One in the Northwest side's abundant supply of hot dog stands, Bobo's does a solid job of standing out from the others.
First off, the owner named it "Bobo's," which is about as goofy and attention-grabbing as they come. Secondly, the stand has its share of retro decor, but wears it subtly and honestly - not as tasteless gimmickry. Thirdly: Fresh, thinly-cut French fries, definitely up there with the best of what the area has to offer.
A study of Bobo's must begin, of course, with the dogs. They're fine, the typical juicy Vienna beef with all the fixings. But the fries steal the show, skin-on and as tasty as they come. Other solid entrees include Italian beef, the Maxwell Street Polish, or homemade chili.
Bobo's also moonlights as a summer dessert joint, offering Italian ice, frozen bananas, old-school malts and shakes. For $1.65, indulge in an enormous tower of ice cream teetering dangerously on a cone.
There's something distinctly throwback about the joint – perhaps emanating from the curt yet warm service from the staff. There's also no tables inside – it's stools-only at the counter and among the plethora of retro hot dog and Coca-Cola signs. If it weren't for an autographed portrait of local radio personality Mike North, you may be a convinced you stepped back in time at least 30 years. And to anyone who might question the authenticity of this Chicago hot dog stand, here’s an interesting tidbit: They actually sell the book "Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog."
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert