Anyone remember the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld? Hopefully you took notes, because the tattooed, handgun-packing fry slingers at Jimmy's aren't fooling around.
If you manage to make it to the tiny brick dwelling on a sinister corner of Grand Avenue, get in line right away. Note the sign on the wall that warns against asking for ketchup. This is not a joke. This is Chicago, and this aging Humboldt hot dog shack takes its toppings seriously. They don't even keep ketchup in the building, so all asking for it will get you is an evil look and possibly an invitation to find the door.
Got that? OK, now repeat after me: "I'll take ______, with everything." This is how you order at Jimmy's. Your hot dog will come tucked inside of a bun, dripping with mustard, onions and sport peppers. It will be perfect, and you'll forget all about a certain tomato-based condiment. Polishes are also done remarkably well here, and you can even pick up a tamale if you're too intimidated to order the hot dog. Fries are perfectly salted and slick with delicious grease. All prices are well below rock bottom, which works out when your midnight hot dog craving leaves you scrounging through your roommate's pocket for loose change.
Open since 1954, Jimmy's has raised several generations of Chicago hot dog aficionados. Customers are fiercely loyal, so the place is always packed. If you want to feel like part of the family, be sure to follow the ordering procedure to the letter. Eventually, you'll learn even more Jimmy's insider info, like the fact that bootleg DVDs of current Hollywood blockbusters are always available here.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: K. Tighe