised to see the place is empty.

  • Surprised it stays in business. Doesn’t seem to be a crowd usually and my only experience was sub-par. Meat temp was too low, bun was both “too bready” for my taste and also didn’t seem to be very fresh.

  • I had the Italian Beef sandwich and it was really really good. I haven’t been back but if I found myself nearby and hungry, I’d definitely consider grabbing one. Go for the full dip.

  • Crap, absolute and complete crap. Any self-respecting Chicago native that has eaten there has had to resit the urge to commit arson.

  • There was a lot of anticipation? Really?

    I like a hot dog now and then, but this place opened a block away from Ben’s. Not saying Ben’s is the best ever, but for many people, they think it is.

    Not sure how Chidogo’s expects to make any money.

    By the is it “Chai”-dog-o’s or “Shy”-dog-o’s or “Shu”-dog-o’s? I imagine it’s supposed to sounds like “Chicago”, but I’ve heard people from Chicago pronounce “Chi-Sox” multiple ways, so I wasn’t sure.

    By the way, the name is idiotic regardless.

  • Chicago has this awesome place called Wow Bao. Fast food restaurant for Chinese dumplings. If that came to DC, I would go there Every. Single. Day.

    But hot dogs? F’real? Even if they were authentic Chicago hot dogs, who would be excited about getting them? They’re just hot dogs.

    • Yes, so much love for Wow Bao.

      I feel like Chidogo’s missed the boat on “authenticity” when they didn’t bother w/ the atomic green relish. Yes, it tastes the same, but it’s a key detail…

  • The Italian Beef is 80% as good as Chicago iBeefs. Really, that’s good enough.

    The arsonist commenter seems to be missing the point — the whole appeal of authentic Chicago-style hot dogs is that you’re IN CHICAGO when you eat them. If you’re looking for an authentic eating experience, you should be eating McDonald’s only in Iowa, or Patty Boom Boom’s patties only in Jamaica. Or at least Jamaica Plains.

    Expanding the authenticity argument to late-night food is preposterous, and makes me wish I could commit arson against that comment.

    • What does McDonald’s have to do with Iowa?

    • While I agree the arsonist comment may be extreme, your point is little confusing. I don’t think the whole point of a good Chicago dog is being in Chicago. You must have never been to Wiener Circle, Wolfy’s, Poochie’s, Herms, or a dozen other great dog locations. And I’m pretty sure that by advertising the store as a Chicago hot dog stand – which it bears no resemblance to – the proprietors are advertising authenticity. A task at which the failed miserably. This place didn’t call themselves “late night snacks”, they said they had Chicago hot dogs, they don’t. In short, you are comparing apples and oranges (McDonalds, a place that is purposely generic, and this place, which attempts authenticity, albeit completely unsuccessfully). And by the way, there beef is closer to 10 percent as good as the real thing.

    • You do realize Jamaica Plains is a) not named after the island and b) populated by Latin Caribbean immigrants. Dorchester is more “Jamaican”.

  • Isn’t this whole block about to be razed?

  • I like that place – their food is significantly better than Ben’s (not that high of a bar). Look, let’s be honest, Ben’s doesn’t have good food, they have a great history. That’s why people go. It’s pretty much a tourist trap these days, anyhow. But I agree, this place won’t last so close to a hot dog icon like Ben’s, even if the food at Chidago’s is better, which it is.

    • Ben’s is not famous for their hot dogs, they are known for their half smokes – a different animal (literally). And for all the “over-rated” and “disgusting” that Ben’s gets nowadays, their half smokes are actually quite good. Custom made to their recipe, cooked right so the skin is charred and crispy with a juicy half pork/half sausage blend on the inside. The chili sauce isn’t going to win any competitions but it’s a good, spicy topping. It really is a unique meal/late night binge. I’d take a well made half smoke over a hot dog any day.

      • The food at Ben’s might be the most delicious in the world but I’d never know since they treat their customers like complete crap. The place has no line system to speak of and getting a table there seems like something akin to Oliver Twist asking for “more.”

        Maybe I’m just too old and cranky to put up with “character” at a restaurant, but I’ll take my food without the side of insult, thank you very much.

        • If you know what you’re doing, you never have to experience the line at Ben’s.

          Even at its busiest on a saturday night, as soon as i am spotted outside Ben’s my group gets taken immediately to the back room and seated there, with full table service.

          You just have to know what you’re doing though. There are always lots of D-bags waiting in that line. Sucks to be them.

  • They put too much cheese on the iBeef, unless you are pretty specific, and getting it totally dunked there has turned me off because I don’t think their bread is meal-y enough to handle a full dunk. Go the French dip route and get the jus on the side and dunk at will. If you don’t get jardiniere, you got cauli for brains.

    At that point it’s certainly close enough for a place (DC) that has never had anything remotely like the iBeef, the closest thing is buying six right before a plane flight back to DC, holding them in tuppawear, and uncontrollably crushing them before you even get to the subway. It’s nice to be able to walk out my door and contemplate the iBeef.

    Re: the hot dogs vs. ben’s. ben’s hot dogs are grilled for hours and are crunchy. Chicago dogs have never been grilled and have never been crunchy. A comparison is like comparing Pollo Rico (spit fire) to Popeyes (fried). You’re an idiot to compare and even your mother is ashamed of your taste. Your mother, who I lit up last night.

  • I think the dogs are not bad (like someone else said, it’s just a hot dog), but maybe that’s because I usually find myself there on the walk home from the 930 club.

  • addendum: Chicago dogs can be grilled, but not with the gusto that Ben’s grills. Chicago dogs are heated only. Ben’s are grilled by men who smoke their ribs.

  • For what it is I think its pretty good (not amazing). Definitely better than JR’s Cheesesteaks across the street.

  • Isn’t this placed closed, or closing, to make way for the big redevelopment that already claimed Taco Bell/KFC?

  • Though I LOVE Chicago style dogs, this place (granted I went only once) was sub-par. Very unfresh ingredients and the bun was sort of stale. It’s a shame b/c Chi-dogs blow any other hotdogs away!

  • I’ve been twice. First time my french fries were cold. Hot dog was ok, but nothing special. I’m not really a fan of Chicago style hot dogs though. Much prefer Ben’s half smokes with chilli and cheese.

    Overall, I’ve been underwhelmed with my experience there. Not bad, but I just haven’t felt a need to go back. There’s too many other better options for mediocre fast food IMO.

  • Tried it once or twice. Beef sandwich in my opinion was disgusting and incredibly salty. Disclaimer is that I’ve never been to Chicago or eaten a real one, so I don’t know how close it comes to the original. Now, I love Hot Dogs. These ones have awesome toppings but the actual dog was COLD. That about turned me off. Noticed yesterday that they looked closed around 6pm… weird.

  • If it weren’t for drunks, this place would be gone. It’s pretty terrible… even for my drunk palate.

  • This place is gross. I was fairly intoxicated when I tried it and it is almost insultingly sub-par. It almost looks like it could be the real thing, but it’s not. What’s worse is that the owner is supposedly from Chicago. I guess he didn’t do much hot dog eating back home because, these dogs taste nothing like the real thing. If you want a good impostor of the real thing here in DC, try Shake Shack’s Shackago dog. They use a potato bun, which I like, but that negates from the authenticity factor – aside from the fact that it’s not in Chicago.
    Also, I second that Wow Bao is amazing and should be imported to DC!

    • Shake Shack’s dog is legit. Halfsmoke at Ben’s is the bomb – that is classic DC. Florida Ave Grill has a money halfsmoke as well.

  • The guy behind the counter told me they are closing this store in November and opening up in the College Park area.

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